Dietitians of Canada Annual Awards, 2003

Dietitians of Canada Annual Awards, 2003

Undergraduate and Graduate Awards in Dietetics

Each year Dietitians of Canada, in partnership with corporate sponsors, recognizes members who are entering a dietetic internship program or pursuing an advanced degree at the master’s or doctoral level. Undergraduate award recipients are selected from DC student members enrolled in the final year of a four-year bachelor’s degree program and who have accepted an internship. DC members currently enrolled in a graduate degree program are eligible for graduate awards. Additional criteria for selection included academic excellence, personal attributes and potential for contribution to the profession.

Our thanks are extended to the DC Awards Committee, chaired by S. Eileen Hogan, which undertook the challenging task of reviewing the 11 undergraduate and 17 graduate award applications received this year. Dietitians of Canada is pleased to announce the recipients of the awards presented in 2003.

Melanie Faust recently graduated from the Honours Human Ecology program in Foods and Nutrition at the University of Western Ontario. Throughout her years m the Foods and Nutrition program, she has been a clinical nutrition volunteer at several Toronto hospitals, a collective kitchen volunteer, a research assistant, and a dietary aide. For the past two years, Melanie also coordinated a peer nutrition education program (PENS) with a mission to enhance the nutrition and health of students at the University of Western Ontario. She was also consistently placed on the Dean’s Honour List in 2001, 2002 and 2003, and received the Canadian Home Economics Association’s Sally Henry Student Leadership Award in 2002 and the Dairy Farmers of Canada’s undergraduate student award in 2003 based on her leadership and continued commitment to the profession. Melanie is looking forward to her dietetic internship at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto. She is very excited to be joining this dynamic profession and hopes to one day make a valuable contribution to the field of dietetics. Melanie says: “I am very honoured to be among this year’s recipients of an undergraduate award and I thank Dietitians of Canada and Kraft for their recognition.”

Michelle Ginsler recently graduated from Ryerson University with a Bachelor of Applied Science in Food and Nutrition. She will begin her internship at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, Ontario in October. Throughout her time at Ryerson, Michelle was actively involved in a number of volunteer roles. She held positions on both School Council and the Nutrition Course Union, worked as a Peer Supporter, assisted in Ryerson’s Community Food Room, and was Co-President of the Canadian Food Service Executives Association’s Ryerson Junior Branch. Michelle received numerous awards throughout her time at Ryerson including a Dennis Mock Leadership Award, Golden Key International Honour Society Scholarship, and Ryerson Alumni Award. She was also a three-time winner of the Faculty of Community Services Award for Excellence for obtaining the highest grade point average within the faculty each year.

Michelle currently conducts research and teaches cooking classes to clients at the Tri-Hospital Diabetes Education Centre (TriDEC) at Sunnybrook and Women’s College Health Sciences Centre. It is this volunteer position that helped Michelle realize her desire to continue her career in this area of practice, and she also plans to pursue further studies at the graduate level. Michelle says: “I am honoured to have been chosen as one of the recipients of the Undergraduate Award by Dietitians of Canada, and look forward to a challenging and exciting career in dietetics.”

Christine DeSouza’s boundless energy and optimism has made for a spectacular start to her career in dietetics. Having previously completed a BA, cross-disciplinary degree from the University of Western Ontario, Christine will be graduating with a BSc, Food and Nutrition Degree from Ryerson University. Consistently among the top academically at Ryerson, she has been repeatedly recognized for her contributions to student life. One of eight individuals singled out from the university for her leadership, Christine rekindled interest in the previously inactive Nutrition Course Union and energized the group as President to subsequently win the Course Union of the Year Award. Over the past three years, while a full-time student, she has won multiple awards while holding two part-time jobs and over a dozen volunteer commitments, including Academic Standards and Nominating Committees member and student representative of Academic Council. Having worked and volunteered for many dietitians in numerous Toronto hospitals, Christine is looking forward to completing her dietetic internship at Sunnybrook & Women’s College Health Science Centre. Christine says: “Thank you, Dietitians of Canada for the Undergraduate Award and the doors it has opened up for me! I am incredibly excited to have the opportunity to work with patients and further research in human dietetics.”

Natalie Carrier, a member of Dietitians of Canada since 1997, completed her BSc in nutrition at the Universite de Moncton in 1992. After graduating, she worked in Food Service for a few years, then decided to pursue an MSc, which she completed m 1996. Natalie has since been working as a part-time professor and internship coordinator at the Universite de Moncton. She is also involved in several associations and committees, such as NBAD, CAG-Canadian Association of Gerontology, CFSEA and CDRE-Canadian Dietetic Registration Examination Committee. In 2001 and 2002, Natalie was awarded “La bourse de la Fondation de l’Universite Laval” an honorary bursary, and in 2002 she received a grant from the Medical Research Fund of New Brunswick. Natalie is currently working on her doctorate in nutrition at Laval University in Quebec. Her research aims to determine the relationship between institutional factors, risk of malnutrition and quality of life of nursing home residents. She hopes that results of her study will help decrease nutritional problems and increase quality of life of institutionalized elderly. Her study should also explain the importance of dietitians m health care for seniors. Natalie says: “It is very rewarding to be recognized for professional achievement by our national association. I look forward to continued research in dietetics and being involved in associations and committees that help with the advancement of our profession.”

Karen Davison is currently pursuing a PhD in Epidemiology in the Department of Community Health Sciences at the University of Calgary. She previously worked as a dietitian consultant in community psychiatric care and currently works as a consultant with the Alberta Consultative Health Research Network. Her studies are supported by Faculty of Medicine and British Columbia Health Sciences Association scholarships and her thesis project, funded by the Danone Institute of Canada, will examine the determinants of food choices in individuals with mood disorders. This research has scientific and clinical merit, as mood disorders have several nutritional consequences such as significant appetite and weight changes, elevated prevalences of specific micronutrient deficiencies and associated nutritional risk factors, including nutrient-related side effects of pharmaceutical treatments. Furthermore, health care trends towards increased focus on community-based psychiatric care and World Health Organization projections of increasing prevalence of mood disorders highlight the importance of research into these serious neurological diseases. Karen feels honoured to be a recipient of the Dietitians of Canada Graduate Student Award sponsored by McCain Foods (Canada) and she looks forward to developing her research skills and contributing to the fields of nutrition and mental health.

Sharon Wong is a doctoral candidate in Human Nutrition at the University of Guelph and holds Master of Science degrees in Nutritional Sciences (University of Guelph) and Health Research Methodology (McMaster University). Sharon’s graduate dissertation focuses on appetite in frail, community-living seniors. The dissertation uses grounded theory methodology with the aim of developing a substantive grounded theory on appetite in frail seniors. This research is seen to be an essential and important piece of work to fill a gap in the knowledge base, and to provide a foundation on which further empirical research can be built. During her doctoral studies, Sharon has assisted with the teaching activities of various undergraduate nutrition and research methodology courses in the Department of Family Relations and Applied Nutrition, University of Guelph. Sharon has been extensively involved in research activities, including community nutrition research with Evergreen Action Nutrition in Guelph, Ontario, and various evidence-based projects, informatics research, and systematic reviews spanning nutrition and other clinical health areas. Sharon has held such awards as the Ontario Graduate Scholarship in Science and Technology, University of Guelph Board of Graduate Studies Research Scholarship, Dorothy Britton Memorial Doctoral Scholarship, Jean Henderson Sabry Graduate Scholarship, Canada Scholarship, and Ontario Scholarship. Sharon says: “I consider it a privilege to receive graduate nutrition education and hope to continue working with others in this dynamic profession to advance dietetic research.”

Judy Van Tilburg

Memorial Bursary

The Judy Van Tilburg Memorial Bursary was first established with BC Dietitians’ and Nutritionists’ Association by the Van Tilburg family and was transferred to Dietitians of Canada in 2000. The goal of the Bursary is to help dietetic interns network with other dietitians and to assist them in furthering their professional development. The Bursary supports a complimentary DC annual event registration for two DC qualifying members who are currently enrolled in a DC-accredited internship/practicum program.

Our thanks are extended to the selection committee, once again chaired by Kathy Russell, which took on the important role of reviewing applications this year.

Congratulations to the winners of the 2003 Judy Van Tilburg Memorial Bursary.

It is with great enthusiasm that Margaret accepts the 2003 Judy Van Tilburg Memorial Dietetic Intern Bursary. Having completed her undergraduate degree from the University of British Columbia, she was immediately employed as a diet technician/food service supervisor by the Children’s and Women’s Health Centre of B.C. Margaret is currently completing the Capital Health Graduate Dietetic Internship Program in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She also has the pleasure of continuing with her training in ballroom dancing while achieving her competencies.

Margaret has always been interested in the role dietitians play in the business and culinary arts sector. Her future aspirations include developing, promoting and educating consumers on food and nutritional merchandise. She is attracted to attending the “Success Stories in Cost Containment”, “Trends in the Food Industry” and the “Marketing Skills for the Entrepreneurial Dietitian” seminars, as she finds the opportunity to strengthen her professional training with potential colleagues in the food and culinary industry exciting. Margaret is looking forward to pursing her career in British Columbia and believes her dedication to her work, education and volunteer experiences will make her a strong candidate for success as a registered dietitian. It is with great honour that she accepts this award.

Kristen earned her undergraduate degree m applied human nutrition at the University of Guelph. Recently, she completed a Masters of Science degree in human nutrition at the University of British Columbia. She is currently undertaking the internship program at Royal Columbian Hospital m New Westminster, B.C. Kristen’s areas of interest include women’s nutritional health and diabetes management. Kristen’s goal is to enable people to enjoy healthy food.

The interns at Royal Columbian Hospital, Andrea Godfreyson, Dallas Parsons, Jennifer Hutcheon, and Karyn Schnick, will accompany Kristen to the DC Annual Conference. Together, they will present the findings of their research investigating the efficiency and effectiveness of the nutritional screening methods at Royal Columbia Hospital. The Judy van Tilburg Memorial Dietetic Intern Bursary supports Kristen’s attendance at this event. The research project and conference presentation were truly group efforts. Kristen would like to acknowledge that without the group, none of this work would have been realized.

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