ABOUT

Sharing Excitement. Sharing Ideas. Sharing Community.

  • Network with fellow dietetic students & nutrition professionals and learn about the various opportunities in our field

  • Attend monthly meetings & hear from featured speakers from diverse subcategories of the field (sports nutrition, clinical, workplace wellness, & more)

  • Develop your leadership skills and get involved with your campus & community – we have several subcommittees in which you can explore your interests

  • Receive guidance & support for the DICAS process - SNDA members get free entry to our Dietetic Internship Application Workshop!

  • Access to our bimonthly newsletter - The Bite straight to your inbox

This is a safe place to hangout and meet new people. I really enjoy every meeting, and I'm looking forward to the fun activities. In addition, knowing that my participation will be helpful for the SNDA community is giving me a sense of pride. There is no better way to built your volunteer hours, have fun, make new friends, and learn from the most creative people!

Helene Saraway

Image by Brooke Lark

MEET THE TEAM

 

ADVISORS

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Jennifer Stimson, MS, RD

DPD Director

Jennifer graduated from the University of Georgia with a Masters degree in Foods and Nutrition where she also completed her internship. In addition to being a registered dietitian Jennifer is also an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant after having worked for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) for more than five years.  She has a wide range of experience in nutrition from public relations work for Ketchum’s Food and Beverage Practice to providing medical nutrition therapy to patients with HIV/AIDs at San Mateo County’s Edison Clinic to managing a meal program serving over 500 children in the Head Start program. When she is not teaching she enjoys cooking, eating, gardening, traveling and taking hikes.

 

Dr. Gretchen George, Ph.D, RD

Associate Professor

  I am passionate about prevention and empowerment. In the role of Associate Professor and Co-Program Lead of Nutrition and Dietetics at SF State, I facilitate learning in nutrition education, metabolism, community nutrition, and research design courses. In the classroom I share findings from food literacy research in food insecure students. Additionally, I include students in community-based research involving overweight youth experiencing stress (divorce, social, physical, psychological) and have begun exploring body stigma in health-related majors.

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LEADERS

PAIGE BARRETT

President

Hello, my name is Paige Barrett (she/her). I look forward to getting to know you all over the next year  

 

I am in the Nutrition and Dietetics program graduating Spring 2023. I would love to one day work with families and children. I’m particularly passionate about fostering body positivity and getting people of all ages excited about food. I would also like to learn more about how we can minimize the impact of food systems on the environment.  

 

When I’m not studying and drinking too much coffee, you can find me rock climbing or doing laps in the pool. At home I’m usually spending time with my dog, Fitz. He is a hilarious greyhound with two loves in life - naps and peanut butter.  

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KRISTEN ROSE

Vice President

Hello everyone, my name is Kristin Rose. After a very long academic career I am finally in my senior year of the Dietetics and Nutrition Program at SFSU, yay! Before falling in love with this field, I was training to become a Respiratory Therapist. However, I started taking Nutrition classes and decided to pivot. I personally have found solace in studying nutrition as I have had dietary restrictions with my own autoimmune disorder for years. Living with confusion and anxiety around food can be incredibly distressing. As I further my career in this field I hope to ease and ultimately alleviate that fear and confusion for others. My goal with this work is to help everyone foster better relationships with food and health overall.

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VICTORIA HAYNES

Secretary

I am currently a senior nutrition and dietetics students minoring in public health. I came to SFSU as a transfer student back in the Spring 2020 semester. After choosing whether to major in nutrition science or environmental science for a few years, I finally committed my education to studying the field of nutrition for a few reasons. It is not only where my passion lies, but I knew I could make true change within the profession. Growing up into an African American household, food was more than just food. I was culturally, emotionally, and physically connected to what I ate. Having many family members who battled with Hypertension, sleep apnea which is linked to obesity, Cancer, and Type II Diabetes, I began to realize the common health disparities within my community. When choosing this major, I wanted to give my family, friends, and community the best knowledge possible when it comes to food choices because most of my loved ones suffered from nutrition and lifestyle related diseases. In the future, I plan to eliminate health disparities and food apartheid within low-income communities and people of color. Becoming a culturally inclusive and competent Registered Dietitian is my main goal and then eventually starting my own private practice to connect people back with their cultural foods! If I’m not studying you can usually catch me sightseeing or exploring outdoors, attending a jazz show, or cooking/eating my favorite dishes from the Caribbean and India.

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TIFFANY LEI

Co-Treasurer

Hi there! As a senior Dietetics student at SFSU, I am excited to spend my last year expanding my knowledge and community alongside others with the same aspirations in nutrition. After a long-awaited journey, I am finally one step closer to pursuing my career goal as an RDN. Throughout my volunteering experiences at the hospital and Balance Beings, I learned to develop a passion for health and wellness through food more and more each time. 

All the amazing people and communities I was able to be a part of thus far have helped shape my values in life. I hope to become an influential figure for others and encourage them to make good eating choices. I want to be in a position where I can help educate them about maintaining a happier and healthier lifestyle. I believe everyone deserves to know how to ensure their well-being and live the best life possible. 
 
In my free time, I love to cook and experiment with different recipes. Whenever I'm not cooking, you can find me on YouTube watching others cook instead. During the pandemic, I've also developed a new hobby for sewing. I enjoy taking on mini-projects for myself and would spend hours working on them.

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EVELYN GODINEZ

Co-Treasurer & Newsletter Editor

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STEPHANIE AMIR

Activities Coordinator

Hi!! My name is Stephanie and I am a post- baccalaureate student in the Nutrition & Dietetics program. Nutrition has been a lifelong passion of mine, and after working for some years in the legal field, I decided to go back and pursue my dream.
I grew up in Israel, eating a typical Mediterranean diet, and would spend hours observing my mother cook dishes entirely from scratch, which is where my love of veggies and fresh cooking originated. I am always excited to share my recipes from home, but also love learning to cook new cuisines! I moved to the US almost five years ago and a favorite activity of mine has been going to local markets and discovering new produce. I have gained experience volunteering at a food bank and as a nutrition educator, which has opened my eyes to the different needs of the individuals in the community. I hope to utilize this knowledge as a future RDN and spread my passion for all things nutrition, while helping people learn personalized tools that will best fit their lifestyle. 
In my free time when I am not studying or cooking, I enjoy hiking, eating, lifting weights and reading in the sun.

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DANY GABIS

Website Coordinator

Hello, I’m Dany (they/them/theirs)! I’m a 5th year student here at SFSU, set to graduate this coming spring 2023 with a degree in Nutrition and Dietetics! I’m a first generation Filipino-American immigrant passionate in working with diverse and underserved communities.

Growing up in a Filipino household, food was a means of showing love and appreciation- it was a way that you could share your story and feel connected not only to yourself but the people around you. Food to me has always been so incredibly important, however as I grew up I became hyper aware of the idea that food was also a double edged sword that caused a multitude of different chronic health problems in my people as a whole. It was only really when my dad was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes where I realised that no one who could give us the proper nutritional education we needed could understand our deep connection to our food. This gave me the determination I needed to fully delve into the field of Dietetics and be the face of the person that I was so hopefully looking for when we received my dad’s diagnosis. 

I currently work for Health Promotion and Wellness at SFSU as a Nutrition Education Assistant. I also work at CPMC Mission Bernal as a Hospital and Elderly Life Volunteer.

When I’m not studying or working, I enjoy drawing, writing, and cuddling with my cat/dog.

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JENNIFER JUNG

CAND-BADA Representative

Hello everyone! My name is Jen Jung and I am honored to be serving as your CAND BADA Representative this year. I’m in my senior year as a post-baccalaureate student following my curiosity about the world through food. 
 
My first degree was in filmmaking, and it led into a 10-year career in print and digital production management. I enjoyed the fast pace of the work, but the better I got at optimizing processes, the less and less human interaction my work required. I started to miss meaningful connection with others and even began to feel disconnected from the work itself. To fill this void, I volunteered with CUESA’s farmers market at Ferry Plaza, held skill-sharing workshops in my tiny apartment, staged with a local fermented foods purveyor, and cooked breakfast at the Zen Hospice Guest House. Preparing meals for hospice residents--while pregnant—fanned the flame of purpose within me. In 2017, I left my career to commit to nourishing our elders as an RD. 
 
It’s rare nowadays, but when I have free time, I enjoy dancing, holing up at the library, or trying out an ambitious new recipe.  

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SHARLENE UMALI

CAND-DVD Representative

I am a post-baccalaureate Dietetics student. I received my bachelor’s degree from SFSU in Family and Consumer Sciences with an emphasis in Nutrition/Food Service Systems Management. I realized that I wanted to shift my focus to nutrition as part of prevention and management of chronic diseases leading to my aspirations of becoming an RDN. Through my experiences, I also noticed that there was a need for diverse representation and advocacy within the nutrition field and I wanted to be a part of the change. I currently work as a dietary clerk at a San Francisco hospital and have volunteered in various settings including local food pantries and the SF VA Medical Center. I have always had a passion for cooking and believe that balanced mindful eating is part of a healthy lifestyle. I hope to educate people within my community and promote wellness through food. Outside of school and work, I enjoy cycling, hiking, trying new recipes, and spending time with my family.

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YSABEL NICOLE IMPERIO

Balanced Beings & EDucate Subcommittee Leader

Hey y’all!! My name is Ysabel. I’m a transfer student from College of San Mateo. This is my third year of school and I’m now studying Nutrition and Dietetics (Dietetics and Nutritional Sciences) at SF State for my bachelors degree. After switching around from major to major such as Business Administration and Film, Television & Digital Media, I soon realized that Nutrition is my passion. I truly believe in eating a balanced diet and that all foods fit for a truly happy and healthy lifestyle. I’m also interested in learning more about the mind, behavior and personality as I try to empathize with people. I also truly believe in taking care of your mental health along with your physical health. And lastly, I truly believe in an active lifestyle for everyone. At the end of the day, I hope to become a Registered Dietician in the future so I can help others.

I joined Balance Beings & EDucate since I thought it would be a great idea to meet new people that share the same interest as me and for me to do something I’m passionate about. Another reason I joined Balanced Beings is because I love working with children as I would volunteer

in elementary schools during high school. I also think that it is important for children to learn the importance of nutrition when they are young as it helps stem their relationship with food when they are older. And lastly, the reason I joined EDucate is that I think it’s important to bring awareness to eating disorders.

Besides my academics, some fun facts about me are that I love to travel, hang out with friends, spend time with my family and play with my dog, guinea pigs & hamster. My hobbies include video editing and doing yoga and pilates for fun. I also love to listen to different types of

music and I am obsessed with Harry Potter, Marvel & Disney.

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CARMEN CASTRO

EDucate Subcommittee Leader

Hola everyone! I am a first-generation college student pursuing a B.S. in Nutrition and Dietetics (N & D) with a minor in Holistic Health. My journey within N & D began during my time in eating disorder treatment. As a queer, fat, WOC, my treatment experience was mixed. Unfortunately, I did not receive the same level of care as my peers and can validate the inequity of care within the ED community for those historically marginalized. On the other hand, I did experience quality nutrition care from one of the RDNs on my treatment team during that time. She went above and beyond and was supportive, creative, and very inspiring.  
 
These experiences and my education drive my motivation and passion to be a part of the necessary changes in eating disorder support services. I'm on my way to becoming an RDN and hope to gain a Masters in Public Health (MPH); as well as a certification as an Eating Disorder Specialist and Intuitive Eating Counselor. I'm also very passionate about promoting diversity and inclusion within our profession, addressing the social determinants of health that disproportionately impact underprivileged groups, and shifting N & D away from toxic diet culture and weight-centric models. I truly believe health and well-being can be found at every size. Every person is deserving of quality care and has the right to attain optimal physical and emotional well-being. So, let's all take a compassionate and holistic approach to N & D and positively impact our communities! 

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SUMMER WILLIAMS

Sports Nutrition Subcommittee Leader

I am going into my final year at SFSU as a dietetics student. I am a post-bach student and also hold a BA degree from Pepperdine in Advertising. Currently, I am a personal trainer and health coach in the Bay Area and have worked in Corporate Fitness & Wellness, managing group fitness for the United States for LinkedIn as well as various other fitness locations. In addition, I was an acrobat in Cirque du Soleil for 5 1/2 years in two different shows in Las Vegas. Following my time at Cirque, I moved to Australia to be with my boyfriend (now husband), Adam, and begin my new adventure. I lived there for 2 years, and have since moved back and now live on the coast near Half Moon Bay.

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JAYNÉ MERKERSON

Sports Nutrition Subcommittee Leader

Hello everyone! My name is Jayné Merkerson and I’m a fifth year dietetics student. I came to SFSU as a transfer student back in fall 2020. I’m so excited to be a leader for the sports nutrition subcommittee.

 

When I was younger I used to play basketball all the way up until middle school. Although I didn’t continue on playing I never lost love for the sport. Since I wasn’t playing basketball any more I decided that I still wanted to help out my fellow athletes. What great way to help them by educating them on how important fueling your body is for games and training. I don’t want to stop at just athletes but anybody who interested in fitness and health. My goal is to broaden my knowledge on nutrition so that I can be able to help inspire and educate anybody who wants to see and feel results within there performance while engaging in physical activity. 

 

On my free time I like to workout, cook or bake, go sight seeing and spend time with family and friends!

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JULIA NERCESSIAN

Farmer's Market Committee Leader

My name is Julia Nercessian and I am a transfer student here at SFSU from Oceanside, CA. As a Nutrition and Dietetics major, it's only natural that I have a love for the culinary arts and food culture. Cooking is what relaxes me, and it is also my love language. On my spare time, I will most likely be shopping for my next meal, going to a museum, or going one a nice walk. This year I am so excited to help provide the resources and education on farmer's markets, general grocery stores, and local food banks in addition to meeting everyone through the fun events we have planned! See you soon! 

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SAMANTHA CHIU

Food Justice Subcommittee Leader

Heyyy guys!!! My name is Samantha Chiu and I am a junior at San Francisco State University majoring in Nutrition and Dietetics. My passion for Nutrition started when I first saw all the interesting foods my cousin ate as a vegan. Usually when people think about a vegan diet, they think about how bland the food is. I learned that a vegan diet does not have to be bland by finding different vegan alternatives that have a meaty flavor or creamier texture to create tastier meals, which can satisfy meat or dairy cravings. During my free time, I like to cook healthy, nutritious, and delicious meals. My goal is to become a RDN in the future to educate my community about nutrition and finding ways to incorporate healthier alternatives in different recipes. 

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NICOLE CARAGAN

Mentorship Subcommittee Leader

Hello everyone!

 

My name is Nicole Caragan and I’m currently a senior at San Francisco State University majoring in Nutrition and Dietetics. My interest and passion for nutrition started from growing up with parents that didn’t have much of a nutrition background and struggled with health-related diseases, such as diabetes and high blood pressure. I also grew a passion for nutrition from my love of food and cooking! I learned how to cook when I was about 9 years old (all thanks to my mom that let me bother her in the kitchen). It was a great experience since I had the chance to learn about my culture’s food while bonding with my mom. Food and nutrition have always been important to me, especially since I have a family history of diabetes, high blood pressure, and thyroid issues. I learned that food and nutrition play a huge role in your health and the prevention of nutrition and health-related diseases. My goal is to become an RDN to promote healthy eating and educate others on their nutrient needs and how they can incorporate healthy food into their diets. In my free time, I like to travel to new places, try new recipes, work out, and listen to audiobooks or podcasts.

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KRISTI STOECKEL

Public Policy Subcommittee Leader

Hi all, my name is Kristi Stoeckel. I’m a senior at SF State majoring in Dietetics & Nutrition, with a minor in Health Education, and I’m excited to serve as a leader on the Public Policy subcommittee! Food policies, health equity, and community nutrition are issues close to my heart and the ultimate inspiration for my decision to become an RDN. Several social determinants prevent people from accessing or choosing healthy foods, and I believe more equitable nutrition policies and legislation will positively impact our communities. As an SNDA Public Policy subcommittee leader, my goal is to raise awareness and highlight some of the critical issues stemming from these policies and celebrate progressive change. 
 
I’ve enjoyed working in the food-service industry for more than 15 years as a restaurant manager, server, and bartender. I love traveling, hiking, camping, reading, and sharing delicious food with my partner and friends in my free time. I’m thrilled for the opportunity to work closely with the SNDA and our SFSU community! 

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