September 24-27, faculty and students from the Nutrition and Food Sciences (NFS) department at UK attended the American Dietetic Association's (ADA) annual Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo (FNCE) in San Diego, California. Faculty members Dr. Tammy Stephenson, Dr. Margaret Cook-Newell, Dr. Hazel Forsythe, Dr. Sandra Bastin, and Mr. Steve Perry attended to take advantage of professional development in current nutrition topics. Students Lindsey Mayes, Amy Camenisch, Andrew Wheeler, and Mitch Duross, were able to attend FNCE in part through financial support from the Ag & HES Alumni Association.
During the conference, sessions about a multitude of nutrition-related topics were held simultaneously. Attendees chose from lectures or explored the expo floor that was covered with rows upon rows of booths from every food and nutrition company imaginable. In the evenings, receptions were held for attendees who were members of or were interested in specialized Dietetic Practice Groups.
Those from UK attending the conference presented three posters describing projects performed by the NFS department. Dr. Stephenson presented the Second Sunday mission, explaining to attendees the mechanisms of the project and its importance to the community.
Lindsey Mayes, dietetics graduate student, presented Plate It Up, a study examining the fruit and vegetable consumption of Farmer's Market patrons. "As a student, attending FNCE was an amazing experience! " Lindsey stated. "I attended sessions about the latest nutrition research; talked with other professionals about projects they are doing that are similar to my own, and sampled many foods that I never would have tried otherwise!"
Andrew Wheeler, Mitch Duross, and Amy Camenisch, dietetics undergraduate students, presented the Plate Waste Study, which analyzed the amount of food wasted on UK's campus, described the Kentucky Academy in Ghana, and emphasized the importance of working to prevent hunger. "FNCE was a valuable experience for me," Andrew stated. "It opened my eyes to the various career opportunities that are available to registered dietitians. I was able to meet dietetic internship directors from across the country and discuss different aspects of their programs with them. I would recommend FNCE to any student in dietetics."
The experience was educational and motivating for all those who attended. "Going to FNCE was an eye-opening experience for me!" Amy stated. "I began to understand the huge variety of roles a dietitian can have and had some great networking opportunities. I feel like this has motivated me to get more involved in ADA so that I can take advantage of all their wonderful resources and make relationships with valuable mentors."