Academy Foundation Blog

Jodie Davis, MS - 2022 Advancing Diversity in Dietetics Scholarship Recipient

Jodie Davis, MS

Jodie Davis, MS

2022 Advancing Diversity in Dietetics Scholarship

Completing a Dietetic Internship at University of Michigan School of Public Health Dietetic Internship

“Being a recipient of the 2022 Advancing Diversity in Dietetics Scholarship will help me achieve my goals of becoming a registered dietitian and evoking change in lower-income communities of color in the United States. My goal is to develop a nutrition education curriculum that's adaptable to different cultures and a coaching program for educators to learn how to adapt it to their specific communities. This curriculum will be implemented nationwide in schools and modeled at my Food School, where black and brown children and their families will learn how to eat nutritious meals without losing the historical and cultural significance of their food. Teaching our children how to eat nutritious meals at a young age will have a snowball effect that will improve the health outcomes of the next generations. In addition, getting kids excited about nutrition education may also spark their dreams of creating a healthier future for their communities. Likewise, the scholarship will also allow me to invest in other areas of interest, such as reproductive health. This year, we've witnessed the importance of how policies can shape our reproductive health. And in understanding that, I would like to create a healthy and equitable space for individuals of color to understand their bodies and how nutrition can play a role in further exacerbating or healing the symptoms of such diseases. It may sound like a cliche, but Hippocrates stated, " Let thy food be thy medicine," and that is what I hope to lead with while embarking on both endeavors.”

How did you learn about the availability of the Foundation scholarship that you received?

I learned about the 2022 - 2023 Foundation scholarships from one of my mentors from Stockton University, Anthony Dissen. After submitting my application, my friends and I would jokingly discuss being interviewed for this scholarship which is based on your responses from the general scholarship application. Usually, our conversations would end with me playfully saying that I would never be selected for this scholarship. And then, on August 5th, 2022, I received an email inviting me to an interview with the selection committee. Then weeks later, I would receive an email congratulating me on receiving the Advancing Diversity in Dietetics Scholarship.

What motivated you to apply for a Foundation Scholarship?

My financial situation was the driving factor behind my application for the Foundation scholarship. By pursuing an out-of-state graduate degree, I realized that the cost of attendance would be a lot. I wanted to learn about the different food systems initiatives that were taking place in the midwest. Since I have food systems experience on the east coast and in the south, I wanted to learn how to be a better dietitian by broadening my horizon, which led me to Ann Arbor, Michigan. After reflecting on the debt, I had accumulated over the past two years and the cost of my dietetic internship program, I knew getting a scholarship would alleviate the crippling stress of paying for the dietetic internship. With much support from my friends, family members, and mentors, I was encouraged to apply for scholarships, even if they seemed far-fetched. Fortunately, their motivation has led me to this very moment!

How will the scholarship funds help support your continued success within your educational program?

To me, this scholarship represents freedom. Not just financial freedom but mental freedom. I'm now able to engage with my dietetic internship rotation sites fully. I started the internship precisely one month ago, although I am learning so much from my rotation sites. At times, I do feel a bit limited and disengaged. And this is mainly because of burnout. I have to work to pay my way through the internship and sustain myself. Quite often, while engaging with patients, I felt hypocritical because of how I informed them to create healthier habits for themselves while I was doing the complete opposite. Since I now have the opportunity to rediscover Jodie, I can be a better intern. Whether it is engaging in physical activity, volunteering, mentoring, or even cooking a nutritious meal, I'll be able to find a balance between the dietetic internship, work, and my personal life.

What advice do you have for your colleagues about seeking out and applying for Foundation funding opportunities?

Don't ever count yourself out! Just apply! One of my mentors Diana Strelczyk, once told me, "You miss 100% of the shots you don't take." And I couldn't agree more. If you know that the dietetic internship is something you would like to pursue, then I say network with current dietetic interns and RDs. Working alongside these people will help you better understand the process. Likewise, they'll be able to inform you of any new opportunities (i.e., scholarships, jobs, etc.) that may arise. Also, when applying, find recommenders who can actually speak to your ability as a student and as an overall person. Winona Bynum, RDN, and Dr. Kate Bauer have been instrumental in my success in this application cycle. I've been able to work with these two women for quite some time now, and I genuinely believe that their letters of recommendation helped a lot with receiving this scholarship. Furthermore, don't forget your why. Writing scholarship essays may be tedious and a bit repetitive, but always speak from the heart (your most authentic place) is essential. Don't be afraid to be vulnerable and make sure you let go of the pesky thought of "What will interviewers think about me?" By being true to who you are, your responses about what brought you to this field will shine entirely through the application and interview process. Last but certainly not least, as crazy as it may sound, enjoy the process of it all. As I write my response, I'm still in awe that I graduated with my master's, applied to a DI, and am now rotating at various DI sites. This process goes by so fast, so I hope you… yes, YOU can take the time to acknowledge how far you've come. Be proud of yourself for coming this far because I definitely am proud of you, and I'll be rooting for you along the way. Good luck with your application cycle!

Scholarship and Award Application and Timeline Information

All applications and timelines for Foundation funding opportunities are made available electronically within the Foundation’s application portal. Generally, the scholarship applications are available from mid- February to mid-April, most award and grant applications are available from December to February, and fellowship opportunities are posted as they become available.

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With Your Help, We Can Do Even More

Our Foundation is the only charitable organization dedicated exclusively to supporting nutrition and dietetics professionals by empowering them to help consumers live healthier lifestyles. Our Foundation does not receive any portion of member dues and is funded solely by donations. Please consider making a gift today to support our Make It a Million Scholarship Campaign that will help us to award one million dollars in scholarships annually to Academy members, students and dietetic interns at all levels of study.