Nutrition and Dietetics Department Holds First Internship White Coat Ceremony

Published on January 19, 2016 by Rachel Sinclair  
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Samford University’s Department of Nutrition and Dietetics honored 16 postbaccalaureate students recently during the department’s first internship white coat and patch ceremony. Evelyn Crayton, president of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, was guest speaker. 

Crayton spoke about her personal journey in the field of health care and discussed emerging opportunities. As president of the world’s largest organization of food and nutrition professionals, Crayton had great insight and encouragement for the new interns. 

“This is a really, really great profession,” Crayton said. She mentioned that the U.S. Department of Labor reports a rapid increase in the demand for dietitians, especially compared to other professions. “It is a good time to be a dietician.” 

Rebecca Cline, a 2015 graduate of Samford’s dietetic internship program, attended the ceremony. She now works with the National Center on Health, Physical Activity and Disability at Birmingham’s Lakeshore Foundation and enjoys staying in touch with Samford faculty and students. 

“The public health concentration broadens your mind, not just to help one person or individual, but how many people you can help all at once through a program or policy,” Cline said. 

Samford’s internship director Miriam “Mim” Gaines spoke about the white coat’s historical significance as a symbol of hope.

 “We are showing you that we trust you,” Gaines told the students. “You are going from the nonmedical role of a student to the medical role of an intern.” 

Additionally, Gaines commended the students for making history at Samford by taking part in the first white coat ceremony for nutrition and dietetic interns. “You are forming the internship culture.” 

After completing the yearlong program, interns will be eligible to take the national Registration Examination for Dietitians. Additionally, they will have earned 21 hours of graduate credit toward a Master of Public Health degree at Samford. 

Rachel Sinclair is a journalism and mass communication student and a news and feature writer in the Office of Marketing and Communication.

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ABOUT SAMFORD UNIVERSITY -- Samford University is a premier nationally ranked private university deeply rooted in its Christian mission. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th oldest institution of higher education in the United States. U.S. News & World Report ranks Samford 3rd among regional universities in the South. Samford enrolls 5,509 students from 45 states, the District of Columbia and 29 other countries in its 10 academic units: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy, and public health. Samford also fields 17 NCAA Division I teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference.