June 9, 2021
KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Samantha Walker (‘20 B.S. Nutrition and Dietetics, M.A. Family and Consumer Sciences - Dietetics), received the Outstanding Student in a Dietetic Internship award and Meghan Wilkinson, acting dietetic internship coordinator and part-time instructor in the Family and Consumer Sciences department received the Recognized Young Dietitian of the Year Award from the Michigan Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (MiAND).
After completing her Bachelor’s degree, Walker entered the Family Consumer Sciences – Dietetics masters program which includes an internship comprised of 1200 supervised practice hours. For her internship, she was able to gain a variety of experiences working at several different organizations including Metro Health in Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo County WIC, School Food Services in the Portage Public Schools, Senior Care Partners P.A.C.E. in Kalamazoo, and MiAND. The internship intentionally gives students experience working in clinical (acute) care, long-term care, food service management, community nutrition, school food service, wellness and 2 weeks of specialized enrichment that allows the interns to explore a field or area that they’d like to learn more about. For her enrichment weeks, Walker chose to work with the public policy team at MiAND to explore her passion for public policy. She was an outstanding intern whom received great ratings and high praise for her work. She is passionate about helping others and advocating for the profession.
Wilkinson is a part-time instructor in the Family Consumer Sciences department where she teaches Medical Nutrition Therapy to undergraduate dietetics students and is also a Clinical Dietitian at Ascension Borgess Hospital in Kalamazoo. When the pandemic hit in March 2020, Dr. Caroline Webber, the former Dietetic Internship Program Director, reached out to ask for Wilkinson’s help with providing alternative supervised practice hours for the dietetic interns. She also helped provide alternative practice hours to the interns across Ascension Michigan. When Dr. Webber retired in August, Wilkinson transitioned into the Acting Program Coordinator for the WMU Dietetic Internship program. She is always willing to help out others, especially when it comes to working with dietetic students and interns.
Both Walker and Wilkinson were recognized at a virtual awards ceremony in May.