Jordan Robison Alumni Profile
Nutritional Sciences alumna Jordan Robison was inspired to become a dietitian because of her own struggles with cystic fibrosis (CF), and the nutritional demands of her condition. Jordan graduated from Texas Tech University's Nutritional Sciences and Dietetics undergraduate program in May of 2015 before choosing to continue on in her graduate studies with the Nutritional Sciences master's degree.
Jordan completed Texas Tech's Dietetic Internship program while obtaining her master's degree in Nutritional Sciences to accomplish her dream of becoming a Registered Dietitian (RD). Students who participate in the Dietetic Internship Program complete 1248 hours of supervised practice over a 15-month period. Upon completion of the program, students receive their dietetic internship (DI) verification statement and a certificate of internship completion that allows students to take their RD exam. During this time, students have the option of completing their master's degree and can begin working as RDs once they've passed the exam.
Jordan is currently working as a Registered Dietitian and clinical liaison for Epic Medical Solutions, a medical supply company in Lubbock that provides oral and tube feeding supplies for pediatric and adult patients. Having the necessity for a feeding tube allows Jordan to relate to patients and help parents whose children have feeding tubes. What Jordan loves most about being a dietitian in her field is being able to help other patients with the feeding tube process, being a resource for them as well as a caregiver.
"Having CF and a feeding tube has immensely affected my journey," Jordan said. "I have been and, still am a patient, so it is easy for me to understand what my patients go through. I understand the ins and outs of some medical procedures and even understand some medications better than maybe other students and dietitians do. My experiences have enabled me to truly have compassion for the families I come into contact with."
Jordan was diagnosed with CF when she was 11 months old. Jordan explains that CF is a progressive, genetic, and life-threatening lung disease caused by a defective gene. This defective gene causes a buildup of thick mucus in the lungs, pancreas, and other vital organs. The mucus buildup in the lungs can trap bacteria and cause lung infections that can lead to lung damage. This buildup around the pancreas prevents enzymes from being released into the body and makes it difficult for CF patients to absorb vital nutrients from food.
This is where Jordan says her interest in nutrition and dietetics began. When CF patients cannot absorb nutrients from food they begin to lose weight, and experience difficulty gaining weight. This poses a problem for CF patients in maintaining their health, inhibiting them from fighting off lung infections common to CF. Specialty diets and supplements can be prescribed by dietitians to aid CF patients in managing their condition.
"Now that I am a dietitian, I have learned I cannot work directly with other CF patients as their dietitian due to infection control, but I have come to love encouraging others to have a healthy relationship with food!"
Jordan said that receiving her education from Texas Tech University has only positively impacted her career. The Dietetic Internship Program prepared Jordan for the real world in such a way that she's not sure what her career would look like today without the experience. Jordan feels that the program really taught her what it means to be a dietitian.
"I truly believe the Nutritional Sciences professors are some of the brightest and most skilled dietitians, which ensures that students at TTU are receiving the highest quality of education possible," Jordan said. "Teamwork, dedication, leadership, compassion, and determination are just some of the qualities that I observed from my professors. These qualities are some that I desired to take on myself in order to be the best dietitian I could be."
Jordan felt like she had a great relationship with most of her professors, but she says the most significant relationships she had were with Assistant Professor Allison Childress, Ph.D., RND, CSSD, LD, and Director of Dietetic Internship Shelley Fillipp, M.S., RDN, LD.
Jordan said that Dr. Childress allowed her to help both inside and outside of the classroom, teaching Jordan about being both a dietitian and a professor. Jordan is grateful for the opportunity she had to work as Dr. Childress' teaching assistant (TA) and has hopes to become a professor at Texas Tech herself.
Jordan said that Shelley Fillipp works tirelessly to ensure that her dietetic interns are getting the most out of their internship experience.
"She was there for us for everything from getting married to helping us find our first job," Jordan recalls. "She works endlessly to ensure we are getting the most out of our internship and that we will be great dietitians. I am extremely grateful for the love that she pours out on her interns each year!"
Jordan encourages other students or younger alumni pursuing the dietetic internship program to give 110% in their pursuits.
"Don't be afraid to search for help when you feel like you need it, someone is always going to be willing to help. Seek out a leadership role in a student organization, if possible, and try to get a job in healthcare or the restaurant industry. Try to always say 'yes' to any opportunities you get to help you gain an internship, and if you are currently in the dietetic internship, say 'yes' always!"