"My name is Elise Truman and a 2011 graduate of the Eastern Illinois University DI/MS program. I am currently employed as a registered dietitian in the food and nutrition practice at Edelman, the world’s largest public relations agency. Nutrition communications is vastly growing field that requires the ability to translate complex nutrition science into consumer-friendly language for both health professionals and the general public. The EIU DI/MS program provided a broad base of experiences essential in any dietetics practice setting, but I give special regard to a few competencies that continually prove invaluable to my daily work:
Research and Evaluation Methods: Dietetic interns at EIU are equipped with the ability to use appropriate research and evaluation methodology to analyze and evaluate food and nutrition education research, issues, literature and programs. An ongoing part of the curriculum that refines this ability is the submission of weekly literature reviews of recent nutrition research. The skills I developed from this consistent practice are instrumental in meeting daily demands to provide quick and accurate research findings and implications for food and nutrition clients. (Most recently I wrote four scientific update reports to be used by healthcare professionals across the U.S.)
Public Policy Initiatives: A large focus of the EIU dietetic internship was conducting activities to support public policy processes related to food, nutrition and health-related legislation. Staying abreast of nutrition public policy initiatives is integral in the everyday practice of nutrition communications as it largely shapes food client decisions.
Nutrition Education: What makes the EIU DI/MS curriculum unique from other programs is the nutrition education emphasis. In curriculum and internship experiences, interns were required to design and evaluate several food and nutrition education programs in diverse situations. This skill is central in meeting the growing demand to provide clients with nutrition education materials that effectively communicate nutrition messages that can influence behaviors. (Most recently, I headed the research and design process of a nutrition education program that will be implemented in middle schools nationwide.)
I would recommend the EIU dietetic internship program to students who desire a balanced and diverse educational experience that will prepare them for employment in the ever-evolving field of nutrition and dietetics.
Elise Truman, MS, RD, LDN"