Student Dietetic Association promotes health, nutrition, exercise

October 12th, 2017 Author: Emma Laing  |  706-542-7983  |  More about Emma
Contact: Ayshia Ranjitsingh  |  N/A  | More about Ayshia

The University of Georgia Student Dietetic Association is an organization run by students in the department of foods and nutrition majoring in dietetics.

This academic year, the organization has started strong with a powerful lineup of speakers, educational programs and service projects that foster a sense of community among dietetics majors and students considering joining the major.

“We partner with various local organizations to serve the Athens community, such as preparing meals for Food2Kids at the Northeast Georgia Food Bank and a recent volunteer partnership with Campus Kitchen to fight senior hunger in Athens,” said SDA President, Ayshia Ranjitsingh. “Our club hosts various speakers from around the state who inform us about dietetic internship programs, job options in the field of dietetics and even healthy eating.”

Since the first meeting in August, invited guests have included SDA faculty advisor and director of the dietetics program, Emma Laing, dietetic internship director, Barbara Grossman, and current dietetic interns/FDN alumni Larkin Kelly and Christine Swearingen.

Other registered dietitians in the Athens area who are members of the Northeast Georgia Dietetic Association professional group will serve on an expert panel during the Oct. 18 SDA meeting. Speakers on the agenda include Dr. EC Henley, Laurel Sanville, Jennifer Fleming, Julie Knight-Brown, Jessica Ebert, Katie Potts, and Maria Breen. The experts will discuss issues pertinent to the dietetics profession and will expect questions such as “What have you learned on your path to becoming an RD?” and “What would you have done differently?”

Other professional development workshops, social events and community service projects are planned for the remainder of the semester. There will be a presentation on Nov. 1 by Chandra Carty of Nutrition in the Now, and UGA MS/DI student Taylor Newman will speak about public policy in nutrition on Nov. 18.

“I have never interacted with a more passionate group of students dedicated to the dietetics profession than our students in SDA,” Laing said. “The SDA leadership team is phenomenal this year, and I know our student members appreciate the variety of speakers and activities that place them at an advantage once they graduate from our program.”

Indeed, former SDA members have expressed appreciation for how helpful the organization was in preparing them for a career in nutrition. “SDA gave me the opportunity to volunteer on campus and in the community, meet various program directors and ultimately understand how I could increase my chances of being accepted into a dietetic internship,” Swearingen said.

SDA Vice President Neal Holliday is excited about the programming this year and fulfilling the mission of the organization. “Though our organization stays very busy and works very hard to accomplish our goals, we also have lots of fun spending time together and making memories to last a lifetime,” Holliday said.

The mission of the SDA is to serve the college, community and each other by involving as many dietetics students as possible to promote a message of health, good nutrition and exercise.

Meetings are typically held twice per month at 5 p.m. in Dawson Hall. Visit the schedule of upcoming meetings at the bottom of the SDA webpage.

The 2017-2018 SDA leadership team includes:

President: Ayshia Ranjitsingh
Vice President: Neal Holliday
Secretary: Wells Ross
Treasurer: Hadley Gordon
Service Chair: Kathryn Kear
Social Chair: Sydney O'Donnell
PR Chair: Emily Owen
Communications Chair: Lauren Tinkey
Faculty Advisor: Emma Laing

For more information about becoming involved in SDA, contact Ayshia Ranjitsingh, at

Categories: College - GeneralSSACFoods and NutritionResearchUndergraduateStudent Dietetic AssociationHealthNutrition
Tags: sda

In this category: Nutrition