Meet the 2011-2012 Virginia Tech Dietetic Interns – Northern Virginia location
Front Row (left to right)
Kristen Chang is originally from Virginia Beach, but she quickly fell in love with the mountains upon moving to Blacksburg in 2005. She received both her bachelor’s and master’s from Virginia Tech in Human Nutrition, Foods and Exercise. During that time she was a member of the New Life Christian Fellowship and the Virginia Tech Triathlon Club. She served as a personal trainer for Virginia Tech Recreational Sports and a triathlon coach for TriAdventure Multisport. She loves that the internship provides a wealth of opportunities to learn about different RD career paths while networking with RD’s. Her best piece of advice for prospective college students is to do what YOU love and are passionate about and the rest will fall into place!
Ashley Holmes graduated from Virginia Tech in 2008 with her bachelors in Science of Nutrition and German language minor. She continued at Virginia Tech working on her masters focused on the promotion of healthful food purchases at grocery stores and completing dietetics requirements. After graduating in 2010 with her masters she expanded her research to restaurants and is currently finishing her dissertation. She led the dietetics ePortfolio initiative at Virginia Tech and volunteered with Heifer International in Honduras. Ashley is from Richmond, VA and loves to travel. She spent a semester abroad in Germany studying language and architecture. The internship has been a vehicle for her to continue learning and is looking forward to seeing nutrition policy in action being so close to Washington, D.C. Her advice to potential interns: network.
Elyse Kouri graduated in May 2011 from the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point with a degree in Dietetics. During her undergraduate career, Elyse gained experience as an intern at King Wisconsin Veteran Home, a dietary technician at a special needs camp, and as a dietary aide at a local hospital. In addition, she served as President of her campus nutrition club where she organized and participated in service projects, and designed and created the club’s website. Elyse has been enjoying the wide variety of hospital rotations provided by the VT internship, and now hopes to pursue a career in clinical nutrition after graduation.
Suzanne Lee graduated in May 2010 from Virginia Tech with a B.S. in Human Nutrition, Foods and Exercise and a minor in psychology. During her undergraduate career she was a member of the Health Education and Awareness Team (HEAT) and served as President of the Chinese American Society at Virginia Tech. She created and implemented an employee nutrition education program during her summer internship with the Department of Homeland Security. After graduation, Suzanne worked as a WIC nutritionist in North Carolina. Her interest in the program stemmed from its various opportunities for networking and exposure to a wide array of resources and aspects of the dietetics profession.
Back Row (left to right)
Abigail Marck is from Cincinnati, OH. She completed her B.S. at Miami University in Oxford, OH in 2011 in Dietetics. During the school year, she worked at Miami’s Dining Halls, served as the ADA student liaison, interned at the local hospital, worked as a Health Fitness Instructor, and was a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma Sorority and Student Dietetic Association. During the summer, she worked at a hospital in Cincinnati, interned for the USDA, and was a camp counselor at a diabetes camp. She loves Northern Virginia location of the internship because the site is in a unique location that can be tailored to an individual.
Lindsay Colcombe is from Lynchburg, Virginia. She graduated from Virginia Tech in 2011 with a degree in Human Nutrition, Foods and Exercise. Throughout undergrad, she served as a peer educator, educating fellow students on a variety of health topics, gained experience through being a nutrition counselor and also completed a SNAP-Ed internship. The Northern Virginia site provides a wide range of diversity and has many options for rotation sites. One word of advice: Open-mind! Keeping an open mind through the internship will ensure a well-rounded experience and the area of dietetics you end up loving just may surprise you!
Katie Nash was born and raised in Sterling, VA and graduated from the University of Maryland in May 2011 with a Bachelor's degree in Dietetics. During her undergraduate career, she gained food service experience as a cook in various restaurants. She also volunteered at the Inova Loudon Hospital and the Capital Area Food Bank to gain both clinical and community experience. In addition, she worked at Biometrics Nutrition and Fitness developing a nutrition education program for kindergarten through 12th grade students. Upon graduating the program, Katie hopes to begin her career as a clinical dietitian.
Carlene Helble-Thomas graduated in May 2011 from James Madison University with a B.S. in Dietetics and minor in Family Studies. While at JMU she was on the student dietetic association executive board for 2 years, and was president senior year. Throughout undergrad and currently, Carlene is a nutrition communication specialist. During the internship she has maintained a blog and has had the opportunity to work with RDs to expand their social media presence. Her favorite part of this internship is how open they are to finding placements to fit what students are interested in. Carlene's advice for students: Be a go-getter and put yourself into what you love!
Katrina Bellan is originally from the Pittsburgh area. She earned a B.S. in Dietetics with a minor in Psychology at the University of Dayton. During college, she worked for a private practice dietitian, volunteered at WIC and was secretary for the Student Dietetic Association. She worked at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center in Nutrition services during the summer. One great aspect of the internship is the opportunity interns have to customize their experience to fit their interests. She would advise college students to be willing to try things outside of their comfort zone. It is important to be flexible and recognize that learning experiences happen in many different ways.