Meet one of our dietetics students!
Connect Bridgeport (a local online news site in Bridgeport, WV) published this story about one of our students on 11/17/20.
Story written for Connect Bridgeport by Trina Runner.
National Blog Features Michelle DuVall's Blog Posts as She Participates in Dietary Mentorship Program
While many may call older college students untraditional, unstoppable would be a better fit for Michelle DuVall.
After her daughter was diagnosed with Celiac Disease, she decided to abandon her finance career and pursue a degree in Human Food and Nutrition. At 42, she will graduate Summa Cum Laude in December as a member of Gamma Sigma Delta, an Honor Society for Agriculture. For her final semester of undergraduate studies, DuVall is also being featured in the national blog, "culinarymedics.com" as part of her mentorship.
“I chose my major because I wanted to help people who suffer from diseases that are affected by nutrition and food,” she said.
DuVall applied for her mentorship through a National mentorship program organized by Texas A&M University and the University of North Florida and was accepted into the program in September. The nationwide program enables current juniors, seniors, and graduate nutrition and dietitian students to be matched with mentors through an elaborate network of professionals across the nation.
After completing an initial survey, mentees are chosen and partnered with mentors, where they have an immersive experience in the field for the year. DuVall was partnered with Monica Joyce, MS, RDN, LDN, CDCES from Northwestern Medicine, who is also the co-owner of Culinary Medics, LLC.
“I have had the opportunity to meet with my mentor several times a week and work with some of her distinguished colleagues as well,” she said.
The hands-on mentorship ship which, most recently, afforded her the chance to create posts for the national blog, culinarymedics.com. DuVall has created posts on mindful eating, evaluating the Mediterranean Diet, and choosing seasonal favorites for Fall meals, among others.
“I really enjoy researching the latest trends in nutrition and creating posts that highlight how good nutrition is accessible for all,” she said. “The blog also has an interactive component that allows readers to ask questions and give input, which helps us to cater posts to them more efficiently.”
In addition to the blog, DuVall also prepares presentations for virtual events held for patients and creates materials for patient education on such topics as diabetes, holiday eating, and plant-based diets.
In January, DuVall will be starting her Masters in Nutritional and Food Sciences at West Virginia University.
“I have always been passionate about health and medicine, and this program has allowed me to be fully immersed in the field,” she said. “I look forward to continually learning more about how to help patients, whether in-person or through digital resources like the blog.”