My name is Kaley Dick and I am a senior at Kansas State University studying Dietetics. I have been part of the mentoring program for about a year. This last fall, I was matched up with Ruth Stemler as my mentor. Over the year we talked monthly and got to know each other’s passions, career paths, and future plans. This last summer through the mentoring travel grant, I was able to get out of Kansas to visit Ruth. Ruth currently lives in Colorado so I hopped in my car and made a 7-hour drive to see her!
Ruth Stemler is a former Wildcat! She was part of the first class to graduate in Dietetics from Kansas State University. Ever since then there is not much that she has not done in her dietetics career. While I was out in Colorado, I had the opportunity to volunteer with Cooking Matters and network within the Denver area. Before Ruth had retired, she was the director at Cooking Matters. Cooking Matters is part of an organization that is the same as “No Kid Goes Hungry” or “Share Our Strength.” While volunteering for Cooking Matters, I had the opportunity to watch classes that they taught within the community, participate in pop-up stands, and go on some grocery store tours. The teaching style is very hands on and interactive with the participants.
I also got to visit internships while I was out there. This is a dream for any dietetics student because internships are extremely competitive with about a 50% acceptance rate. So being able to sit down with a director of a program was very fortunate. Colorado was not just volunteering and meetings, I also got to experience Colorado with Ruth! We went on walks in the mountains, visited local cooking shops, and even spent some time at a farmers market. One of my favorite parts was sitting on the porch with Ruth and David (Ruth’s husband) looking over the mountains every morning as we enjoyed our breakfast. It was a great opportunity to finally meet face-to-face with Ruth and get to know her even more than just talking on the phone. Ruth has helped me develop as a student and has shaped the way I process dietetics.
I want to give a huge thank you to everyone who made this trip possible for me, whether that was planning, financial, or time!
If you are interested in joining the College of Human Ecology’s Professional Mentoring Program as a mentor or mentee, CLICK HERE.
For more information regarding the travel grant program, CLICK HERE.