2016-2017 (Cohort 6) Students
Robin Keyser, originally from Colorado Springs, Colorado, is pursuing a graduate degree in Nutrition and Exercise Sciences focusing on nutrition and plans to graduate in May of 2018. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Dietetics from the University of Northern Colorado in May of 2015. Robin will be completing the SDSU Nutrition and Dietetic Internship her second year of her master’s program throughout the state of South Dakota. She is involved with the TOP certificate program based on her interests in studying the factors on childhood obesity and would love to continue her career as a diabetic educator for children with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Through this program she is excited to expand her knowledge on educating the public on the importance of healthy eating and physical activity. Upon graduation, she hopes to work with children as a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist in either the clinical or community setting.
My goal in life is to positively impact others and I am specifically passionate about helping others reach their optimal health! Originally from Wichita, Kansas, I moved to South Dakota to pursue a Masters in Sport and Recreational Studies and a Certificate in Transdisciplinary Childhood Obesity Prevention, while serving as the Fitness Graduate Assistant at the Wellness Center on campus. At one point in my life I was obese but I chose to change my lifestyle while pursuing a Bachelors of Communication at Wichita State University in Kansas. Now aspire to maintain my current healthy lifestyle and help others develop their own. A year into my personal journey out of obesity, I became a Personal Trainer, then a lifeguard and group fitness instructor. With many family members fighting obesity and my own bout with it, I have a drive to help others, which is why I am pursuing the TOP graduate certificate. I would love to study how student involvement in collegiate recreation affects individuals and their children in later years. Are the participants still health and active? Did they raise their children to be healthy and active? Some studies have shown that people who participate in physical activities in their early to mid-twenties tend to be more active later in their lives. This is why I believe so strongly in the power of collegiate recreation and why I seek to offer the best opportunities possible for college students across the world. I expect to graduate in May of 2018 and hope to continue my work in collegiate recreation as a Fitness Coordinator.
Josie Sieberg of Good Thunder, Minnesota received a bachelor's degree in Exercise Science from South Dakota State University in 2016. She is now pursuing a masters degree in Nutrition and Exercise Science, specializing in Exercise Science. Josie has worked part time within the field of childhood development for eight years and hopes to continue with a similar focus for her future. She is interested in doing research in the field of childhood obesity prevention and believes a transdisciplinary approach to this problem is the only way we will find a solution and bring an end to this epidemic. Once obtaining her degree, Josie hopes to find a job creating family oriented wellness programs and implementing them within a community.
Hi, I am from Sioux Falls, SD. I graduated from South Dakota State University with my bachelor’s degree in Dietetics in May of 2016. I am pursing my Master’s in Nutrition and Exercise Sciences with a specialization in Nutrition. I plan on completing my degree in May of 2018. I will start to write my critical review paper on how weight related behaviors influence weight loss. I am pursing the TOP graduate certificate because I want to further my knowledge of working in a transdisciplinary team so that I can be more successful as a Registered Dietitian. The TOP program will give me the knowledge and experience that I will need to successfully educate my future patients. After graduation I plan on using my skills in my internship, passing the RD exam and becoming a clinical registered dietitian.
Frankie Willard received her bachelor’s degree from South Dakota State University in Dietetics in May of 2016. She is currently working towards her Master’s degree in Nutrition and Exercise Sciences with a specialization in Nutrition. She is also currently an accepted intern in the Nutrition and Dietetic Internship here at South Dakota State University and hopes to graduate by May of 2018. Her thesis will focus on food availability and physical activity in relation to 6 South Dakota counties with obesity rates greater than 40%. Frankie is pursuing the TOP graduate certificate to get more experience in childhood obesity prevention and to learn more about ways that she can use those experiences in her future career as a registered dietitian. Her professional career goals after graduation are to work on a Native American reservation in an Indian Health Services clinic. She wants to work in both the clinical and community settings and hopes to incorporate those together to create healthy, happy living environments on Native American reservations!
Nicole Pinkelman grew up in the country around the small town of Saint Helena, Nebraska. She is currently pursuing towards a master’s degree in Nutrition and Exercise Science as a part of the Dietetic Internship Program. Nicole completed her undergraduate degree with the University of Nebraska—Lincoln in May 2016 with a bachelor’s in Nutrition and Dietetics and hopes to complete her master’s degree with dietetic internship in May 2018. While pursuing in her bachelor’s degree, Nicole was a dietitian’s assistant at a local Hy-Vee in Lincoln. This sparked her interest in community wellness and, therefore, attaining a TOP graduate certificate. Childhood obesity has always been a special interest of hers, so she based her research thesis on how parental influence may affect childhood obesity. After attaining a master’s degree, completing her dietetic internship, and passing the RD exam, she hopes to become a clinical dietitian at her local hospital in Yankton, SD.
Molly Millage was born and raised in Sioux Falls. She attended the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where she graduated in May 2016 with a double major in Nutrition, Exercise and Health Science, and Dietetics. Molly is currently pursuing her Master’s in Nutrition and Exercise Science, specializing in Nutrition as a dietetic intern with the goal of graduating in May 2018. She spent two years as a group fitness instructor at the UNL campus recreation center. Molly completed an internship with the Nebraska Department of Education, specifically working in the Nutrition department with the National School Lunch Program. She also interned with the UNL Sports Nutrition Department and worked with various athletic teams on campus. Molly’s thesis is focused on childhood obesity and the impact of the home environment. Molly is excited to be a part of the TOP Graduate Certificate Program so she can expand her knowledge of childhood obesity while also learning the importance of working in a team. After graduation Molly plans to take the dietetic registration exam to pursue her career as a Registered Dietitian.
Derek Tolbert of Gilbert, AZ received his Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Science from the University of Sioux Falls in January of 2016. He is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Nutrition and Exercise Science with an emphasis on Exercise Science and plans to graduate in May of 2018. He also has experience working in both personal training and strength and conditioning. His research looks into the biomechanics of lumbopelvic stability and quality of life in persons with Multiple Sclerosis. Derek is pursuing a certificate in the TOP program to gain experience working with transdisciplinary teams in an academic/research setting. After graduation, he would like to pursue a doctorate degree and to remain involved with research and academia.
2015-2016 (Cohort 5) Students
Miranda Bren received her bachelor’s degree at SDSU in Dietetics with a minor in Psychology. She is currently pursuing Master’s in Nutrition, Exercise, and Food Science with a specialization in the nutritional sciences. She plans to finish her degree by the fall of 2016. Her current research involves looking at substitution of chia seeds in different kinds of food, and the benefits obtained from chia seeds in the diet. From the TOP program she hopes to expand her knowledge on childhood obesity in order to help both kids and parents understand the importance of nutrition and physical activity. After graduation, Miranda hopes to complete an internship to achieve her dream of becoming a registered dietitian in a community setting.
Emily Hofer, originally of Bridgewater, SD, is a first year graduate student working towards a master’s degree in Nutrition, Exercise and Food Science with a specialization in Nutrition. She completed her undergraduate degree in Dietetics at SDSU in May 2014, and completed her dietetic internship through the USD Center for Disabilities in May 2015. Emily is now a Registered Dietitian and works part time at Sanford Hospital in Sioux Falls as a clinical dietitian while going to school. The research for her thesis project involves the iCook 4-H Program, which focuses on cooking skills, family meal times and physical activity in parents and their 9-10 year old youth. After completing her graduate degree, Emily hopes to work individually with clients seeking nutrition advice, teach cooking and nutrition classes or work with schools looking to improve the health of faculty and students.
Anne Aamlid, a Sioux Falls native, is pursuing a Master’s Degree in Nutrition, Exercise and Food Sciences with an emphasis in Exercise Science and plans to graduate in May 2017. She graduated from SDSU with a Bachelor’s degree in Biology in May 2015. Throughout her life, Anne has had the opportunity to participate in a variety of activities, from basketball to ballroom dance, which have harnessed her love for physical activity. Anne is working on a Project with Sanford Profile which consists of improving weight loss and weight management among Profile members. She is excited to be participating in the TOP graduate certificate program and hopes that through this experience she can broaden her knowledge about educating individuals on the importance of physical activity and nutritional health. After graduation she hopes to obtain a PhD and teach at the college level.
Amanda (Pierce) Berckes of Wilmot, SD received her Bachelor’s Degree in Dietetics from South Dakota State University in May 2015. She is pursuing a Master’s Degree in Nutrition, Exercise and Food Sciences with an emphasis on Nutrition and plans to graduate in May 2017. She is currently helping out with the iGrow Readers research study, which pairs children’s books with nutrition and physical activity information. With a passion for gardening, Amanda would love to study the impact of school/community gardens on participants’ health. She is pursuing the TOP graduate certificate because she wants to learn more about working with a team of various disciplines to help children develop healthy lifestyle habits and reduce the prevalence of childhood obesity. Upon her 2017 graduation, Amanda hopes to pass the RD exam and work as a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist in a clinical or community setting in rural South Dakota or Minnesota.
Andrea grew up in Brandon, South Dakota with her parents and one brother. She graduated from South Dakota State University in May 2015 with a Bachelor's degree in Dietetics and is now pursuing a Master's degree in Nutrition and Exercise Science, specializing in Nutritional Sciences. Andrea is currently working on a multi-state, USDA grant-funded obesity prevention project called Get Fruved that involves implementing interventions on SDSU's campus. These interventions focus primarily on improving the lifestyles of students' in three main areas: nutrition, physical activity and stress management. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle involves creating balance between all aspects of living and the Get Fruved project aims to convey that message to all students using a large social media platform. Andrea is interested in the TOP graduate certificate because she hopes to learn how to better communicate with other medical disciplines to improve her clinical communication skills in the future. After graduation in 2017, she hopes to become a Registered Dietitian and someday work in the clinical setting, specializing in either the oncology or renal fields.
Brittany Thompson, originally from Hernando, Mississippi, graduated in May 2015 from SDSU with a Bachelor’s Degree in Dietetics. She is pursuing a Master’s Degree in Nutrition and Exercise Science with an emphasis in Nutrition to be completed in 2017. As a part of her graduate assistant responsibilities, Brittany is serving as the coordinator of Feeding Brookings, a weekly grocery distribution program that is in partnership with a local church, and helping to lead the Feeding Brookings advisory council. Her thesis project, Bountiful Backpacks, focuses on the determining the effect of nutrition education classes taught in combination with a weekly ‘backpack’ food distribution program to third and fourth grade students who reside on American Indian reservations in South Dakota. Brittany is excited to be involved in the TOP program so she can learn how to work effectively with other disciplines. She plans to complete the SDSU Dietetic Internship, and take the RD exam to become a Registered Dietitian. Brittany’s ultimate career goal is to work with children in either a clinical or community-based setting.
Jessica Foster is originally from Groton, SD. She completed her bachelor’s degree in Dietetics from South Dakota State University in August 2015. She is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Nutrition, Exercise and Food Sciences, focusing on nutrition and planning to graduate in May 2017. Jessica is interested in how food insecurity affects dietary intake in children. She is excited to be a part of the TOP program so she can expand her knowledge about childhood obesity. She is also excited to work together with other students to find ways to solve or prevent obesity. Jessica’s future career goals include to work as a dietitian in an outpatient clinic.
Emily Smith of Scottsdale, AZ received her Bachelor’s Degree in Dietetics at SDSU in May 2015. She is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Nutrition & Exercise Sciences with an emphasis in Nutrition and plans to graduate in May 2017. She will likely focus her thesis on the iGrow Readers study, which uses children’s books to instill nutrition and physical activity lessons among preschool age children. During her time as an undergraduate student and research worker, Emily worked with various members of the SDSU Extension team to develop research-based supplemental materials for various nutrition education programs. She is pursuing the TOP graduate certificate to learn more about how to use her knowledge in nutrition education to improve the health of children and families. Upon completion of the Master’s program and Dietetic Internship at SDSU, Emily plans to work as a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist in either the clinical or community setting.
Ashley Morin received her Bachelor of Arts degree at Augustana College in Exercise Science in December of 2012. She completed her Bachelor of Science degree at SDSU in Dietetics in May 2015. The graduate degree she is pursuing is in the Health and Nutritional Sciences department focusing on Nutrition. Her estimated completion year is 2017. Ashley hopes to complete the SDSU dietetic internship the second year of her master’s program. While at SDSU she has helped with the research programs iCook 4H and FRUVED. She now has an assistantship focusing on childhood obesity prevention through TOP called iGrow Readers. She is doing a research paper and has not decided on a topic yet. Her interests are with children and disease prevention through the use of nutrition. Ashley is pursuing the TOP graduate certificate because she is passionate about helping today’s youth lead a healthier future. She believes in the benefits of educating children now so they are more aware as they grow older. Therefore, they are more likely to make healthy choices in both fitness and nutrition. A career goal for Ashley post graduation is to become a registered dietitian. She is interested in both clinical and community nutrition. At some point in her career she would like to do some community work in low-income areas.
Jordan Peterson of Brandon, SD graduated in 2013 from Augustana College (University) in Sioux Falls, SD with her Bachelor of Arts degree in Exercise Science, and again in 2015 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Dietetics from South Dakota State University. She is now pursuing her Master’s in Health and Nutritional Sciences with an emphasis in Nutrition. Through the Transdisciplinary Obesity Prevention (TOP) grant and iGrow readers’ curriculum, she is a graduate assistant involved in research directed at preschool-aged children in the overall prevention of childhood obesity. As a former Zumba fitness instructor, Jordan enjoys an active lifestyle and has experience working in fitness centers. Research topics that interest her include factors relating to childhood obesity and the role of function foods in disease prevention. She is pursuing the TOP graduate certificate because she wants to understand the depth of the multi-faceted childhood obesity problem in the U.S. to someday motivate, educate and communicate with clients in the weight loss industry as a Registered Dietitian. She ultimately wants to help clients not only make progress but also reach their nutrition goals and establish good relationships along the way.
Jacob Wright received his Bachelor’s of Science in Applied Human Sport Physiology in the spring of 2015 at Wayne State College in Wayne, Nebraska. He is pursing a master’s degree in Health and Nutritional Sciences with a specialization in Exercise Science. Jacob has done a multitude of volunteer hours in the area of wellness. He helped the community by taking the blood pressure of anyone who came to his group’s booth. After taking blood pressures, individuals gave community members tips on a healthy diet and exercise habits if needed. He has lead senior citizens in a variety of different activities, whether it was in the pool or in the gym. This was an attempt to get senior citizens to be physically active and found out that it was also a great socializing time for them as well! He is pursuing a TOP certificate because it is important to understand that there are different ways to prevent childhood obesity otherwise through nutrition and exercise. He would like to help in any way possible. After finishing his master’s degree, Jacob will be applying for graduate school to receive a doctorate in Occupational Therapy. This has always been a goal for him because he enjoys helping others and loves to see the look on their face when they have completed their goal, it is the greatest feeling in the world!
William Ernst, raised in Lincoln, NE, is working towards his Master’s degree in Nutrition and Exercise Sciences with an emphasis on Exercise Science. He obtained his Bachelor’s degree at Wayne State College in Applied Human and Sport Physiology where he also was a member of the track team. Originally from Owensboro, KY, he is an avid Kentucky basketball fan and makes every effort to watch each game during the season. His thesis is centered on the biomechanics of obese vs. non-obese children during a vertical jump take off and landing. The TOP program interested him because he hopes to gain more knowledge about childhood obesity and the impacts it has on society. Additionally, he has plans to work with younger individuals in a performance or laboratory setting after his graduation in 2016.
2014-2015 (Cohort 4)
Carolyn McGlade is a Registered Dietitian and is pursuing her PhD at South Dakota State University in Nutrition, Exercise and Food Sciences with an emphasis on Nutrition to be completed in 2017. She also completed her Bachelor’s Degree in Dietetics in 2010 and Master’s in Exercise Science in 2013 at SDSU. She also teaches courses at SDSU and works for the South Dakota Department of Health Women, Infants and Children supplemental nutrition program. She is pursuing the TOP graduate certificate because she hopes to work with children to improve their nutrition and fight back against childhood obesity.
Hope Kleine of Elkton, South Dakota has a degree in Exercise Science and is pursuing her Master’s in Nutrition, Exercise and Food Sciences with a specialization in Exercise. In the past she has been involved in helping others better themselves on a physical level as a Personal Trainer and Group Fitness Instructor and she is looking forward to broadening these skills through the TOP graduate certificate program. After graduation, Hope will pursue a career that allows her to help others understand the importance of physical activity and make positive behavior changes to lead a more active lifestyle.
Krista Creager graduated from Yankton High School and now lives in Rapid City, SD. In May 2014, she graduated from SDSU with a Bachelor’s Degree in Dietetics and minors in Spanish and Chemistry. She is pursuing a master’s degree in Nutrition, Exercise and Food Sciences, focusing on nutrition and planning to graduate in May 2016. Krista’s most significant experience in the area of wellness would be her involvement in a Division I sport, running on SDSU’s Cross County and Track & Field teams for four years. The importance of nutrition and its’ effect (positive and negative) on her body’s performance became even more clear to her during these years. Krista is working on a multi-state, USDA grant-funded obesity prevention project that will include interventions on SDSU’s campus focused on improving students’ physical activity, nutrition and stress management. This is of special interest because young adults are at particularly high risk of weight gain, especially in their freshman year, which then continues through college and eventually into adulthood. Krista is interested in the TOP graduate certificate because she is hoping to learn more about collaborating with individuals from other disciplines and how to work together to reduce obesity. After graduation, she hopes to complete an internship, take the RD exam and someday work as a Sports Dietitian or in a clinical setting in rural South Dakota.
Kristin Olson, originally from Rapid City, is pursuing a Master’s Degree in Nutrition, Exercise and Food science with an emphasis on Nutrition and plans to graduate in May 2016. Her thesis project, Pilot Study to Determine the Effects of Consuming Lean Beef on Markers of Metabolic Syndrome in Humans, focuses on participants adding a pre-determined amount of lean beef to their diet to determine if it will have a positive effect on the Metabolic Syndrome symptoms. Kristin brings with her a vast array of culinary experience as she has cooked for family and friends from a very young age and served as Food Service Specialist in the United States Army from 1992 to 2001. Kristin graduated from Texas Culinary Academy, Austin, Texas in 2004 and went on to begin her own business as a personal chef, in which she planned, purchased, cooked and packaged homemade meals for busy clients. In 2012, Kristin was awarded a grant provided by the William and Byrne Griffith Research Fund to conduct a research project that compared the macronutrient content of bison compared to beef. This project, under the guidance of Dr. Padu Krishnan, involved recipe compilation and testing as well as tasting panels and resulted in a cookbook titled, “Bison: My Way” Kristin earned her bachelor’s degree in Dietetics from South Dakota State University in 2014. Following her graduate studies and dietetic internship, Kristin would like to combine her love of cooking with her dietetics knowledge to help others learn to cook and feel more comfortable in the kitchen as a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN).
Robert Juenemann of Clements, Minn. is pursuing a Master’s degree in Nutrition, Exercise and Food Science with a specialization in Nutrition. He completed his bachelor’s degrees from SDSU in Biology and Animal Science with minors in Chemistry and Microbiology. His current research encompasses the complex field of Nutrigenomics which focuses on how one's nutrition affects their gene expression. His thesis is based on a clinical trial which incorporated a prebiotic fiber into the diet and studying its effect on the gut microbiome and comorbidities of Metabolic Syndrome. Juenemann is excited to learn more about nutrition education and school physical activity policies in relation to the obesity epidemic through class and hands on experiences working as a TOP graduate research assistant. Upon completion of his degree in spring of 2015, Robert plans to attend medical school with interests in pediatrics and family medicine.
Biyi Chen is from China. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Horticultural Sciences from China Agricultural University, and Master’s degree in Nutrition, Exercise and Food Science with a specialization in Nutritional Sciences from SDSU. She is currently pursuing her PhD degree in Nutrition, Exercise and Food Science involved in the Young Adults Eating and Active for Health (Y.E.A.H.) project. Investigators from 13 different states collaborated to develop the Y.E.A.H. Project (10 week intervention with a 12 month follow-up period) using the community based participatory research method of PRECEDE-PROCEED, and Biyi’s work is data analysis. Biyi is very excited to be working towards her graduate certificate in TOP; not only for gaining more knowledge about children obesity, but also for having a great experience in working with other team members. In the future, Biyi’s goal is to work as an assistant professor for a University. Through her teaching and research she hopes to help more people learn about nutrition and engage in a healthier lifestyle.
Edgerton, Minnesota native Alyson Drooger is pursuing a Master’s degree in Nutrition, Exercise and Food Science with an emphasis on Exercise Science. She received her bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science from Dakota State University in 2014. An avid sports fan, she hopes to pass that love on to younger generations and teach them fun ways to get moving. Upon her 2016 graduation, she would like to work in any setting that allows her to teach adults and children alike healthy lifestyles and health behaviors. “I am very excited to be a part of the TOP program and to go out into communities to help kids enjoy being physically active,” Drooger says.
Tiffany Trachte is originally from McFarland, WI. She completed her bachelor’s degree in exercise and sport science, with a clinical concentration, at Western State Colorado University. She is pursuing her master’s degree in nutrition, exercise and science; concentrating on exercise science. Sports and recreation have been a constant in her life; from snowboarding, to running or coaching youth basketball. Tiffany feels strongly about the importance of maintaining an active lifestyle and the ways in which it benefits overall mental and physical health. Her goal is to encourage physical fitness through education, instruction or rehabilitation. She is excited to be involved in the TOP graduate certificate program and is certain the program will provide her with invaluable skills and knowledge that will lead to a successful career in healthcare.
2013-2014 (Cohort 3) Students
Minneota, Minnesota native Kristen Roles is pursuing a master's degree in nutrition, exercise and food science with an emphasis on exercise science. Her specific focus area will be in biomechanics. Her research efforts will focus on the mechanical aspects of children in motion, especially the variations between obese and non-obese children. Roles is very excited to be a part of TOP and gain a wider perspective on the obesity issue. She plans to complete her degree in the spring of 2015.
Erin Eggert is from Madison, Wisconsin. She received her bachelor's degree from the University of Wisconsin- La Crosse in exercise and sports science and double minored in nutrition and Spanish. Eggert is planning to graduate in 2015 with a master's degree in nutrition, exercise and food science with a specialization in exercise science. Her thesis is focusing on the strength and comprehension of school wellness policies and whether using outside resources will assist schools in writing more comprehensive policies. She hopes to someday work in a hospital or clinical setting or a public health department that would work with children to help them understand the importance of physical activity.
Sioux Falls native Hilary Overby is pursuing a master's degree in nutrition, exercise and food science with an emphasis on the exercise aspect, focusing on physical activity. Following her 2015 graduation, she hopes to help fight childhood obesity through work in community programs to teach children about healthy lifestyles and health behaviors. Overby is preparing a thesis that will assess moderate to vigorous physical activity in physical education programs throughout schools.
Megan Bren of Sioux Falls has a degree in dietetics and is pursuing her master's in nutritional sciences. In the future, she hopes to become a registered dietician to educate children and adults on healthy lifestyle choices. She is currently involved in a research project focusing on improving the health of 9- and 10-year-olds through their participation in a multi-state childhood obesity prevention program that focuses on improving physical activity, family meal time and cooking skills.
Andrea Brown, a mother of two from White, is specializing in the clinical mental health aspect of counseling. Her goal with TOP is to examine the social and emotional effects of childhood obesity. She also wants to look at how self-image is affected in obese children and teenagers regardless of them being bullied. Her career goals include being a mental health counselor for children and teenagers.
Chase Merfeld of Sturgis is pursuing a master's degree in nutrition, exercise and food science with an emphasis on nutrition. His thesis project, iCook-4H, focuses on efforts to reduce sedentary time in children 9-10 years of age with a six-week intervention cooking class and the use of accelerometers. With two undergraduate degrees in biology and dietetics, nutrition has been his main focus going into graduate school, and he hopes to one day become a clinical dietitian helping people live healthier lifestyles.
Mollie Loes, originally from Mitchell, is pursuing a master's degree in nutrition, exercise and food science with a specialization in nutrition and also hopes to earn a registered dietician certification. She earned her bachelor's in exercise science from the University of Sioux Falls in 2012. Loes' ultimate career goal after her 2015 graduation is to work in a school or hospital setting where she can put her exercise and nutritional knowledge to use in the fight against childhood obesity.
2012-2013 (Cohort 2) Students
Natasha D. Bordeaux
I am a Sicangu Lakota mother pursuing a master’s degree in Communications and Journalism and simultaneously working on an undergraduate degree in dietetics, with the goal of becoming a registered dietician. My ultimate career goal is to effect large-scale health change amongst American Indian communities via social marketing and nutritional education interventions.
I have experience in working with Lakota youth, adults, and families in health-related community projects and have a personal knowledge and appreciation of American Indian cultures. Having lived amongst and having significant continual familial ties to several of the reservations in South Dakota, I understand the need for research, interventions and promotion toward the reduction of health disparities in these communities, particularly in nutrition and obesity-related issues.
My thesis work includes a focus group investigation into the nutritional behaviors, beliefs, influences and habits of families (adults and youth) on the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota as formative research toward a large-scale social marketing campaign aimed at improving nutrition habits in that community.
I am pursuing a Master’s degree in counseling with a specialization in school counseling. My goal is to work in a small school district in an elementary school as a school counselor. I am on the board of a non-profit dedicated to educating children and adults about the dangers of bullying. My research interests include bullying, social support, and childhood obesity. My thesis will work to integrate these three subjects to explore the associations between them.
I am pursuing a Master’s degree in Nutrition, Exercise and Food Science with a specialization in Nutritional Sciences. My goal is to go to medical school and be a family practitioner here in South Dakota. My research will look at inflammatory markers in children in relation to BMI.
I am pursuing a Master's degree in Nutritional Sciences. My thesis project is focusing on the use of accelerometers and surveys to assess physical activity in 9- and 10-year-old children participating in a multi-state childhood obesity prevention program. In the future, I hope to work for a non-profit organization in efforts to reduce world hunger and prevent malnutrition among children across the globe.
Registered Dietitian pursuing a Master’s Degree in Nutrition, Exercise and Food Science; Specialization: Nutritional Sciences. My research involves assessing physical activity levels of youth involved in a 4-H educational program designed to increase culinary competence, family meal times and physical activity. I hope to work in either a community or pediatric clinical setting where I can promote healthy lifestyles for children through proper nutrition and physical activity.
Pursuing a Master's degree in Nutrition, Exercise and Food Science with specialization in Nutritional Sciences. My research topic is zinc deficiency and its association with child growth parameters in children aged 6-60 months in rural Honduras. I had the privilege of traveling to Honduras to collect the data for this project. Micronutrient deficiencies can be present in undernourished and overnourished children and I have enjoyed researching the implications that zinc deficiency can have on a child's well-being.
Pursuing a Master's degree in Nutrition, Exercise and Food Science; Specialization in Exercise Science. My thesis focus is investigating the effects of obesity on vascular stiffness in children, specifically those of Native American decent. I hope to someday obtain my PhD and teach exercise physiology based courses at a college level.
I'm a registered dietitian and pursuing a master's degree in Nutrition, Exercise, and Food Science with a specialization in Nutritional Sciences. My research is on children's perception of their body image and whether a nutrition and physical activity intervention program can improve a child's body image perception. I'm passionate about this topic because body image and obesity go hand-in-hand. Children need to love their bodies in order to feel good about themselves and make healthy decisions. I really enjoy my research and hope to work with children and young adults in the future.
I am pursuing a Master's degree in Nutrition, Exercise and Food Science with a specialization in Exercise Science. Currently, my thesis entails developing a survey that measures awareness of school wellness policies among school administrators, teachers and parents in South Dakota school districts. In the future, I hope to work towards reversing the trends of the childhood and adult obesity epidemic our nation faces today.
2011-2012 (Cohort 1) Students
Corey Selland, MS
Pursuing a PhD in Nutrition, Exercise and Food Sciences. My area of research focus is addressing childhood obesity prevention through promotion of lifelong healthy eating and physical activity behaviors in primary school children. In addition, I am involved in a program designed to develop healthy decision making and active lifestyles in preschool age children. I am passionate about helping children make healthy choices in their everyday life.
Pursuing a Master's degree in Nutrition, Exercise and Food Science; Specialization: Exercise Science. My goal is to obtain my PhD, teach at the college level and continue researching. I am most interested in using accelerometers to study physical activity and sedentary behaviors of children.
Pursuing a Master's degree in Nutrition, Exercise and Food Science with a specialization in Exercise Science. My thesis topic is exploring school wellness policy awareness, barriers and compliance with the Federal Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004. In the future, I hope to work with school districts or in a community health setting to promote healthy behaviors to help combat childhood obesity.
Pursuing a Master's degree in Nutritional Sciences. I am currently researching whether or not the BMI of South Dakota schoolchildren is associated with their living in food desert counties versus non-food desert counties. I am hoping to identify areas of South Dakota that could benefit from the addition of a grocery store and/or the incorporation of healthier food items in small grocery and convenience stores already present.
S. Jo Gibson, MS, RN, CNP
Family nurse practitioner and DNP student. I am in the first cohort of students for the Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP) at SDSU and have been studying childhood obesity for the past three years. My research interests advocate a multidisciplinary, family-focused and community-based approach to childhood obesity prevention and management. I am especially enamored with the preschool-aged population and their parents because of the potential impact that early education can have on the development of healthy lifestyle habits that can last a lifetime. I believe that parents and families should be empowered to recognize the impact they have on their child's development of lifelong healthy habits of physical activity and nutritious eating.
I am pursuing my Master's degree in Sports and Recreation with hopes of graduating in May 2013. My thesis will be researching barriers to active recreation in Native American youth. I am a certified therapeutic recreation specialist (CTRS) and enjoy helping people meet their daily dose of recreation and fun!
I am pursuing a Master's degree in Nutrition, Exercise and Food Science with a specialization in Exercise Science. My research area is exploring the differences in physical activity and sedentary time between Native American children and Non-Native children. I will analyze physical activity through the use of accelerometers which will provide insight into the intensity and time of physical activity. I am hoping to find reasons as to why Native American children are suffering from such a high rate of overweight and obesity.
Pursuing a Master's degree in Nutritional Sciences. My thesis work involves using the South Dakota State University Mascot as a Marketing Tool to Promote Fruit and Vegetable Consumption and Physical Activity among 4th Grade Students. I enjoy working with children and have an interest in researching childhood obesity prevention. Childhood obesity prevention is complex and requires a transdiciplinary team in order to be successful and that is what intrigues me. My career goal is to make a lasting, positive impact on the community and people that I work with.
Pursuing a PhD in Plant Science with a Statistics Minor. I am interested in helping different communities find ways to produce their food sustainably and manage what they put on the table. My research interest lies in finding the best methods of disseminating research results to intended populations.
I am in the final stages of completing a PhD in Nutrition. Combined with my clinical background, my areas of interest are in personal and community nutrition, particularly Native American nutrition issues. I'm interested in prevention of obesity and nutrition-related health conditions with a special interest in the areas of nutrition and inflammation as well as having a strong passion for the value of nutrition education. My philosophy is encompassed in the Chinese proverb "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime."