Published on December 17, 2021 by Sarah Waller  
dietetic interns class of 2021

 Samford University’s School of Public Health honored its 2021 cohort of dietetic interns at its annual certificate ceremony on Dec. 17. The ceremony marked the end of this 16-month, post-baccalaureate program, which fulfills the requirements from the Commission on Dietetic Registration to become eligible for the registered dietitian nutritionist credentials.

The cohort consists of 19 interns, and collectively, they chose Galatians 6:9 as their class verse.

“And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.”

As a class who began and completed its internship in the midst of a global pandemic, this verse proved to be one of great encouragement. “Of the many verses that we looked at, there was only one perfect for us,” said Nicole Quevedo ’21. “We endured. We persevered. We did not give up because here we are today.”

University President Beck A. Taylor attended the ceremony and shared his own words of encouragement. “Through your extensive education, training, experience and desire to serve others, you have the capacity to lead and to serve with integrity as you attend to the needs of your clients. You are ready. You are prepared,” he said. “We are so proud of you on this day for all that you have achieved.”

Along with Taylor, the ceremony’s keynote speaker included Kevin L. Sauer, president of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Sauer spoke to the profession of nutrition and dietetics and how it’s calling centered around science and a passion to serve. 

“Congratulations on selecting a profession that is proud, growing and absolutely vital and essential to the world. While the last couple of years have been untraditional, to say the least, I want to recognize how each of you have persevered and adapted to our current environment,” he said. 

After awarding each graduate with a certificate, the program’s faculty named the Outstanding Dietetic Intern of the Year. This year, the final decision resulted in a tie. Olivia Lee '21 and Diana Romanach-Santiago '21 were both named recipients of this year’s award.

Additionally, Julie Evans of Arcadia in Washington was named the program’s Outstanding Distance Preceptor of the Year, and Kaitlyn Waugaman of UAB Preventive Medicine in Birmingham, Alabama was named Outstanding Local Preceptor of the Year

In addition to completing the dietetic internship, many graduates also earned a Master of Public Health or Master of Science in Nutrition. These degrees will be conferred at Samford’s commencement ceremony on December 18.

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.