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College of Human Ecology Professional Mentoring Program

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Mentor Monday – September 25, 2017

Throughout the fall and spring semesters, we will feature our professional mentors through a series of #MentorMonday blog posts. Stay tuned to learn more about these alumni and friends of the College of Human Ecology!

This week’s featured mentor is Katie Kage, an Assistant Professor in Nutrition and Dietetics at the University of Northern Colorado.

Degree/Year/College or University:
BS/2008/Kansas State University
MS/2010/University of Nebraska-Lincoln
PhD/2012/University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Current Job Title and Location:
Assistant Professor in Nutrition and Dietetics, University of Northern Colorado

Talk briefly about your experiences in the College of Human Ecology at K-State. Specific major, any clubs you were involved in, memories that stick out to you and how your degree prepared you for your career.

While at Kansas-State I triple majored in Human Nutrition, Dietetics, and Kinesiology and found the courses to be challenging and thought-provoking. The professors in the College of Human Ecology pushed me to think outside the box and helped to develop big picture thinking which has led me to be successful in the health field. I quickly got involved on campus through the student organization Sensible Nutrition And body image Choices (S.N.A.C.) by becoming a peer educator and felt empowered knowing I was making a difference on campus. The innovative lectures and interactive labs gave me a strong knowledge on the anatomy and physiology of the human body and how nutrition and exercise impacts an individuals’ overall wellness. After graduation, I landed my first jobs as a clinical dietitian at a rehabilitation hospital and a group fitness instructor and personal training at a campus recreation center.

 

 

Please explain your current job position and how long you have been in that role/with the company?

I worked for 3 years as a Coordinator of Fitness and Wellness at the Campus Recreation Center for the University of Northern Colorado where I oversaw Personal Training, Group Fitness, Massage Therapy, Nutritional Services, and Wellness Events. I then switched to become full-time faculty at UNC and I currently am an Assistant Professor in the Nutrition and Dietetics Program. I have been in this role for three years and teach courses for our on-campus, distance, and graduate programs. I teach courses in the areas of nutrition education and counseling, clinical nutrition, and nutrition and athletic performance. I also conduct research in the areas of body image, weight bias, and nutrition education.

 

Touch on the benefits of a mentor/mentee relationship and the big takeaway(s) you’ve had through the program.

The mentor/mentee program allows you to learn from the experience of someone who has traveled a similar path that you are currently on so you can gain guidance and feedback on ways to be successful. Most of the opportunities I have had throughout my academic career has been because of mentors I’ve built relationships with so it is rewarding to give back and help others in the same way.

 

If you could give college students once piece of professional advice, what would it be?

Take advantage of the resources available to you as a student! There are always people and events at your fingertips that are there to help you grow and develop both personally and professionally so jump outside your comfort zone and learn as much as you can.

 

 

 

Mentor Monday – September 18, 2017

Throughout the fall and spring semesters, we will feature our professional mentors through a series of #MentorMonday blog posts. Stay tuned to learn more about these alumni and friends of the College of Human Ecology!

This week’s featured mentor is Jenn MacFadyen, an Instructor and Academic Advisor for the Department of Food, Nutrition, Dietetics and Health in the College of Human Ecology.

Talk briefly about your experiences in the College of Human Ecology at K-State. Specific major, any clubs you were involved in, memories that stick out to you and how your degree prepared you for your career.

My experiences with the College of Human Ecology first began while I was working as a Graduate Assistant Athletic Trainer for K-State Athletics; students from the undergraduate athletic training program were assigned to me as part of their clinical rotation requirements. I began meeting and interacting with a variety of staff which eventually led me to my current position. Both Shawna Jordan and Morgan Rakestraw have been such great mentors and colleagues through my time working with their students and now working alongside them.

 

Getting my Master’s degree in the area I did, as well as completing an advising certificate, really prepared me to make the transition from the clinical side of athletic training to the educational side. The knowledge I gained through the Counseling and Student Development curriculum is utilized in my every day interactions with my students.

 

Please explain your current job position and how long you have been in that role/with the company?

I currently serve as an Instructor and Academic Advisor within the Athletic Training Program. I teach the Introduction to Athletic Training class and lab, as well as a Care and Prevention of Athletic Injuries class that is part of the Coaching Certificate offered through the College of Education. I am beginning my third year as an instructor and my second year as an advisor. I work with both students who are in our professional phase and those who are getting ready to apply. With advising, I meet the incoming students over the summer during their Orientation and Enrollment and get them prepared for the upcoming school year and continue to meet with them as they progress through their academic careers.

 

Touch on the benefits of a mentor/mentee relationship and the big takeaway(s) you’ve had through the program.

This is my first time being a part of the mentor program and I am very excited about it. I think being able to guide students through the uncertainties and stresses that come with planning for the future will result in some really positive outcomes! I have been where these students have been, and it truly was not that long ago, and so I understand how they feel. Having some experience under my belt, in a variety of settings, will allow me to provide some different avenues for my mentee to explore.

 

If you could give college students once piece of professional advice, what would it be?

To know that everything happens for a reason. We can spend days, months and even years planning for something and in a split second that can all go array. You must be able to trust in the process and know your education and your experiences will get you to where you need to be. Life is sometimes funny, but always has a way of working out.

 

 

 

Travel Grant Recap – Kaley Dick (Dietetics)

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!

Thank you,
Kaley Dick

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.