Allison Kerin Alumni Profile
Nutrition alumna impacts thousands through TTUHSC employee health and wellness programs
Nutritional Sciences alumna Allison Kerin is dedicated to informing the public on nutrition, health and wellness. Allison graduated from Texas Tech University in 2002 with a bachelor's degree in Food and Nutrition, followed by a master's degree in Food and Nutrition in 2004.
In 2012, Allison was recognized by the Texas Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (TAND) as Young Dietitian of the Year. In 2016, TAND presented her the Outstanding Nutrition Education Award.
Allison is currently a Registered and Licensed Dietitian and is the Director of Employee Wellness and Recognition at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC).
"I am responsible for encouraging our TTUHSC workforce to engage in wellness opportunities to begin a journey to a healthier lifestyle," Allison, who is also an adjunct nutrition instructor for EDUKAN, an online distance learning program, said.
Allison's current job entails designing health risk assessments, encouraging participation by employees to gather data, and creating and utilizing social media. Allison recently designed a rewards and recognition program to keep employees informed on events, news, and promotions.
Allison says the most rewarding aspect of her job is the relationship she has formed with employees. TTUHSC has four thousand employees on campuses in Amarillo, Abilene, Midland, Odessa, Lubbock and 21 prison units across the state of Texas.
"I get to encourage and support people who are making changes that will impact their lives and families forever."
Allison says her favorite memories from her time in the College of Human Sciences were studying for tests. Allison gathered with 14 of her peers, either in El Centro or the Canyon Room, to study for exams.
"Each of us had our strengths individually and when one of us was struggling with a concept, we would ensure that they were able to grasp it before we moved on," Allison said. "We spent hours drilling each other with notecards and reviewing our highlighted PowerPoints. We were a team and we truly wanted each person to succeed."
Nutritional Sciences professors encourage students to get out of their comfort zone, Allison says, which will help prepare them for their future. She advises current and prospective Nutritional Science students to prepare for presentations.
"I hated presentations. But now I spend the largest portions of my time giving nutrition and wellness presentations to groups up to 150 people."
Professors also take information in textbooks and help students apply it through real-world examples, Allison explains. Rather than simply memorizing information long enough to complete exams, Allison feels Texas Tech professors will show you how to apply the information in a way students will never forget.
Allison says she was considered a nontraditional student because she was married when she completed her bachelor's degree.
"While I was working on finishing my master's, I was also pregnant with my first child," Allison said. "He was born on spring break my last semester."
Allison's professors were gracious and flexible with coursework and attendance.
"The made sure I would be able to graduate that May, and I did – with a screaming newborn in the audience."
The relationships formed in the Nutritional Sciences department at Texas Tech is what makes the department stand out. To this day, Allison says her professors and classmates are still available should she need to reach out or phone a friend.