Diversity and Inclusion

Clinical Nutrition Management DPG - Spring 2021 Special Edition: Diversity, Equity, Inclusion

The Spring newsletter for the Clinical Nutrition Management DPG of the Academy is hot off the press with a special edition on diversity, equity and inclusion.  It includes several articles, two of which have authors from SCAND, Dr. Suzi Baxter and Dr. Nina M Crowley!  The Executive Board of this DPG has voted to make this special edition open access so do not miss your chance to read it now. 

Read it here

In recognition and appreciation of dietetics professionals, students, and interns of color in South Carolina -- and in honor of Black History Month (February 2021) -- the South Carolina Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (SCAND) has released 8 videos.  The 8 videos feature 7 Registered Dietitians and 1 Dietetic Technician, Registered, sharing their stories of becoming a dietetics professional of color.  SCAND sincerely thanks the 8 individuals who shared their stories to create these videos.  SCAND is committed to diversity, equity and inclusion.  These videos are part of the SCAND Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan 2020-2021. Plan 2020-2021 summarized on this webpage.

Phyllis Allen, MS, RD, LD

Juanita Bowens-Seabrook, PhD, RD, LD, SNS

La'Keisha Coker, MS, RD, LD

Raven Greene, MS, RD, LD

Irene M Lubker, MLS, MPH, RD

Joycelyn Price, DTR

Carolyn Robinson, MS, RD

Andrye'l L Walker, MBA, RD, LD

Webinar Title: Tips to Enhance the Success of Your Academy Foundation Scholarship Application

The Academy Foundation invests in the current and future generation of food and nutrition practitioners as the world's largest provider of dietetic scholarships at all levels of study.  For the 2019-2020 academic year, our Foundation awarded $511,750 in scholarships to 239 deserving students at all levels of study!  During this webinar, Dr. Baxter will share eligibility criteria and guidelines for submitting a Foundation scholarship application.  She will share 3 common attributes of strong applicants --  academic achievement, professionalism, and financial need -- and specific tips for how to best demonstrate these attributes in your Foundation scholarship application.  

Moderator: Sharon Sweat, Dietetic Intern

Speaker: Suzanne ("Suzi") Domel Baxter, PhD, RD, LD, FADA, FAND, South Carolina Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (SCAND) Diversity and Inclusion Liaison. Dr. Baxter is a recent 6-year Member (including 1 year as Chair) of the Academy Foundation Scholarship Committee.  She has reviewed 400 to 500 scholarship applications for the Foundation. 

Please click the links below for the presentation, script and recording.
PowerPoint Presentation


Recorded Webinar 

Webinar title:  Come on Baby Light My Fire: Tips for Matching a Dietetic Internship  

The competition to match for a dietetic internship (DI) program is fierce. Currently, there are more dietetic students than internships available.  What can students do to help improve their chances of getting matched to a dietetic internship, beyond the guidelines provided on the Academy's website?  This webinar will provide practical, yet often unspoken, tips to polish and fine-tune DI applications to help move an applicant up the ranks and land an internship.  This webinar is provided as part of SCAND's first-ever Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan.
This webinar was presented live on January 28, 2021.

Moderator: Suzanne ("Suzi") Domel Baxter, PhD, RD, LD, FADA, FAND, SCAND Diversity Liaison
Speaker: Sharon Sweat, Dietetic Intern

Please click the links below for the presentation, script and recording.

PowerPoint Presentation


Recorded Webinar

SCAND Diversity Mini-Grant Awards

SCAND is excited to announce 11 award winners of the Diversity Mini-Grant funded by the Academy.  Each winner has their Academy membership paid for the current 2020-2021 year and registration paid for the SCAND 2021 Virtual Annual Meeting!  Each award winner is from an underrepresented group.  The 11 winners consist of 7 students, 1 intern, 2 RD/RDNs, and 1 DTR/NDTR.  Of the 11 award winners, 7 were not Academy members. Please congratulate the following 11 award winners and help them become active in their local district, SCAND, and the Academy:


Sarah Albandar
My name is Sarah Albandar and I’m currently a graduate student at Winthrop and will be graduating this semester. I’m looking forward to pursuing a dietetic internship in the coming year and hope to pursue a career in education and/or sports nutrition. I’m grateful to have been chosen for this mini-grant and am looking forward to fostering diversity in the nutrition & dietetics community. 

Brayan Elias
I am a senior nutrition major at South Carolina State University, from Charleston South Carolina. As I have grown, I learned that there are a lot more minorities in my community lack education on nutritional wellness. As a young black man, I made it my goal to make sure they are well educated, and help them live a healthier lifestyle.


James K. Green. Jr.
I am from Orangeburg, SC. I am a junior Nutrition and Food Management major. I aspire to be a traveling Community Dietitian and an entrepreneur. I am going to open my own Nutrition and Fitness center. I aspire to help heal the world one body at a time. 


Maya Kennedy
I am from Columbia, South Carolina. I am currently pursuing my Masters degree in Nutrition where my topic of interests are integrative and functional medicine. I look forward to traveling and helping individuals transform their relationship with food to improve their holistic health and wellbeing.


Irene Machowa Lubker
Irene Machowa Lubker is a registered dietitian who was born and raised in Malawi, Southern Africa and became a registered dietitian in the USA in early 2000’s.  In the past, she worked as a WIC nutritionist before becoming an Education and Research Informationist with the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) Libraries where she works with dietetic interns, dietitians and other medical professionals and students. Additionally, she teaches for credit courses in Public Health and a Nutrition and Oral Health course to first year dental students at MUSC. Irene lives in Charleston, South Carolina.

Joy Price

Joy Price, a Winthrop University Dietetic program alumna, is serving the public as a Nutrition Education Specialist at DHEC in the SNAP-Education Program. Joy has a love for serving her community and sharing new recipes with her partner and rambunctious toddler, Gus. She will continue to share her recipes and knowledge with the public in hopes to empower them to love food and share food with those they love. 

Carolyn M. Robinson
Carolyn M. Robinson, M.S., R.D., L.D. Renal Dietitian with 22 years work experience in renal dietetics. . I currently work for Fresenius Medical Care, Freedom Dialysis, Florence, S.C. Affiliations include SC Renal Nutrition Group and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority-Hartsville Alumnae Chapter. 


Shaquala Rice

I am a Greenville native, but Columbia has been my home for the last 7 years. Currently I am a student at Winthrop University earning my master’s degree in human nutrition with hopes to become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. My free time consists of baking and experimenting with international cuisine; I would like to combine this with my interest in community health and nutrition counseling to educate and help improve nutrition-related health in low socioeconomic populations.

Alisha Smith

I am from West Columbia, SC. I am currently a Junior Nutrition and Food Management Major at SC State University. I am proud to be part of field of study that will never lose its relevance and importance.

Sharon Sweat

I am an online/distance dietetics graduate student and intern with the University of Northern Colorado. My hope is to help improve the health and nutrition status within my community and surrounding areas for better and happier lives, now and in the future.

Ariell Whitehead

I am from Columbia SC. I currently attend South Carolina State University and I am a graduating senior. I am 24 years old and my goal is to become a registered dietitian. I enjoy trying new meals and working out. I try to apply everything I learn in the nutrition/dietitian field to my everyday life! 


SCAND Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan 2020-2021   

Five (5) Key Points with Objectives & Brief Details

1)    Accountability:  Accomplish activities of Diversity Mini-Grant
     a)   Students, interns, and professionals from underrepresented groups in nutrition & dietetics profession are eligible for awards
     b)   An award consists of payment of Academy membership dues for 2020-2021 fiscal year & registration for SCAND 2021 Annual Meeting
     c)   Diversity Mini-Grant will also conduct anonymous Diversity Survey of SCAND members & non-members by email, or obtain information from Academy/CDR if possible

2)    Marketing:  Conduct career fairs & presentations on becoming RD/RDN at high schools (especially minority) & HBCUs in SC
     a)    Appoint Diversity Ambassador(s) in each district to conduct events
     b)    Personalize & use Academy's pdf presentation
     c)    SCAND will purchase give-away items with SCAND logo & website imprinted

3)    Visibility:  Create & conduct social media campaign
     a)    Create 10-15 minute videos for each of several diverse RD/RDNs in SC
     b)    Each RD/RDN tells own story by responding in any order to a set of questions
     c)    Post videos on Diversity page of SCAND website, etc

4)    Relationships:   Build networks with dietetics programs & internships in SC
     a)    Create mentoring program for diverse dietetics students/interns in SC
               Diversity Ambassadors recruit mentors from districts 
     b)    Update "How to become an RD" under "RD Info" on SCAND website
               Add new section about SCAND network & mentoring program
     c)    Devote one (1) SCAND EC meeting at end of each fiscal year to discuss diversity efforts for year & plan for next year
               Invite Directors of dietetics programs & internships in SC to attend
     d)    Diversity Liaison gives annual webinar to SC diverse dietetic students/interns with tips on applying for Foundation scholarships
     e)    Offer annual webinar to SC diverse dietetic students on tips to increase chances of matching for internship
     f)     Provide information to students to identify RD/RDNs on how to shadow to obtain volunteer hours (request from SCSU faculty)

5)    Leadership:  Enhance diversity in district & state elected & appointed positions
     a)    Have District & state nominating chairs & chair-elects & Presidents commit to actively invite/recruit minority RD/RDNs to run for elected office or serve in appointed position
     b)    Service at district level is needed prior to elected office/service at state level


10/01/2020 - Academy Diversity and Inclusion Committee Update:  Listening Sessions Completed
Ten diversity and inclusion-focused listening sessions were completed on September 30, 2020, which included up to 25 participants per session.

08/26/2020 - Academy Diversity and Inclusion Committee Update:  Listening Sessions to Share Your Perspectives
The committee wants to continue the conversation via a series of listening sessions scheduled for the weeks of September 21 and 28.

07/23/2020 - Academy Member Update: Diversity, Equity, Inclusion
The Academy continues to advance efforts organization-wide to address diversity, equity and inclusion.  The Board of Directors empowered the Diversity and Inclusion Committee to make recommendations to support this important work. 

07/22/2020 - From the Academy Diversity & Inclusion Committee: An Update
The Diversity and Inclusion Committee has been working intensively to listen to members and has adjusted its plan of work accordingly.

06/29/2020 - Academy Diversity and Inclusion Update
In the past weeks, the Academy has heard from and reached out to individuals and groups who have expressed concerns, made recommendations and offered potential solutions regarding systemic racism.

06/05/2020 - Improving Diversity, Equity, Inclusion: A Message from the Academy's President and CEO
Systemic racism is not acceptable. Our commitment to diversity, inclusion and equity has never been more important and urgent.

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Diversity and Inclusion Statement

The Academy encourages diversity and inclusion by striving to recognize, respect and include differences in ability, age, creed, culture, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, size, and socioeconomic characteristics in the nutrition and dietetics profession.” *

* Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Diversity Awards and Grants.  https://www.eatrightpro.org/leadership/honors-and-awards/diversity-awards-and-grants.

 SCAND's Statement on Diversity, June 4, 2020

Three Free Captioned Webinars for Academy Members and Non-members

A series of three webinars was conducted in April, 2020 for a Diversity Mini-Grant awarded by the Academy to the Research DPG.  Each webinar was conducted live to highlight the unique and important role of dietitians with disabilities to the dietetics profession.  Webinars 1 and 2 each featured three different Academy RD/RDNs with disabilities in various work settings – clinical, research, private practice – sharing their stories.  Webinar 3 included two speakers from the Job Accommodation Network.  Webinars were live captioned, moderated by Neva Cochran, MS, RDN, LD, FAND, and directed by Suzi Baxter, PhD, RD, LD, FADA, FAND (SCAND Diversity Liaison).  Each webinar provided one CPEU and also qualified for the ethics CPE required for each 5-year registration period.  Each webinar is free to Academy members and non-members. 

If you missed the live webinars, you can watch the recordings!  The audio recording, slides, transcript, and CPE certificates for each webinar are posted on the main page of the Research DPG website (https://www.researchdpg.org/) and the Academy's Webinar Series in the Webinar Archives section (https://www.eatrightpro.org/practice/professional-development/distance-learning/webinar-series).  The title, day, date, time, number of attendees, and a few comments from attendees are provided below for each webinar:

Webinar 1 — Enhancing Diversity in the Dietetics Profession:  Stories from RD/RDNs with Disabilities (Part 1)
Thursday, April 9, 2020 at 1:00 PM EST

Number of attendees = 195

CommentsInspiring!  Great job...excellent perspective and information.  Broadening all our horizons, thanks!  Fabulous webinar.  Many thanks to our speakers today...excellent information and most inspiring.  Great job!  Incredible webinar...thanks to everyone who spoke so eloquently.  Excellent speakers!  Thank you for this great webinar!  Wonderful presentation.  Loved this presentation.  Thank you very much...I am now confident to go back to go PT job with all the inspiring stories...disabled due to stroke.  Incredible stories...very motivating!

(Click the image to download a flyer for this webinar)

Webinar 2 — Enhancing Diversity in the Dietetics Profession:  Stories from RD/RDNs with Disabilities (Part 2)
Friday, April 17, 2020 at 12:00 PM EST

Number of attendees = 227

CommentsSo inspiring!  Thank you to all speakers for sharing your stories!  All speakers - thanks so much!  Excellent speakers.  Such enlightening information and stories from the speakers!  Thank you to all the speakers for sharing their experiences and to the hosts for organizing this.  Thank you for an informative event.  Thank you everyone!  Thank you so much...as a student I really appreciated hearing everyone's perspective.

(Click the image to download a flyer for this webinar)

Webinar 3 — Tips from the Job Accommodation Network (JAN) for Hiring RD/RDNs with Disabilities
Thursday, April 23, 2020 at 2:00 pm EST

Number of attendees = 205

CommentsI want to thank you for all 3 parts...I really enjoyed each one.  I appreciate this information shared today.  Thank you to the Academy for helping make this information as a resource...I am glad to see this being addressed.  Thank you.  Thank You for all this wonderful work!  Thanks so much!  Please do more Webinars in the future.

(Click the image to download a flyer for this webinar)

“Enhancing Diversity and the Role of Individuals with Disabilities in the Dietetics Profession”

This article with a SCAND member as a first author was published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics in May (issue 5), 2020 (volume 120) on pages 749–757.  The authors are Suzanne Domel Baxter, PhD, RD, LD, FADA, FAND; Barbara Gordon, MBA, RDN, LD, FAND; and Neva Cochran, MS, RDN, LD, FAND.  This article was a component of Dr. Baxter’s Capstone Project as a member of the Academy's 2017‒2019 Diversity Leaders Program.  The article includes information on the prevalence of people with disabilities, disability rights laws, accommodation recommendations for people with disabilities, etiquette strategies for interacting with people with disabilities, and professional health science associations for people with disabilities.  Read this article for basic knowledge about how to enhance diversity in the dietetics profession via people with disabilities, and for research ideas about disabilities among dietetics students and practitioners.

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics 

The Academy values and respects the diverse viewpoints and individual differences of all people. The Academy's mission and vision are most effectively realized through the promotion of a diverse membership that reflects cultural, ethnic, gender, racial, religious, sexual orientation, socioeconomic, geographical, political, educational, experiential and philosophical characteristics of the public it services. The Academy actively identifies and offers opportunities to individuals with varied skills, talents, abilities, ideas, disabilities, backgrounds and practice expertise. Through the Academy’s commitment to diversity, several awards and leadership opportunities are offered, http://www.eatrightPRO.org/diversity

Academy Diversity Awards

Diversity Action Award:  A $1,000 award to a dietetics educational program accredited/approved by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND), Academy Affiliate, dietetic practice group or member interest group in recognition of past accomplishments to successfully recruit and retain diverse individuals. Available annually.

Diversity Mini-Grants:  Diversity Mini-Grants provide $100 - $1,000 grants to support outreach by Diversity Liaisons to students and professionals from underrepresented groups within the dietetics profession. Outreach could include cultural competency educational session as well as membership recruitment. Only recognized Diversity Liaisons may apply.

Diversity Promotion Grant:  The Promotion Grant provides a $10,000 grant to support minority recruitment and retention projects by dietetic education programs accredited/approved by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND), dietetic practice groups, Academy Affiliates and member interest groups. This award is provided every other year on even years.

Academy Leadership Opportunities

Diversity Leaders Program:  The Diversity Leaders Program supports Active members from underrepresented groups within the dietetics profession. In accordance with the Academy’s strategic vision and mission, the Diversity Leaders Program is a two-year program that supports Active members from underrepresented groups within the dietetics profession as defined by the Academy. Four Leaders are selected every two years on odd years.  Goals of the Diversity Leaders Program are to:

  • Provide education, access and service opportunities to individuals from underrepresented groups in the dietetics community as defined by the Academy.
  • Encourage more diverse dietetics professionals to assume leadership roles.
  • Provide leaders with a mentor and group coaching to enhance their career development, expand their professional network and to provide support in their work and community.
  • Develop a more diverse leadership pool.
  • Contribute to programs and resources in support of the Diversity Strategic Plan during and beyond the program.

Diversity Liaison:  Diversity Liaisons serve at the grassroots level and are charged with conducting diversity outreach events. Diversity Liaisons must be current Academy members in good standing from any membership category except for Student or International Student. Diversity Liaisons can apply for mini-grants in support of their diversity outreach efforts. In addition, Diversity Liaison serve as a leadership ladder to the Diversity Leaders Program. Affiliates, dietetics practice groups (DPGs) and member interest groups (MIGs) are encouraged to select a Diversity Liaison.

eMentoring:  Those interested in serving as a mentor, or being mentored in the area of diversity, may select Diversity Initiatives or Cultural Competence as areas of interest in the Academy’s eMentoring program.  

October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month!

October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month planned by the US Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy which is abbreviated ODEP.  This office creates an annual theme, with "Increasing Access and Opportunity" the theme for 2020  The ODEP website https://www.dol.gov/agencies/odep/initiatives/ndeam offers free resources including posters in English and Spanish, sample articles, a press release, and social media content.  The photo shows the 2020 poster in English.