VN DPG wants to engage as many members as possible VN DPG. One way is to rotate the State Coordinator position every two years.
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VNDPG State Coordinator Position Description
Taylor has been a member of VN DPG since she was a college student and loves the resources and networking the DPG provides. She was previously the state coordinator of Illinois and continues to be active at the local and state levels. Taylor lives and works in Chicago, loves vegan donuts, uses all of her vacation time to travel and has an adopted kitty named Bella and one-eyed rescue mouse named Indy.
Lisa became interested in nutrition several years ago when she I took a college nutrition course. At the end of the class she knew she wanted to study nutrition and finally her my grown daughter convinced her to pursue a degree in nutrition and she completed the DTR program.
Lisa is a Nutrition Educator with AmeriCorps which partners with the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension Program. This program provides her an opportunity to teach nutrition and physical activity to children and seniors.
Lisa became a vegetarian about 9 years ago, because she had an inner aversion to meat and finally decided to respect that. She enjoys cooking, baking and finding new vegetarian recipes.
Meriah Erdman/Katelyn Thomas
Christina is a recent graduate of the University of Northern Colorado and will be applying for internships in the fall of 2016. She grew up on sugar-free birthday cakes, freshly juiced carrots, and Richard Simmons Sweatin’ to the Oldies videos. After obtaining a degree in Theatre and English Literature, she left her Nebraska family farm to work in California. During that time, she led healthy living seminars, worked for Clif Bar & Company as a marketing representative, and developed a ’Fun & Fit’ program that was implemented in schools in southern California. Christina has experience blogging and worked for Pixar. She believes plant-based meals are the healthiest and most sustainable choice and looks forward to showing others that these meals can be fun, enjoyable, easy to understand, and incorporated into every meal.
Katya was born and raised in Mexico. She received her bachelor’s degree in nutrition science from The Autonomous Metropolitan University of Mexico City. After graduating, she moved to Florida where she is an international member of Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the Orlando Dietetic Association. She has worked in both clinical and community settings, her passion however, lies within the social media arena targeting and educating Spanish-speaking people on plant-based diets. She loves to share recipes, experiences, lifestyle tips, and nutritional information on her website and on different social media platforms. She transitioned into a vegetarian diet gradually over a ten-year period. She became vegan for about 4 years ago. As a bilingual dietitian, Katya also works part time for Food and Nutrition Translations with a group of dietitians from different countries, translating health and nutrition materials. In her spare time, Katya enjoys reading and spending time with her family.
Kevin Ritchie started following a plant based diet in 2010 when he experienced minor health issues (eczema, allergies, GERD, and asthma) that were all reversed. With loving support from his wife, he quit he returned to school to study dietetics and will be graduating in December 2015 from the University of Kentucky. Kevin is a runner, minimalist, and vegan. It is his ambition to be able to offer a plant-based diet as an option to his clients as a means of improving their health and reducing their suffering.
Jessica Blanchard is a registered dietitian, longtime Ayurvedic practitioner, and yoga teacher. She’s on a mission to dispel dietary myths and make healthy habits accessible to everyone. Raised in the heart of Cajun country, she grew up loving animals, and became a vegetarian at age twenty. Jessica hosts two blogs and works hard to promote wellness. She also wants to improve the image of healthy eating in New Orleans one of America’s fattest cities.
Eliza is completing her Masters of Science degree in the Nutrition Department at the University of Massachusetts. Vegetarian since childhood and vegan for over a decade, she is passionate about plant-based nutrition for chronic disease prevention. Eliza will be applying to dietetic internships for the upcoming year and currently serves as the student member services chair for Dietitian’s in Integrative and Functional Medicine DPG.
New England (Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine)
Kelsey is excited to become the New Jersey State Coordinator. She is a recent graduate from Johnson & Wales University (JWU) in Providence, Rhode Island and holds associates degrees in Baking & Pastry Arts and Culinary Arts, plus her undergraduate work was in Culinary Food Science and Clinical Dietetics. She currently works as a Dietary Associate at Jersey Shore University Medical Center. Her past experience includes volunteering and instructing culinary nutrition courses to community members and medical professionals at the Food + Health Initiative of JWU, Brown University, and the Goldring Center for Culinary Medicine at Tulane University. She is thrilled to expand her knowledge and share her experiences with fellow members.
Amy became a practicing dietitian in 2014 and has held a variety of positions which include telehealth, eating disorder treatment, inpatient, long-term acute care, and travel dietitian work. She began a vegan diet in college but had difficulty sticking with it until she adopted her dog, Pepper, who reminded her of the very animals that are common staples on American plates. In her spare time, Amy enjoys running, visiting a local metropark with Pepper, and reading.
Antoinette Kruger is currently finishing her thesis research as a graduate candidate in OHSU’s combined Masters of Science in Clinical Nutrition and Dietetic Internship program. Her research is studying body composition, physical activity, muscle strength, and diet in children and adolescents with classical galactosemia. Following her dietetic internship, she completed a nutrition fellowship at OHSU’s Child Development and Research Center for the Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disorders program. She received her bachelors from California State University, Chico in General Dietetics with a minor in biochemistry. Living near Chico, California’s plentiful agriculture, Antoinette became passionate about promoting plant-based diets and sustainable food systems. She finds herself most inspired by hard workers, cellular signaling cascades, the ocean, achieving a new yoga pose, and sharing a meal that you will never forget.
Darla currently works part-time in long-term care and sub-acute rehabilitation while building a private practice specializing in plant-based nutrition. Darla became vegetarian about 16 years ago while working as a server and cake decorator in a vegetarian cafe in Glastonbury, England. Even though that gig overseas was only temporary she never went back to a meat-centric diet and transitioned to a vegan diet three years ago. She feels happier and healthier than ever about her decision. She feels that belonging to the VN DPG makes the lifestyle easier with the resources and professional support! Darla’s other interests include eating, cooking, all things food related, cycling, urban hiking, active commuting, extreme walking, photography, illustration and Netflix binge-watching.
Stephanie is a graduate of Texas State University’s Dietetic Internship and the University of Northern Colorado’s Distance Dietetics Program. Realizing her passion for food and nutrition after a six-year career in marketing and event management, Stephanie is excited to be transitioning to a profession she loves. She is an avid cook, blogger, and runner who spends her free time in the kitchen, creating healthy plant-based recipes for friends and family.