March often means the beginning of Spring, or March Madness for sports fans, but for RDNs, March means National Nutrition Month®. This year, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics will focus attention on healthful eating through its theme, Personalize Your Plate, which promotes creating nutritious meals to meet individuals’ cultural and personal food preferences. The Academy encourages everyone to make informed food choices and develop sound eating and physical activity habits they can follow all year long.
Our Foundation is the philanthropic arm of the Academy and we are proud to share the same vision: to create a world where all people thrive through the transformative power of food and nutrition. Together we empower Academy members with tools and resources to help consumers create healthier lifestyles.
I would like to share my story about someone who inspired me early in my career in dietetics education at The University of Alabama. Our program was under review and one of the site visitors was none other than Edna Langholz. When she interviewed me, she asked some questions about what I thought was important going forward for dietetic education programs. Being “hot off the press” from my master’s degree and new to the department, I had ideas and she was truly interested. A few months later she was elected as the President-Elect of then our American Dietetic Association. Imagine my utter surprise when she called me to appoint me to the then Commission on Accreditation! She said she wanted to make some of her appointments from young dietitians whom she believed had promise. That began a 40-year journey of appointed and elected positions at the national level. Just so you know, her initial interest did not wane and that does not surprise those of you who had to privilege to know Edna. She kept up with me and gave me sage advice along the way which meant a lot to me then and in my memories of her still.
I know each of you have similar stories of someone who has helped you along your journey. I urge you to share a short story on your social media this month about an RDN who has inspired you and make a gift in their memory or honor by donating to our Foundation. I plan to do the same in Edna’s memory. We can all be proud of our profession and March is the time to celebrate our colleagues.
Margaret P. Garner, MS, RDN, LD, FAND, CIC 2020-2021 Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Foundation Chair