Dietetics students of BRTC had the opportunity to attend two conferences during the fall semester, according to Kathy Murdock, Nutrition & Dietetics Program Director. In September, Nutrition and Foodservice Management students attended the Arkansas Association of Nutrition and Foodservice Professionals (ANFP) fall conference in Hot Springs, Arkansas. In October, Nutrition and Dietetics students traveled to Nashville, Tennessee to attend the Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo (FNCE), which is the national meeting for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND).
Dietetics instructors, Christina Derbes and Kathy Murdock, and Angela Caldwell, Vice President of Technical Education, attended both conferences with the students. At the ANFP conference in Hot Springs, which was also the 50th anniversary of the Arkansas chapter, students attended educational sessions on a range of subjects from culinary trends and foodservice management to food safety and nutritional management of specific disease processes. Derbes presented on the managing employees, and Murdock presented on nutrition trends and fads. Caldwell presented on the topic of leadership. As a special treat for attendees, BRTC students prepared an entertaining and creative skit, highlighting food safety and sanitation. During the ANFP Gala, it was announced that Derbes won 1st place in the 50’s best costume design, and BRTC alumna and past BRTC Dietetics Program Director, Tina Harris, who is also ANFP state treasurer, won the Commitment in Leadership Award. Sandra Parker, who recently retired as BRTC Cafeteria Coordinator, and is the current NE Central District President and Newsletter Editor, received the ANFP Member of the Year Award.
In October, BRTC Nutrition & Dietetics students attended FNCE, which was held at the Music City Center in Nashville, along with approximately ten thousand other students and nutrition professionals from the United States and abroad. In addition to attending educational sessions on a wide range of topics, student also visited the Expo, which featured approximately 350 vendors in food, nutrition, and education. They learned about products and services available, and visited with vendors about trends in nutrition. Students also viewed posters, which exhibited the latest research in nutrition.
“Being able to give our students the chance to attend state and national meetings is priceless. We thank all that help make this possible, from those who have entrusted us with catering events and those who purchase fundraising items, to the BRTC Foundation SEAS funding and the Student Government Association funding,” stated Murdock. “Along with increasing knowledge in nutrition and foodservice at educational sessions, annual conferences give students the opportunity to network with professionals in their field of interest as well as meet potential employers. Students are able to see the varied areas of practice outside of our geographical area. This opens their eyes to the diverse possibilities for career advancement and employment in nutrition and dietetics.”
From left to right: Kathy Murdock, Leah Morgan, Joyce Huffins, Mark McCuiston, Judson McNeal, Joetta Doyle, Barbara McKissick, Christina Derbes, and Angie Caldwell.