Nutrition and dietetics internship program presented with School Spirit Award

Contact: Chris Hybels

Left to right are Meghan Wilkinson, Natalia Yuen, Kelly McHugh, Derek Fischer and Dr. Lauri Wright.

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Western Michigan University was named one of two winners of the School Spirit Award at the 2023 Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo (FNCE) on Oct. 9. Students and faculty from the nutrition and dietetics internship program were presented the award at a reception hosted by Dr. Lauri Wright, president of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

According to FNCE, the award is given to programs that bring the highest percentage of students. Combined with in-person and virtual, 100% of the students in WMU's program were able to attend the event. In addition to receiving a certificate and meeting with the board of directors, students will have complimentary site access for a Center for Lifelong Learning. The site allows them to earn continuing education credits and access modules to enhance learning.

"It was a great opportunity for the interns to meet with the board of directors and listen to their inspiring pearls of wisdom for the future of our profession," says Megan Wilkinson, faculty specialist II. "Its important to have students attend conferences because it gives them new perspective and insight into the different areas of research." 

Beyond winning the School Spirit Award, students benefited from the experience of attending sessions and learning from industry experts. For many interns, they felt the conference helped them understand more about the impact they make as nutritionist on the environment.

"I'm really passionate about sustainable food systems," says Kelly McHugh, nutrition and dietetics intern at WMU. "They had a lot of good guest speakers presenting on this topic, talking about what is causing current climate change in the world of nutrition and ways that we can implement our small change. One of those changes they suggested was cutting down on things, like meat consumption, and lean more towards the plant based side of things to reduce the amount of resources and CO2 emissions that we cause through diet."


Dietitians are nutrition experts who apply the science of food and nutrition to settings in medicine, community health, wellness and food service operations. The WMU programs in Nutrition and Dietetics prepare students who desire to become a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) or nutrition and dietitian technician registered (DTR). Both WMU programs are recognized by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). To learn more about the programs, visit the nutrition and dietetics website.

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