Laura Eckhardt, a senior dietetics major, has been named to the Student Advisory Committee of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
The committee consists of eight student members from across the country, all selected for a one-year term. The committee helps drive the academy and the profession forward by voicing the needs and concerns of dietetics students while also encouraging engagement and involvement in the Academy.
As part of the committee, Eckhardt will meet with fellow members twice a year to help plan the Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo Student and New Professional Track, recruit student liaisons at dietetic educations programs and network with organizational leaders.
“I wanted to be involved with the Student Advisory Committee because I really enjoy talking and working with other students, and it sounded like the perfect opportunity to serve the dietetic student population,” Eckhardt said. “I have had so many great experiences through the department of foods and nutrition at FACS, and I look forward to sharing those ideas to improve the experience of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ student members.”
In addition to this national recognition, Eckhardt, who will graduate in May with both a dietetics degree and a bachelor’s of arts degree in music and a minor in German, will receive the UGA Presidential Award of Excellence given to students in the top 1 percent of their class.
She will be recognized on Wednesday, April 15 at a luncheon at the home of UGA President Jere Morehead.
Among Eckhardt’s many accomplishments as an undergraduate, she participated in the Center for Undergraduate Research Opportunities as a research assistant under the direction of faculty member Dr. Caree Cotwright; served as a FACS Ambassador; participated in the Ghana Summer Service Learning Program in nutrition/dietetics; and was inducted into the Blue Key Honor Society.
"In Ghana, Laura was outstanding with her leadership qualities of organizing students in the group," faculty member Dr. Alex Anderson said. "Her passion for the dietetic profession was demonstrated by shadowing dietitians during ward rounds and assisted with counseling patients in the Diet Therapy Clinic. She was very easy to work with, cordial with her colleagues and interacted very well with Ghanaians and their culture."
"Laura is truly an amazing student," Cotwright said. "She has worked with me all year as a student mentee and CURO assistant. Her enthusiasm, love of learning, professionalism and work ethic have all exceeded my expectations. I am priviledged to have had the opportunity to work with Laura. She has been instrumental in the development and implementation of a preschool intervention to increase fruit and vegetable intake, Freggie’s Green Machine. She is creative, thoughtful, passionate about nutrition education and a joy to work with. I am so proud of Laura and all of her accomplishments and I know she will be an exemplary leader in the field of nutrition."
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