Board of Directors

2023-2024 SC Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics
Board of Directors 

(*) voting members are marked with an asterisk

President*
Erin Seprish earned her B.S. in Human Nutrition at Winthrop University following her M.B.A. at Charleston Southern University. She completed her Dietetic Internship at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) in Charleston, SC. Erin currently works for Sodexo as a Clinical Nutrition Informatics Specialist Dietitian. In this role, she serves as a dietetic informatics expert to hospitals throughout the country supporting their food service initiatives.  She is also embracing the role of a new mom after welcoming her baby boy in March 2023.  Erin has served as President of her local district, Charleston Trident Dietetic Association, and as the Marketing Chair for SCAND.

 

President-Elect*
Jill Leshner 
has served as a registered dietitian recruiter for Compass Group since 2022. She recruits RDs for clinical, school and wellness roles nationwide. She has a Bachelor's in Nutrition and Dietetics from Marywood University in Scranton, PA, where she completed a coordinated program.  She has 10 years of experience in food service management in universities, hospitals and long-term care. Jill has served as the secretary and public policy liaison for CTDA. 

Secretary / Treasurer* 

Michelle Brown provides nutrition counseling at Roper St. Francis in Charleston, South Carolina in Bariatric Surgery and Medical Weight Loss. I try to help patients develop a better relationship with food and work away from the diet culture. I work with the interdisciplinary team to help determine the best individualized weight loss course for each patient. I also have the pleasure of educating post bariatric surgery patients in the hospital and help bariatric surgery patients get back on track, years after their surgery. I got my Bachelors of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics from University of Pittsburgh and completed my dietetic internship at Virginia Commonwealth University Health System. Prior to becoming a Registered Dietitian, I worked in long term care for five years as a Dietetic Technician, Registered and was a Food Service Director for three years.

Delegate*

Molly Jones serves as the South Carolina Healthy Schools Program Manager for a national non-profit organization, The Alliance for a Healthier Generation. In this position, she has learned how to virtually collaborate and communicate with statewide community partners and geographically dispersed team members. Her previous experience as a Telehealth Dietitian with Sodexo at the Medical University of South Carolina allowed her to master the art of virtual nutrition counseling and to literally meet patients where they are. Starting in 2012 as one of the first dietitians to pilot the Outpatient Telenutrition program at MUSC, Molly has seen a complete transformation of how telehealth is perceived by patients and providers, especially since the rapid adoption brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to her contributions and leadership, she was recognized as the Charleston-Trident 2018 Outstanding Dietitian of the Year and 2015 Recognized Young Dietitian of the Year

 

Immediate Past President
Stephanie Nielsen is the dietetic internship director and instructor in the Department of Human Nutrition at Winthrop University. Previously, she was systems director of nutrition for Morrison Management Specialists/Compass Group, director of clinical nutrition at Carolinas Medical Center (now Atrium) in Charlotte, NC and worked at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Hospitals and Clinics in positions as Assistant Director and Coordinator Trauma and Parenteral Nutrition, as well as the University of Michigan Medical Center. She is an alumna of Michigan State University and completed her dietetic internship at St. Louis University Medical Center, St. Louis, MO. She is dedicated to professional service and advancing the practice of dietetics in all areas of the field. She has served as the Chair, Chair-elect, secretary, nominating chair, and area coordinator for the Clinical Nutrition Management Dietetics Practice Group, President, president-elect, secretary over various terms of the Charlotte Dietetic Association, President of the Catawba Dietetic Association, and former council on practice chair of the NCAND. 

 

Secretary/Treasurer-Elect
Olivia Myers', RDN, LD, personal and professional experiences surrounding food and nutrition have taken many shapes, from years as a professional chef to counseling native populations in rural Alaska to leading the nutrition and food curriculum at a therapeutic wilderness program to working clinically with inpatient and outpatient populations in hospitals. Olivia’s current work is as the founder and director of GroceryRx, Lowcountry Street Grocery’s (LSG) produce prescription program. The focus of programming is on injecting food and prevention into the healthcare system, in efforts to move the dial on medical reimbursement for fresh, nutritious food. She sits on multiple local and state-level boards to promote equality and diversity in the dietetics profession, as well as expanding “food is medicine” strategies across the state. Olivia has served numerous roles on the board of the Charleston Trident Dietetic Association, and is currently serving as President. 

Special Programs Coordinator
Katie Lybrand, RDhas served in several roles with SCAND including President and Secretary/Treasurer. Katie lives in Greenville, SC with her Husband, Daniel, and daughter, Hazel. She works at Prisma Health - Upstate at Greenville Memorial Hospital and specializes in Oncology Nutrition. 



 

District President - Catawba Pee Dee*
Annual Meeting Chair    

Jessie Hoffman, PhD, RD is a new Assistant Professor in the Department of Human Nutrition at Winthrop University.  She holds a Masters in Nutrition from UNC-Greensboro and a PhD in Nutritional Sciences from the University of Kentucky.  After completing her PhD she completed her dietetic internship through Iowa State University. Her dietetic and research expertise are in gastrointestinal conditions and the gut microbiome.   

Currently, her research focuses on the impact of psychological stress and dietary factors (i.e. dietary fiber) on gastrointestinal health and the gut microbiome.  Additionally, Jessie is passionate about scientific and nutritional science communication, and does so regularly through social media.  From breaking down nutrition science to busting myths that are so prevalent in today's society, she strives to empower individuals to become responsible consumers of social media content and experts on their own bodies.

District President - Columbia/Midlands* 
Kristy DeChellis 
is an experienced clinical dietitian who has dedicated her nutrition career to providing patient-centered quality care. She earned her B.S. in Food and Nutrition Science at Florida State University and completed her Dietetic Internship at Emory University Hospitals in Atlanta, GA. After her internship, Kristy continued her time with Emory University Hospital specializing in medical and surgical GI patients. During her time there, she implemented ERAS protocols through collaborations with surgeons and physicians. She then transitioned to trauma surgery at Northeast Georgia Medical Center in Gainesville, GA and worked closely with interdisciplinary team to develop a step down ICU unit. Kristy currently works as a clinical dietitian at White Oak Manor in Newberry, SC ensuring quality nutrition to residents of various ages while considering their comorbidities, current limitations, and long term goals. Kristy has experience and passion for nutritional implications of surgery and nourishing the body for longevity. She is a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and has served as Social Chair for the Greater Atlanta Dietetic Association.

District President - Piedmont*
Shannon Cottrell, RD, LD, originally from Lexington, SC. She graduated from Clemson University in 2018 with a B.S in Food Science and Human Nutrition and a minor in Chemistry. From there she went on to complete her dietetic internship at University of California, Davis Medical Center. After living in Wichita, KS for a few years, she moved back to South Carolina in 2021. Currently she is practicing as a NICU dietitian at Prisma Health Children's Hospital- Upstate. She is passionate about optimizing nutrition for these small patients to afford them the best start, even when they have made their entrance into the world in an unexpected way! When she is not at work, she enjoys cooking, baking, running, hiking with her dog August and exploring new places in the upstate with her husband Thomas. 


District President - Charleston Trident*
Abbie Hebron
 has been working in Charleston, SC as a pediatric dietitian for the past four years, currently as a member of the pediatric oncology team at Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital (MUSC). She moved to South Carolina from St. Louis, MO after graduating with her BS from Missouri State University. Since, she has also earned her MS in Dietetics from the University of Rhode Island and now practices as a CSP and CNSC. Most recently, she has become a therapy dog handler at SJCH, where she is able to spread joy and provide support during nutrition assessments and educations with the help of Cher, a sweet and sassy Golden Retriever. Abbie has been serving on the local CTDA board for four years, and is looking forward to her year as president this upcoming year. In her free time, Abbie enjoys baking, traveling, hiking, and playing tennis (or Pickleball as of recent) with family and friends. 

Membership Chair/ New Member Liaison   
Brooke Brittain obtained a B.S. degree in Health Promotion from Coastal Carolina University, a M.S. degree in Food and Nutrition from Florida State University and a Culinary Certificate from the University of South Carolina.  Brooke has worked in community nutrition for about sixteen years.  She is a registered and licensed dietitian as well as a Certified Health Education Specialist and a Certified Lactation Counselor.  Brooke is currently the Program Manager for Public Health Nutrition & Outreach with Clemson University. Through this position she designs and oversees program planning, implementation and training related to nutrition/health in rural environments. She is a team leader for Clemson Rural Health and works with Land Grant Local on various food insecurity projects. Previously she was the Program Coordinator for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP-Ed) at the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC).  With this program she provided nutrition education to all ages in a variety of settings in twenty-one different counties in the state of South Carolina.  Brooke has been the Education Chair, President Elect, President and Nominating Chair for CMDA. She has served as a District Leader, Special Projects Co-Chair and the Scholarships and Awards Chair for SCAND.  Brooke won the award for Emerging Dietetic Leader in 2017 for SCAND and CMDA and received the Recognized Young Dietitian of the Year award for CMDA in 2014. She was the Vice President and the Nutrition Section Chair for the South Carolina Public Health Association (SCPHA). In 2018, she received the SCPHA President’s Award and then in 2020 received the SCPHA Voice of Public Health Award. Brooke has been a speaker at various conferences and universities and has also been featured in various media platforms over the years.  She held a monthly radio segment on 96.3 FM with Don Frierson and The Urban Scene for a year. Brooke was also featured in six cooking segments with SC celebrity Marcus Lattimore at First Choice Community Center. 

Nominating Chair   
Continuing Education Chair                             

Alexa Espinal is a member of the Catawba Pee Dee district dietetic association, and looks forward to serving as SCAND’s Nominating Chair and Continuing Education & Webinar Chair this year. Alexa is an adjunct professor at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, teaching undergraduate courses in nutrition assessment and orientation to the nutrition and dietetics profession, as well as a Diet Tech at Encompass Health Rehab Hospital of Rock Hill. She is an NDTR, holds a master’s in Clinical Nutrition from the University of Alabama, and will soon finish the ISPP dietetic internship through Meredith College. 

 

 

Nominating Chair Elect
Jennifer Hunt has been a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist for over a decade and works in private practice serving women, families and kids in the Greenville area and throughout South Carolina.  She helps women recover their energy, re-engage with hunger and satiety cues, and regain a sense of trust in her very good body.  Jennifer works with kids and families in establishing healthy family feeding practices, teaching positive food language and using creative strategies to help selective eaters expand their palate.  With this vision in mind, Jennifer created and runs Curious Kids Cooking & Food Science Camp every summer for elementary aged kids as a way to help them explore food and science through learning, engaging their senses, fun science experiments and tasty recipes.  She has gained further education in the area of PCOS and helps women who are looking to address the root causes of their symptoms, manage hormones and improve fertility.  She is a graduate of the Coordinated Program in Dietetics from Texas Christian University.  Becoming a mama to 2 little girls and being married to an amazing guy who also happens to be a reluctant veggie eater has helped Jennifer develop more empathy for the complexities of taking care of yourself and your family well.  She finds great joy in helping other moms nourish their body, feed their families well and love the woman in the mirror.  

Scholarship and Awards                            

Rachel Werkheiser, MS, RD, LD transitioned to the field of dietetics as a second career after working several years in the finance/accounting industry. She completed her undergraduate nutrition coursework at Tennessee Technological University, and then fulfilled her dietetic internship at East Tennessee State University, where she also earned a master’s in Clinical Nutrition. Rachel joined Sodexo in 2013, where her diverse roles have included work as a clinical dietitian in a community hospital setting, coverage of medical and surgical ICUs as well as a GI surgery floor at a regional health system hospital, and outpatient dietitian in an ambulatory oncology center. Rachel has served as Clinical Nutrition Manager in the community hospital setting and at a Level 1 trauma center and academic medical university. Her skills include project and program management with expertise in organization, communication, and change management. Rachel currently provides project support to the Sodexo Nutrition Leadership Team and is passionate about clinical nutrition and advancing the role of RDs to improve the quality of life of the populations they serve.

Public Policy Coordinator                               
Carmen Thompson graduated from Talladega College in Talladega, Alabama with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology. She also attended South Carolina State University and earned a Master of Science degree in Nutritional Sciences. Carmen has worked as a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) for over 20 years. Her experiences in nutrition include public health, long-term care, and clinical nutrition.

Currently she is an assistant professor at South Carolina State University (SCSU) where she is the Director of the Didactic Program in Dietetics. Carmen teaches courses in nutrition and dietetics and nutritional biochemistry, advises and mentors students. She also serves as the advisor to the SCSU Nutrition Association and Kappa Omicron Nu National Honor Society for the Human Sciences.

She is a proud mother of two adults and one teenager and enjoys reading, crocheting, swimming, photography, and exercising. Carmen is a member the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the South Carolina Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and the Midlands Dietetic Association. Her leadership opportunities include member of the Diversity in Dietetics Committee with the South Carolina Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and Public Policy Coordinator.

State Policy Representative                           

Melinda Boyd, DCN, MPH, MHR, RD, FAND, completed two undergraduate degrees: Muhlenberg College (BS in Biology) and Cedar Crest College (BS in Nutrition) before completing her dietetic internship with Sodexho (Mid-Atlantic). She is a registered dietitian in both the US and UK. She holds graduate degrees from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (MPH) and the University of Oklahoma (MHR). She has also completed a doctorate of clinical nutrition (DCN) from Rutgers University. She completed her advanced level training for the program in the areas of gastrointestinal disorders and women’s health, with an emphasis in PCOS. 

Melinda is part time faculty at Cedar Crest College, teaching MNT in the dietetic internship and other courses in the MHS degree program. Additionally, she serves as an adjunct professor at a variety of online schools, with courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels. She has recently started back teaching in person at Greenville Technical College. She is a nationally recognized speaker on the topic of culturally appropriate patient care. In addition to servings as the State Policy Representative for SCAND, she is also the Chair of the Cultures of Gender and Age Member Interest Group (COGA MIG). 

State Regulatory Specialist                             

Arianna Johnson

Consumer Protection Coordinator                 

Rowan Goodrich, MS, RD, LD has been a registered dietitian nutritionist for over 16 years. During this time, she has worked in a variety of settings.  She has worked in clinical nutrition and critical care and also served as the Executive Director for a large volume caterer for senior and child meal programs.  Currently she works as a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist for the South Carolina Department on Aging.  Her responsibilities include overseeing the Older Americans Act federally mandated senior nutrition programs and Evidenced-Based Health Promotion and Disease Prevention programs.  Her aim is to ensure older South Carolinians have access to nutrition and wellness services to promote healthy aging in place.  She earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.  She has served on the policy committee for the Columbia Midlands Dietetic Association for the past 3 years.   She is also a member of the City of Columbia Food Policy Committee, the SC Nutrition Action Coalition, and Healthy Palmetto. 

Public Policy Partners Coordinator               

Savannah Weeks serves as the Public Policy Partners Coordinator. She completed her dietetics coursework at the University of Houston and her dietetic internship at the Medical University of South Carolina. Currently, Savannah works for Clemson Extension as the 4-H Youth Development Agent in Charleston County. She is passionate about providing youth opportunities to engage in their communities, develop healthy habits, and experience the natural world. As the Public Policy Partners Coordinator, Savannah is excited to be a part of the Policy team and is looking forward to advocating for the dietetics profession and patients. 

 

Nutrition Services Payment Specialist           

Jeremy Ponds, MS, RD, LD is the owner of Path of Life Nutrition, a nutrition practice with locations in Lexington & Newberry that provides functional nutrition counseling, diabetes education and health coaching for individuals of all ages. Jeremy is a licensed dietitian nutritionist with extensive undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate training in clinical, integrative, and functional nutrition. He uses a holistic approach to coach clients and families towards better health through nutrition and lifestyle interventions. 

Jeremy brings his own experience of personal health struggles with chronic fatigue, “mystery illness” and digestive disorders to every client he serves, offering a unique perspective of savvy, compassion and empathy for clients struggling to find answers and recover good health. 

Marketing/Social Media Coordinator             

Tori Davey currently works as an Enteral Sales Rep and dietitian for Lincare in North Charleston, South Carolina where she  provides tube feeding regimens and education to patients in need of enteral feedings. She has always had a passion for social media and how it impacts the world of dietetics. Tori also serves the CTDA Board as the Nominating Chair. 

 

 

 

Newsletter Editor                                             

Olivia Trapp, MS, RDN, LD is serving her second year as the Newsletter Editor for SCAND. She completed her undergraduate degree at Furman University and went on to complete her M.S. in Food, Nutrition and Culinary Sciences at Clemson University. She spent 3 years as a clinical inpatient dietitian before moving to primary care where she now serves pediatric and adult populations. Currently, Olivia is working with the SCAND Licensure Task Force on changes to our SC Dietetics law.

 

 
IDEA Liaison
Trina J. Hill, MBA, RDN, CPT, FMS, is a multi-talented Licensed Registered Dietitian Nutritionist offering over 30 years of interdisciplinary experience in government, corporate and healthcare settings.  She is a retired U.S. Army Chief Warrant Officer-3 with an extensive background in master fitness training, program development, resource management, health and wellness counseling and nutrition education.  Her strengths in coaching, mentoring, and team development make Trina a results-focused proactive leader and community activist.  Trina worked as a Holistic Health and Fitness (H2F) Dietitian for the 165th Infantry Brigade at the US Army Training Center in Fort Jackson, SC before going full-time with her private practice—Tapestry Wellness Institute.  Her work is centered on community and performance nutrition which advocates for community programs and helps active adult patients and clients manage pain and chronic illnesses with medical nutrition therapy.  Her proficiency in designing individualized and group plans helps clients maintain health, nutrition, and weight management goals.  Trina’s expert skills in contracts, consulting, and continuous process improvement make her a trailblazer in community nutrition program management.  She holds a BS in Human Nutrition from Winthrop University and an MBA in Project Management from the University of Phoenix in addition to a depth of functional fitness and personal training certifications.  Trina lives in Blythewood, SC and is married to U.S. Army retired Sergeant Major Kelly Hill.  They have two children Blake (age 21) and Brianna (age 18).  Trina is personally involved with teaching group fitness, house plants and gardening as well as community events and integrated activities with non-profit organizations.

 

Annual Meeting Past Chair                                    

Sara Hendrix, MS, RDN, LD, CNSC is a registered dietitian with the Cystic Fibrosis Center at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston. She provides care for adults and pediatric patients in the inpatient and outpatient settings. Additionally, Sara is a commercial speaker for Alcresta, the makers of Relizorb, a newly approved enzyme cartridge, available to her patients to help them improve absorption of their tube feedings in an effort to optimize their nutrition status.

Sara graduated from the University of Arizona with her Bachelor’s in Dietetics and completed her Master’s in Nutrition and dietetic internship at the University of Georgia. She has worked in CF for 5 years and as a dietitian for over 12 years.

Sara finds great value as an active board member in her local dietetic association. She has served multiple positions at both the district and state level. She was recognized as Outstanding Dietitian of the Year by the SCAND in 2017.

Sara is also active with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (CFF). Previously, she was selected as one of Charleston’s Finest by the South Carolina CFF and raised over $8,000 for the organization. 

Annual Meeting Chair-Elect 
Ashley Mulkern
, MS, RD, LD completed her Bachelors in Dietetics, Masters in Nutrition Sciences and dietetic internship through the University of Cincinnati. During her time with the university, Ashley published research on the International Dysphagia Diet Standardization Initiative (IDDSI). Post graduation, she explored the nutrition focus areas of Sports Nutrition with company, Infinit Nutrition, Long Term Care with Claxton Dietetic Solutions, and Critical Acute Care with Dietitians on Demand. Upon moving to South Carolina, she took a role as the dietitian for the University of South Carolina Dining Services which led her to her current position as Regional Sales Manager for Medtrition in North and South Carolina. Ashley has a passion for many areas of dietetics and enjoys her current role that allows her to dive into those many different areas each day. She has helped numerous acute and long-term care facilities roll out IDDSI and adapt to new medical nutrition science in the industry. She has served as the Hunger Panel Chair for the Greater Cincinnati Dietetic Association and is currently serving at both the state and district level in SC.

Academy Foundation Liaison                       

Katherine Watts

Abstracts Chair                                               

Ellen Gallman is a dietitian and nurse practitioner. She is a graduate of the Medical University of South Carolina and Clemson University.  She has been a doctorate prepared nurse practitioner for a little over 7 years, a nurse for 10 years, and a registered dietitian for 20 years.  Ellen has a wide range of healthcare and teaching experience, and currently works as a nurse practitioner at OPTUM Health for the Clinical Documentation Review Team. She enjoys spending time with her husband who is a CRNA and new puppy, and has a son who is a Sophomore at Clemson. Ellen also enjoys cooking, playing golf, and all things Clemson

 

Sponsorship Chair                                         

Courtney Fuller is an accomplished clinical dietitian and clinical nutrition manager at Conway Medical Center, located in Conway, SC. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree from The University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, AL, where she also successfully completed the Coordinated Program in Dietetics. Courtney has a passion for diabetes management, she currently co-directs the Conway Medical Center Diabetes Support Group and is working towards obtaining her Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist (CDCES) certification. Outside of her hospital responsibilities, Courtney's impact extends to the local community by conducting nutrition workshops at Sea Haven for Youth, a local non-profit organization providing a safe space for youths in crisis. Courtney considers herself as a life-long learner and is currently in the Conway Medical Center & Costal Carolina University Healthcare Leadership Academy where she will obtain a professional certificate in healthcare leadership upon course completion. This is Courtney’s first year serving on SCAND and she is looking forward to her role as Sponsorship Chair.

 

Diet Manual Editor                                        
Emily Barrett, RD, LDN, has been working in the Charleston area for over the last 25 years focusing on home infusion and long term care.  As the clinical dietitian at Bishop Gadsden on James Island, her role as a RDN over the last 19 years has concentrated on rehab, long term care, assisted living, dementia, outpatient nutrition, nutrition special projects and  leader of the QAPI program.  She is  a graduate of the SC Leading Age Leadership Academy; Past President for MASPEN, Advisory Board member for the Trident Tech Culinary Program and the SCAND Diet Manual Editor.