Dietetic Interns and Nutritional Sciences Faculty Member Selected for Significant Awards in Dietetic Leadership and Research Efforts
Each year the Texas Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Association (TANDA) sponsors two student awards in Texas. This year, two Texas Tech dietetic students were selected for top honors in the Outstanding Dietetics Student Award program. The award program recognizes emerging leadership and achievement of students in ACEND-accredited dietetics education programs and encourages their participation in the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
Marleigh Brown was awarded the Outstanding Student in a DPD Program, and Jannin Macias was awarded the Outstanding Student in a DI Program. Graduating this May with a Bachelor of Sciences in Nutrition and Dietetics, Marleigh will begin the Keith and Associate's Distance Dietetic Internship in June. This fall, she plans to start Texas Tech's Nutritional Sciences doctoral program.
"I was pleasantly surprised that I won the award, to say the least," Marleigh said. "I knew that I had worked hard to gain valuable paid and volunteer experience throughout my time at Texas Tech, but I never imagined that my instructors would notice or that I would stand out compared to other Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) students in the state of Texas."
Choosing the study nutrition after a high school cross country running career, Marleigh was fascinated with nutrition packets provided by her high school coach.
"When I saw the impact that proper nutrition had on my athletic performance, I knew I wanted to do whatever it took to empower others through nutrition and a healthy, sustainable lifestyle. I found out that Texas Tech had a dietetics program, and the rest is history."
Director of Dietetic Internship, Shelley Fillipp, M.S., RDN, LD, and Director of Didactic Program in Dietetics, Holli Booe, MS, RDN, LD encouraged Marleigh to join the Student Dietetic Association student organization on campus, where Marleigh grew into a critical leadership role.
"I believe the opportunities I found myself able to take advantage of were made available to me through the supportive faculty in the nutrition department," Marleigh said.
After completing her education, Marleigh plans to establish or join a business that can help bridge the gap between nutrition scientists, dietitians, and the general public.
"Being able to place one foot in the shoes of practitioner and one foot in the shoes of a nutrition scientist will equip me as an interpreter between the two worlds, making a greater difference in the health of the general public. I am also interested in conducting research as a professor and/or opening a private nutrition counseling practice with the mutual goal of spreading science-based knowledge and medical nutrition therapy, empowering others to improve their quality of life through nutrition."
Jannin Macias says she was stunned to receive the Outstanding Student in a DI Program Award. As a Texas Tech graduate and current student in the dietetic internship program, she hopes to enter the Ph.D. program in Nutritional Sciences at Texas Tech this fall.
"Having worked with an amazing group of dietetic student interns within the TTU program and meeting several inspiring dietetic interns from other programs, I was honored to have been recognized among such a brilliant group people," Jannin said.
For Jannin, a career choice in the field of nutrition came after participating in a bodybuilding competition.
"Through the training process, I witnessed the ability of the human body to transform and thrive when given optimal nutrition and exercise. I was inspired to learn what was needed for the health of the human body, and to learn how to help others improve their health through nutrition."
She credits the Nutritional Sciences faculty for equipping her with the skills to navigate the dietetic internship program successfully. Thanks to their encouragement and a shared passion for the field of nutrition, Jannin says she is inspired and motivated to be a part of the efforts in the nutrition and dietetics community as a Registered Dietitian.
Assistant Professor in the Department of Nutritional Sciences, Shannon Galyean, Ph.D., RDN, LD, was awarded the Texas Distinguished Scientist Award from TANDA. The Distinguished Scientist Award is given to a Texas dietitian who has made outstanding and significant contributions to research in the field of dietetics, nutrition, food science, or related sciences.
Dr. Galyean's doctoral research investigated the use of a once-monthly oral ergocalciferol supplement in post-bariatric surgery patients to improve serum Vitamin D levels. Currently, she is studying the effects of potato consummation for one's blood pressure among patients with type 2 diabetes. Additional current projects involve metabolic outcomes using a prebiotic/probiotic supplement in bariatric surgery patients with severe obesity, the effectiveness of an injectable Vitamin D on bone health in bariatric surgery patients, and predictive genetic testing as a tool for the bariatric surgery population.
"I have also developed research training protocols that will allow students to have practical hands-on experience in a research setting, became certified to perform DEXA scans (bone mineral density scans) to incorporate in our obesity research setting, and practice as a clinical dietitian at Nutrition and Metabolic Health Initiative (NMHI)."
In the Nutrition and Metabolic Health Initiative (NMHI), Dr. Galyean serves as a clinical dietitian for the Lubbock community, where she also teaches current Texas Tech students clinical nutrition consultations.
"I enjoy being part of innovative research in a field that has a huge impact on our society and population's health status," Dr. Galyean said. "It is great to work among so many knowledgeable and established researchers in this field. I feel honored to learn from some of the best. I also enjoy sharing this knowledge with students who are working to become researchers in nutrition and obesity treatments."