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Alumni Spotlight

Rabiya

Rabiya Bower '09 NUTR

Briefly describe your academic background, including degrees and other institutions, and certificates.
I have a B.S. in Nutritional Sciences from PSU that I received in 2009. I completed a Dietetic Internship at Cedar Crest College in 2013, and I am currently working toward a Masters of Health Science from Cedar Crest College

How did your experience at Penn State contribute to your career?
I was able to learn from excellent faculty while also networking with my fellow students. Dietetics is a small field and I keep in touch with many of my former classmates. It's amazing where we've all ended up.

Describe the skills and experiences you have found most valuable as your career has progressed.
I was a resident assistant (RA) at Penn State which was an incredibly valuable skill set. I was able to work with a variety of diverse teams, learn how to manage groups of my peers, while also work independently to improve the well-being in my dorm. My dietetic internship was also valuable. Cedar Crest's program is community focused, so I was able to experience many different areas of dietetics during my time there. It definitely pushed me outside of my comfort zone, but I learned so much about myself during that time.

Describe your current position and what is most interesting about it to you.
I'm currently a Regional Nutrition Manager for a large-scale conventional grocery store. I love working with our customers everyday to help improve their health and nutrition. Our focus is community nutrition, and I enjoy building new relationships with other community partners. Every day is different and I use different skill sets all the time. The work is also flexible and self-directed, so I enjoy the autonomy it provides. I'm constantly sharing my nutrition knowledge, but also being creative in the workshops and seminars I provide.

Is there anything else you would like to share with other alumni and students?
Be prepared to network. There's so much value in who you know. Penn State offers you the opportunity to connect with so many people, especially ones who aren't in your field. You never know how your next connection may benefit you in the future!

Previous Alumni Spotlights
Gregory Miller, '82g, '86g NUTR icon-olus-circle

Briefly describe your academic background, including degrees and other institutions, and certificates.
Dr. Miller graduated in 1978 from Michigan State University with a B.S. degree in Nutrition and in 1982 earned a M.S. degree in Nutrition (Toxicology) from The Pennsylvania State University. In 1986 he received a Ph.D. in Nutrition (Toxicology) from The Pennsylvania State University.

  • 1989 Leadership Development Program - Center for Creative Leadership Greensboro, NC
  • 1994 Media Training -Johnny Thompson The Rowland Company Saint Paul, MN
  • 1996 Integrated Marketing and Marketing Communications - Northwestern University May 1 Evanston, IL
  • 2008 Strategic Thinking and Management for Competitive Advantage -The Wharton School University of Pennsylvania
  • 2012 Social Media Marketing Program- University of Notre Dame South Bend, IN

How did your experience at Penn State contribute to your career?

I had a great learning experience at Penn State. I learned critical thinking, good scientific principles, how to engage in dialogue, early leadership skills and more. All of my experiences and learning at Penn State was foundational to my growth and development as a scientist and a leader. I also learned that engaging and participating is critical to success.

Describe the skills and experiences you have found most valuable as your career has progressed.

I think good communication skills, both written and verbal, are key to success. Networking is important as well, your connections and how you engage them can be important for advancing ideas, gaining insights, and developing collaboration. I learned leadership is not about the title you have, it's about creating a vision, helping others to see that vision and then showing them how we can all get there.

Describe your current position and what is most interesting about it to you.

I am Global Chief Science Officer and executive vice president, research, regulatory and scientific affairs for Dairy Management Inc./National Dairy Council (NDC), Rosemont, Illinois as well as an Adjunct Associate Professor in the department of food science and human nutrition at the University of Illinois. I am also the Nutritional Security Sector Lead for the Global Dairy Platform, and recognized as a leading voice in the global food system. I participated in the effort to enhance dairy’s contributions toward a more sustainable food system by examining the intersection between nutrition, health, food insecurity, and environmental impact. I was the first President of the Penn State Nutrition and Dietetic Alumni Society!

Lauren Zarom-Dorman '01 NUTR icon-olus-circle

The National Certification Board for Diabetes Educators (NCBDE) announced that Lauren Dorman, Registered Dietitian of Monmouth Medical Center in Long Branch, NJ has achieved Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE) status by successfully completing the Certification Examination for Diabetes Educators. Candidates must meet rigorous credential and professional practice experience requirements to be eligible to take the examination. Achieving the CDE credential demonstrates to patients and employers that the health care professional possesses distinct and specialized knowledge, thereby promoting quality care for patients with diabetes. There are currently more than 15,000 diabetes educators who hold the CDE credential. Mrs. Dorman is a graduate of Pennsylvania State University, State College where she received a Bachelor of Science degree in Nutrition, she then interned at the Aramark AP4 Dietetic Internship, NY and NJ. She is currently a licensed Registered Dietitian in the state of NJ and has been employed by Monmouth Medical Center for four years as a clinical dietitian. Her next goals are to become insulin pump certified and complete her Master's degree in Nutrition from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey Fall 2007.

Karen Gula Weisen ’77 NUTR icon-olus-circle

Karen is currently a Renal Dietitian at the Washington University School of Medicine. She writes, “I returned to co-edit the 2nd edition of the book "A Clinical Guide to Nutrition Care in Kidney Disease" which will be published by AND in late April/early May this year. The 2nd edition of "Nutrition in Kidney Disease" is in press in which I authored the chapter "Dialysis." I have also been an Adjunct Clinical Instructor in the Nutrition Department at St Louis University for 17 years. I was invited back this year to be on the AND committee to update the SOP/SOPP for Dietitians in Nephrology.”

Catherine Bricker Frederico '75 NUTR icon-olus-circle

Catherine is president/owner of Frederico Arts LLC and adjunct professor at Regis College and Newbury College. She writes, "After 13 years of working as a renal dietitian, I decided it was time for a change. Since 2009 I have been an Adjunct Professor at two colleges in the Boston area—Regis College and Newbury College. At Regis I teach Lifestyle Nutrition and Community Nutrition in their new nutrition major program. At Newbury I teach a popular introductory nutrition course and am teaching my first semester of it in an online section, as well as on campus.

"On January 7, 2011 I had my first nutrition iPhone app accepted into the Apple iTunes store. It's a food recognition game called Food Focus: Fruits that reminds young and young-at-heart about the wide variety of fruit from which to choose to meet the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. I am also a contributing author for a new food science textbook, and am helping www.GamesforHealth.org organize their first nutrition symposium.

"Penn State has had a world class nutrition science department for decades. The courses I took there continue to be a source of inspiration in my work in educating the public about the importance of nutrition. My BS degree has
been an enduring foundation and source of confidence for me to apply my knowledge in a wide variety of nutrition settings that continue to evolve with the times and technology."

Frederico can be reached at CF@NutritionVision.info.

Eugene D. Ballino '94 NUTR icon-olus-circle

Eugene is a nutrition representative at Geisinger Wyoming Valley. He writes: "I was recently appointed a lead/supervisor position under new management along with my Nutrition Representative title. I am qualified in all aspects of hospital food service. Additionally, I am a thesis away from my master's degree in Nutrition from Marywood University and plan to become an R.D. by 2009. I am reaching my goals. Thank you all." Penn State's Nutritional Sciences program has helped me because: "Penn State was a great place to start. The Nutrition program is outstanding. I learned a lot and continue to learn even looking back at those classes I attended in the early 1990's. Sometimes a person doesn't appreciate things at the time, but looking back you realize what a great learning experience and opportunity it was. Thanks. We all grow and age differently and that makes the individual who they are today. Peace!"

Karen Gula Wiesen '77 NUTR icon-olus-circle

Karen is a renal dietitian at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri, has started a two-year term as chair of the National Kidney Foundation Council on Renal Nutrition. She is co-editing the revision of the book A Clinical Guide to Nutrition Care in Kidney Disease and served on the ADA/CRN committee that developed the Standards of Practice and Standards of Professional Performance for RDs in Nephrology, which will be published in fall 2009. Last year she authored a chapter on dialysis in the book Nutrition in Kidney Disease.

NUTR has helped me because: I was looking at pictures online of recent NDAS lunch and saw Dr. Pike! Amazing — I was the last class to have her. She challenged all of us to get our MS. I laughed then — now, not only do I have my MS, but have co-edited a book on renal nutrition, published numerous journal articles and presented at professional meetings, preceptored interns, and recently written a textbook chapter on Dialysis. My hats off to Dr. Pike and Dr. Helen Guthrie — two mentors who challenged and encouraged me my senior year!

Jaime Schwartz ’01 NUTR icon-olus-circle

Jaime received the New Jersey Dietetic Association's (NJDA) Young Dietitian of the Year Award at NJDA's annual meeting. The award recognizes her achievements since becoming an RD in 2002. Schwartz works as an account supervisor in the Food and Well-Connected Practice at Ketchum, a global public relations agency, where she leads the professional education activities for large food corporations. She also oversees the development of tools important to nutrition educators.

Among her contributions to the profession, Schwartz has served in these roles:

  • Mentoring chair of the Dietitians in Business and Communications practice group
  • Co-editor of the NJDA quarterly newsletter News & Views
  • Secretary of Penn State's Nutrition and Dietetics Alumni Society
  • Lead author of research published in professional journals about "portion distortion," nutritional labeling and portion-size measurement aids
Deanna Segrave-Daly '93 NUTR, RD, LDN icon-olus-circle

    Deanna has joined forces with two other culinary-minded registered dietitians to form Teaspoon Communications, a food-first nutrition communication group, providing consulting services to health and food organizations. They specialize in developing nutrition messaging with a culinary twist. Visit www.teaspooncomm.com for more information. Deanna says, "My nutrition degree (paired with my BS in Marketing, PSU '92) have provided the basis to obtain my RD credentials and gives me instant credibility in the health and food industry. Additionally, graduating from Penn State adds additional respect and often open doors to greater opportunities."

    Melissa Altman-Traub MS, RD, LDN '91 NUTR icon-olus-circle

    Melissa is a clinical dietitian with NutrePletion Resources, specializing in nutriton support for individuals with renal failure. Melissa writes: "I am very appreciative for the education I recevied at Penn State, in particular the classes on therapeutic diets with Dr. Kris-Etherton which sparked my interest in diabetes and kidney failure. I really learned how to cook in my food and cultural foods classes with Renee Matich and have been able to develop these skills further to educate my patients on cooking skills to help them with a variety of health concerns."

    Deborah Downes '96g NUTR icon-olus-circle

    Deborah writes: "While I've only managed to get to State College twice in the [many] years since I graduated with my Master's, PSU is always in my heart. I retired from the United States Air Force in June 2006 and currently own and operate a Bed&Breakfast in Fairborn, OH (near Wright-Paterson AFB.) It is a wonderful second career and because I work in the area of customer service and have become a really good breakfast cook and baker, I still feel connected to the nutrition career field. Also, I have served as the secretary of the Dayton Chapter, Penn State Alumni Association for five years now. A great group! If anyone has plans to travel my way, please look at www.millpondacre.com. I'd love to have fellow Penn Staters as guests!"

    Alumni Updates icon-olus-circle

    Wendy M. Stein `15g NUTR,  started working at The Coca-Cola Company as a Nutrition Specialist in October 2015. She loves her job and her work focuses on nutrition innovation, communication, and policy initiatives.

    Allison Dilzell '04 NNUTR, clinical dietitian specialist at The Johns Hopkins Hospital, was awarded certification as a Certified Nutrition Support Dietitian by the National Board of Nutrition Support Certification (NBNSC) in May 2007.

    Meredith (Burnside) Magnini '04 NUTR received her master of science degree in nutrition from Case Western Reserve University and was hired to work at Rich Products Corporation in Buffalo, New York, as a regulatory specialist. She is married to Nicholas Magnini '04 BUS.

    Amy Rossi Mobley '96 NUTR
    Assistant Professor Purdue University, Foods and Nutrition
    She received her PhD in Nutrition in August 2006 from the University of Maryland. She now works as an assistant professor in the Department of Foods and Nutrition at Purdue University. Amy currently resides in Lafayette, Indiana with her husband and their two dogs.

    Deanna Segrave-Daly '93 NUTR
    Director, Foodservice Channel Development Dairy Management, Inc./National Dairy Council
    Along with a new position at Dairy Management, Inc./National Dairy Council, Deanna is the current Chair-Elect of the Food & Culinary Professionals - a dietetic practice group of the American Dietetic Association. Nearly 2,000 members strong, the group is committed to developing food expertise throughout the profession of dietetics - and believe nutritious food can be gourmet delicious! If you love food and fun, this is a group for you! If interested in finding out more or joining FCP, please visit www.foodculinaryprofs.com or contact Deanna at ddaly@rosedmi.com.

    Kati Chevaux '91 NUTR
    Katie Chevaux is the nutrition writer for PreschoolRock.com, a Web site resource for caregivers and teachers of preschoolers, providing parenting information, craft and project ideas, activities, books, nutrition, fitness and everything else related to children between the ages of 3 and 5. http://nutrition.preschoolrock.com She is married to Tim Brown and has two sons, Willem (5) and Jack (2). They live in Seattle, WA. Katie says: "My degree in nutrition science was a wonderful base from which I could pursue just about any area of nutrition. I feel I had a very strong knowledge base throughout my career because of the strong science and research focus in the Penn State Nutrition department."

    Chandra Ford, PHD, MPH, MLIS '90 NUTR completed her PhD in Public health from the University of North Carolina (UNC). Currently, she is a postdoctoral fellow in the Dept. of Social Medicine at UNC.

    Dr. David E. Lanier, III '02 BS NUTR
    David graduated form Hampton University School of Pharmacy in 2003 with a Pharm D. degree and has worked at CVS Pharmacy for the past two years. He also serves as a youth pastor at his church.