Lacie Peterson, clinical associate professor in Utah State University’s Nutrition, Dietetics & Food Sciences Department and the director of USU’s dietetic internships and the master of dietetics administration program, is expanding her skills and passion for education to serve colleagues and students in the western U.S.
Peterson was recently elected West Coast regional director for the Nutrition and Dietetic Educators and Preceptors (NDEP) group of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the world’s largest organization of food and nutrition professionals.
In this role, Peterson will represent NDEP members from Washington, Oregon, Idaho, California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, Alaska, and Hawaii. She will support members’ continuing education needs and represent their perspectives on issues relating to education practice and policy. Peterson will also have opportunities to mentor and train fellow educators and participate in organizing an annual conference.
“There are many benefits to serving in a leadership role,” Peterson said. “This position will provide opportunities to connect with other professionals in the field, which can lead to potential collaborations, research opportunities, and new insights into dietetics education.”
The position will also be a chance to advocate for policy change and other initiatives that can benefit the profession as a whole, she said.
In her roles at USU directing internships and the master of dietetics administration program, Peterson works closely with students who are becoming registered dietitians. She mentors students as they transition into the professional world.
“My passion for nutrition and dietetics education stems from the desire to help others achieve their goals,” Peterson said. “As a first-generation college graduate, I am committed to individualized mentorship to students, and also looking for ways to reduce barriers to an education.”
Peterson is based at USU’s Salt Lake campus. The master of dietetics administration degree is a distance education program, and Peterson enjoys the diversity her students bring to the program and profession. She continually strives to help students identify their career goals and create individualized education plans based on interests, lifestyles, and abilities.
“My students are motivated to learn and share knowledge about the impact of food on human health, well-being, and performance, as well as committed to helping people lead healthier lives by promoting proper nutrition and lifestyle choices,” she said. “I believe in the power of education to empower individuals to change their lives, and my students share that passion as they help people to make informed choices about their food and health.”
Peterson is a registered dietitian, board-certified in advanced diabetes management, a certified diabetes care and education specialist, a fellow of the Association of Diabetes Care and Education Specialists, and a fellow of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. She serves in multiple volunteer roles within these organizations at both a local and national level.
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