Alumni Spotlight: Jimmy Grattan, MSAN

Jimmy Grattan, Master of Science in Applied Nutrition
Jimmy Grattan earned her Master of Science in Applied Nutrition in order to advance her career and open up new options for herself in academia – specifically in the area of nutrition and sustainability. Here, she discusses her journey through the Applied Nutrition program and how it has aligned with her goals so far. Can you tell us a little about yourself, and what encouraged you to pursue your master’s degree in Applied Nutrition? I started my career in advertising, where I quickly realized that I could pair my skills in marketing and communications with two of my other loves – food and healthy eating. So, I moved to California and became the marketing manager for a culinary arts college…

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Alumni Spotlight: Melanie Berdyck, MSAN

Melanie Berdyck, MSAN, UNE Online Alumna
We interviewed Melanie Berdyk, MSAN, when she was a Student Ambassador in the Applied Nutrition program at CGPS in 2018. Here’s an update on what she’s up to, how she is using her MSAN in her career, and how her MSAN has helped her with career advancement. Can you give us an overview of what you’ve been up to since graduation? Since my graduation in August of 2018, I’ve continued to work in corporate nutrition – counseling patients, and working in a retail environment. I’ve found that I’ve been able to apply a lot of the knowledge and research from my graduate degree to a wide variety of real-life work situations. I’m impressed with the amount of information I…

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Alumni Spotlight: Megan Thompson, Master of Science in Applied Nutrition Program

Megan Thompson, Master of Science in Applied Nutrition
Megan Thompson is an alumna of the MS in Applied Nutrition program. Here, she talks about her writing career, how she got interested in the field of nutrition, and how she plans to move forward with her MSAN. Could you start out by telling us a little bit about yourself, and why you decided to pursue your Master of Science in Applied Nutrition? I love writing – and after earning my undergrad in Creative Writing, I knew I wanted to be involved in something creative, but I hadn’t found anything in particular that really worked out for me. I felt like I didn’t have a niche or particular subject that I felt passionate enough about to write at length about.…

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The COVID Diaries: Shopping Smart and Reducing Food Waste During a Pandemic

Rebecca LaChance, MS, RD, LD addresses the topic of reducing food waste
In this presentation on shopping smart and making food last during a pandemic, Dietitian Rebecca LaChance discusses reducing food waste, optimizing your food shopping habits, food storage best practices, ideas for repurposing ingredients, and methods of food preservation. She also offers additional food-related resources at the completion of the presentation. Rebecca LaChance, MS, RD, LD is an adjunct faculty member in the UNE Online Master of Science in Nutrition program. She is an active member of the Maine Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and is currently working as a dietitian among the geriatric population in Midcoast Maine. The importance of reducing food waste In 2017, Americans disposed of 38.1 million tons of food waste. The USDA estimates that a

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Faculty Spotlight: Angelina Moore Maia, PhD, RD, LD, Applied Nutrition Program

Faculty Spotlight: Angelina Moore Maia, PhD, RD, LD, Applied Nutrition Program Assistant Director, Graduate Programs in Applied Nutrition for the Master’s degree in nutrition online
Dr. Maia is the MSAN Assistant Director/Director of RDN Focus at UNE Online. Here, she talks about her background, what drew her to the field of nutrition, and why she is passionate about being an influence on what education looks like for people who intend to become a registered dietitian and get their master’s degree in nutrition online. Can you tell me a little about your background and what drew you to teaching at UNE Online? I’ve been a registered dietitian for almost 19 years, practicing in Maine and Massachusetts. I’ve enjoyed time in the clinical setting, working with Nutrition Support Teams in large teaching hospitals as well as a variety of positions in outpatient counseling, including a School Nutritionist…

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Career Growth in the Field of Nutrition

Registered Dietitian making a smoothie
with Angelina Maia, PhD, RD, LD Dr. Angelina Maia is a Registered Dietitian with over 18 years of experience in the field of nutrition. She currently serves as the MSAN Assistant Director/Director of RDN Focus. Here she talks about trends and areas of growth and opportunity for people looking to work in the field of nutrition. What career path do our Applied Nutrition students take after completing their classes? It’s very individualized. The students who were Registered Dietitians prior to entering the program and who have earned this degree are finding it very useful in developing research and education skills that they can use in their work settings. Students from diverse backgrounds who are interested in wellness and nutrition counseling…

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Jump-start your Journey to Become a Registered Dietitian (RD/RDN)

RDN talking to patient
The online M.S. Applied Nutrition program at UNE recently matured in the candidacy process with the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND®) as the program develops an exciting new pathway for students to earn the Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) credential. An excerpt from the approval document:  “The University of New England has applied to the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND®) to open an innovative program preparing students to lead careers as Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RD/RDN). As a result of demonstrated leadership in education, ACEND® has accepted UNE’s application to be a part of an exclusive cohort of programs. And awards the program candidacy in the process of accreditation under the new “

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Earning your Certified Nutrition Specialist (CNS®) certification just got easier

A Certified Nutrition Specialist (CNS) sits with a client
It can sometimes feel challenging to figure out which credentials you’ll need to demonstrate your commitment and expertise to employers and patients and successfully lead in the field of nutrition. If you’re dedicated to gaining industry skills and best practice techniques, but feel unsure about which credential best suits your career interests, earning your Certified Nutrition Specialist (CNS®) certification tells peers, clients, and your community that you’re qualified as an advanced nutrition professional–and it’s often included in state licensure laws. The Certified Nutrition Specialist (CNS®) Credential The Certified Nutrition Specialist (CNS®) is regarded as a high standard for advanced nutrition professionals and remains the only non-dietetics credential widely named in state nutrition licensure laws. As consumer interest in healthier living…

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Student Spotlight: Annie Lin, Applied Nutrition Program

Annie Lin Master of Science in Applied Nutrition
Annie Lin is a second-year student in the online Master of Science in Applied Nutrition program at the University of New England. We spoke with Annie about her experience in the program, her poster presentation at a nationally-renowned conference for the field of nutrition, and her thoughts on being a part of an online learning community. Can you tell me a little bit about yourself, and what encouraged you to pursue your Master of Science in Applied Nutrition? I grew up in a traditional Chinese medicine household. We always prioritized health and nutrition, but it wasn’t until my husband had a liver transplant and stroke that I decided to focus on nutrition.  While he was recovering from the transplant he…

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What "Dietitian" Means & How to Become a Certified Nutrition Specialist

Two women and a boy in a garden looking at fresh vegetables and explaining what the term dietitian means
Year over year, Google searches for “dietitian” tend to slow in December. We get it: no one wants to think about diet and wellness when there’s turkey and chocolate fudge to be had! However, there’s no better time of year to consider nutrition-related career goals for the coming new year. Today, we’ll answer some of the most common dietitian questions, explain a few different types of dietitians, and explain why becoming licensed—especially as a Certified Nutrition Specialist—can give your career some additional momentum. What is a dietitian and what do they do? A Dietitian is a professional who aims to improve one’s quality of life through food- and health-related research and counsel. Furthermore, a Registered Dietitian (or RD) is a…

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Applied Nutrition Program Overview

Applied Nutrition professionals
The Master of Science in Applied Nutrition online program at UNE, offered through the College of Graduate and Professional Studies, strives to enhance, expand and enrich learning opportunities in the field of Applied Nutrition. The UNE Online staff is invested in the success of each student from application to graduation and beyond. It is through a student-centered approach that UNE Online is able to uphold a solid commitment to its students to ensure that they receive a high quality, rigorous education that provides a true return on investment in their professional career. All UNE Online students engage in research and scholarship alongside dedicated faculty who are committed to their academic and professional success. Our academic programs ensure that students have…

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Spotlight on the Applied Nutrition Trends & Issues Student Blog

Applied Nutrition Blog
One of the goals of the online nutrition masters degree at UNE Online is to prepare individuals for leadership roles in the field of nutrition. We do this by advancing knowledge and expanding skills that promote excellence and innovation in all areas of nutrition practice. The program also fosters an emphasis on evidence-based best practices to support the wellbeing and health outcomes of individuals, families, and communities through education, research, and service. One of the ways our students in the Applied Nutrition program demonstrate thought leadership and expand their skills in the field of nutrition is through blogging. Transferring skill sets Authoring scholarly papers is a skill that students in the University of New England Online’s MS in Applied Nutrition…

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U.S. FDA Issues Extension on Nutrition Fact Label Requirements

Man reading nutrition label on food product
On May 27, 2016, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) submitted the Nutrition Facts Label Rule and the Serving Size Final Rule to update nutrition requirements found on food labels. This rule was first set with a compliance date set for July 26, 2018 at the earliest. These final rules demand food manufacturers help the public make better and more informed choices with their food. On July 3, 2018, the FDA extended the compliance dates by 18 months. Although 29,000 products have already implemented these changes, other manufacturers’ updates are still in progress. Let’s look at how these changes will affect how we read food labels. “Working to improve the nutrition and diet of Americans can be a transformative effort…

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The Role of the Bariatric Dietitian with Shannon Wickman, RD, LD

Shannon Wickman, RD, LD
Last month, the Master of Science in Applied Nutrition program at the University of New England co-hosted the 7th Annual Bariatrics Conference with Southern Maine Health Care, where one of the topics was the role of a bariatric dietitian. In order to more fully understand this profession within the health industry, we sat down with conference presenter Shannon Wickman, RD, LD. We discussed the function of bariatric dietitians and explored her thoughts on the future of this branch of healthcare. What is a bariatric dietitian? Bariatric dietitians work primarily as part of bariatric programs, which are the programs that offer weight loss surgery for patients with morbid obesity. A significant component of weight loss surgery is diet and lifestyle change…

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UNE Online Presents & Exhibits at SNEB 2018 Conference

SNEB logo
The Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior (SNEB) hosted its 51st Annual Conference in Minneapolis this July, where UNE Online was welcomed to present and exhibit. This year’s event theme, Optimizing Impact: Supporting Food Systems with Nutrition Education, attracted SNEB’s professional members, national educators, and nutrition students eager to showcase their current work while learning about the future of nutrition. Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior The Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior (SNEB) represents the unique professional interests of nutrition educators worldwide. SNEB is dedicated to promoting effective nutrition education and healthy behavior through research, policy, and practice, and has a vision of healthy communities, food systems, and behaviors. Their work takes place in colleges, universities, and other schools,…

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Program Director Spotlight: Dr. Ellie Dodge – Applied Nutrition Program

Dr. Ellie Dodge
Dr. Dodge is the Program Director for the Master of Science in Applied Nutrition program at UNE Online. Her program has a diverse student body, and her faculty all follow the scholar-practitioner model, making the program highly desirable for students with a passion for nutrition. Recently we sat down with Dr. Dodge to discuss the Applied Nutrition program here at UNE Online. Can you tell me a little bit about your background and what drew you to UNE Online? I did my Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Ph.D. in Nutrition, all at the University of Maine. My dissertation, Evaluation of the Impacts of a Cooperative Extension 4-H Nutrition Education and Gardening Program on Nutrition Behavior and Self-Efficacy, involved developing a nutrition education…

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1st Annual UNE Nutrition Symposium

2018 Nutrition Symposium
UNE Online and the Graduate Programs in Applied Nutrition are excited to announce our first annual UNE Nutrition Symposium! The event will be held on Saturday, April 21st right here at Innovation Hall in Portland, ME. We have an exciting lineup of speakers and breakout sessions. Attendees will: Become familiar with best practices in the field of sports nutrition. Identify nutrition strategies to apply to both team and individual athletes. Understand the concepts of motivational interviewing as well as be able to identify determinants of behavior change. Gain a broad understanding of health informatics and be able to put documentation processes into practice. Topics and speakers will include Best Practices in the Field of Sports Nutrition Speaker Carrie Banner Aprik,…

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The Certified Nutrition Specialist (CNS) Credential

Certified Nutrition Specialist logo
Along with an increased awareness of the need for proper nutrition comes an increased demand for skilled nutrition professionals such as Certified Nutrition Specialists to provide care for patients with various medical conditions and to advise people who desire to improve their overall health. We all know that eating a balanced diet is vital for good health and wellbeing. Food provides our bodies with the energy, protein, essential fats, vitamins and minerals to function properly – and we need a wide variety of different foods to provide the right amounts of nutrients for good health. Elite athletes have long understood the importance of proper nutrition – but more and more people are realizing the importance of fueling their bodies with…

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Ambassador Spotlight: Melanie Berdyck, MSAN Program

Melanie Berdyck
Melanie Berdyck is a dietitian and student in the UNE Online Master’s of Science in Applied Nutrition program. We spoke to Melanie recently about her work, her online graduate school experience, and her thoughts about the Applied Nutrition program. What encouraged you to pursue your Master’s in Applied Nutrition? I earned my Bachelor’s of Science in Dietetics in 2008, and I’ve been working in the field as a dietitian for about ten years now. Most of the people I work with have advanced degrees, and I’ve always had the feeling that there was so much more to learn – so I decided to go back to school. I figure that I have about another 40 years or so working in…

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Applied Nutrition: Focus your studies

Custom Focus Area
The Master of Science in Applied Nutrition program at UNE Online is a 36 credit-hour program that can be completed in as little as two years. It is 100% online, with no campus visits required, and no GRE is required for admission. Our program offers four optional focus areas in various aspects of nutrition. What you’ll get with your Master of Science in Applied Nutrition The mission of the Master of Science in Applied Nutrition is to prepare individuals for leadership roles in the field of nutrition, to advance knowledge and expand skills that promote excellence and innovation in all areas of nutrition practice, and to emphasize evidence-based best practices to support the well-being and health outcomes of individuals, families,…

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Faculty Spotlight: Leanne DiMaio – MPH Program

Leanne DiMaio, MBA, MPH
Recently, Leanne DiMaio was asked to be the subject matter expert and course designer for a brand new course within the Masters of Science in Applied Nutrition program, ‘Nutrition, Wellness, and Multimedia Communication.’ Leanne has been a course facilitator in the UNE Online MPH program since 2012, directly after graduating from the MPH program herself. She earned her MBA from Saint Joseph’s College and a Master’s degree in Clinical Nutrition from New York Chiropractic College. Leanne is currently in the process of earning her Doctorate in Clinical Nutrition (DCN). Leanne currently works in the field of Population Health and Wellness and leads a team that focuses on managing disease management and wellness programs. Here, she discusses her interactive teaching style…

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Reflections of an Online Student: My First Grad Course

Crystal Dee, MSAN Applied Nutrition Student
For a while now I have known that {for me} going back to school was absolutely necessary. It took some time to get to the point where I was comfortable pulling the trigger and picking a program. It also took a lot of soul searching. I looked at topics everywhere from Psychology/Counseling to an MBA. Nothing really seemed to fit. That is until my love for health and nutrition seeped into my work life. From scratch, I started our company’s first step challenge. We did a trial run in our office and it really took off. There were “walking meetings” and “walking lunch breaks” taking place. All so their team could achieve the most steps and so that they…

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