The Nutrition and Dietetics Educators and Preceptors group (NDEP) and former Foundation Chair, Diane Heller, MMSC, RDN, LD, FAND have committed significant support for the development a Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) Fellowship. The Foundation’s Fellowship program deploys dynamic registered dietitian nutritionists in the U.S. and globally to address the greatest food and nutrition challenges throughout the world. This Fellowship will continue in the spirit of the program and fund an RDN member of the Academy to lead a two-year project titled “Prioritizing Diversity and Inclusion in Nutrition and Dietetics: Overcoming Obstacles to RDN Recruitment, Education and Advancement.”
With a focus on education and leadership opportunities within the profession, this new Fellow will build on the important work of the Academy’s D&I Committee to build a framework to identify and more fully understand barriers to success for diverse students. To achieve the program’s goals, the Fellow will begin by developing an advisory group of eight to 12 experts to provide guidance and mentorship. This program includes:
- Identifying barriers that diverse students face in becoming RDNs
- Identifying obstacles for diverse RDNs in advancing in the profession
- Creating a framework with potential solutions to support diverse students and RDNs
- Enhance pre-professional and continuing education for RDNs and students in the area of cultural competency to support the United States’ diverse population
The Foundation will be opening this application in the coming weeks.
The Pediatric Nutrition Dietetic Practice Group has committed $100,000 to establish a fund to support diversity and inclusion scholarships. Full criteria is under development and will be included in the 2021 scholarship opportunities.
Suzanne Domel Baxter, PhD, RD, LD, FADA, FAND, a Foundation major donor, who has served on the Foundation Philanthropy Council and Scholarship Review Committee, is establishing a scholarship fund in memory of her parents, Edwin and LaVerne Domel. While the scholarship criteria is currently being developed, it will give preference to dietetic students with a physical or sensory impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, whether it be ambulatory, independent living, hearing, vision, or self-care. If no applicants meet this criteria, the scholarship will be awarded to a black student from South Carolina or Texas. The Foundation greatly appreciates the opportunity to ensure Edwin and LaVerne Domel’s legacy lives on through these scholarships.