Meet the 2021 HUM x Diversify Dietetics Grant Recipients

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Get to know the recipients of the 2021 HUM x Diversify Dietetics grant for BIPOC aspiring dietitians.

At HUM, we always strive to support initiatives that are true to our values.

Coming from and actively building a diverse team from the start, we know firsthand just how much a variety of voices brings to the table. After all, we wouldn’t be HUM without this richness of backgrounds and perspectives illuminating our path. It’s something that we’re proud to recognize, and also see that we can make a meaningful impact in other ways.

We wanted to pay it forward, guided by a goal to make similar strides in the larger field of nutrition. To do so, we collaborated with Diversify Dietetics to establish a grant for BIPOC dietetic interns.

With that said, we’re pleased to introduce you to the recipients of the 2021 HUM x Diversify Dietetics grant.

2021 HUM x Diversify Dietetics Grant Recipients

First, we were so impressed by everyone who applied. Their unique personal stories, points of view, and goals to make their mark in the field of nutrition were nothing short of inspiring.

Below, in their own words, the three HUM x Diversify Dietetics grant recipients share the inspirations behind their respective journeys to becoming registered dietitians.

Discover their views on the importance of diversity in the field of nutrition. Plus: what they hope to achieve with their hard-earned, long-coveted credentials.

Aspiring dietitian Jonathan Albert in nature

JONATHAN ALBERT, Community Nutrition program at SUNY Oneonta

As an Afro-Latino male, I represent several minority groups within the field of dietetics and realize the great importance of diversity within any field and pursuit. Diversity makes systems more inclusive, comprehensive, resilient, and better as a whole.

[When I become] a registered dietitian, I plan to work within underserved and vulnerable communities that face oppression in the forms of:

  • food insecurity
  • polluted ecosystems
  • limited access to health education and other resources

I desire to help people and communities cultivate healthier relationships with food systems and the land that supports them. Additionally, I hope to promote mindfulness of the cultural, environmental, and spiritual connections our food choices have, as doing so can directly increase the resilience and self-efficacy communities have.

In sum, I’ll use the HUM x Diversify Dietetics grant to work towards nurturing the communities that have nurtured me.

2021 HUM x Diversify Dietitians Grant Recipient Shanetta Edwards

SHANETTA EDWARDS, Meredith College in Raleigh, North Carolina

Firstly, my passion for cooking started with my dad, who was an avid gardener. He taught me
how to cook traditional Southern meals from our harvested crop.

Secondly, my dream of being a dietitian represents my ongoing passion for nutrition and food. As a single mother, my children (ages 15 and 10) see my determination to achieve my goals, which then drives my motivation.

As a future dietitian, my goals are to:

  • associate nutrition and culinary arts in the field of community nutrition
  • produce my own cooking shows

I’d be fulfilled in working in food desert communities by partnering with local farms and companies to provide affordable and accessible meals.

Finally, from an early age, I loved watching Julia Childs on her cooking shows. I want to share the same spirited personality to my versatile audience, expanding on international cuisine that heals and beautifies the body from within.

Manuel Miller, a HUM Diversify Dietetics Grant Recipient, outdoors smiling

MANUEL MILLER, Sustainable Food Systems program at Montana State University Bozeman

Born and raised in rural Los Angeles County, I saw firsthand the struggles that underserved communities face, from nutrition to healthcare. I also experienced these challenges throughout my life, as I was diagnosed as Type 1 Diabetic as a child.

These experiences contribute to my inspiration to pursue dietetics. In short, my ultimate goal is to build a more sustainable food system that includes everyone.

I believe that integrating culturally sensitive ideas and initiatives is important for our food systems. Doing so can ensure an equitable and sustainable future for all. For instance, Latinos and other underserved communities are over twice as likely to face food insecurity and access to food. During my studies, I learned the importance of community outreach to diverse populations and how effective diversity among the dietetics profession enhances outreach efforts.

In the near future, I look forward to:

  • gaining experience throughout dietetic rotations in Missoula, Montana
  • joining new leaders in bringing solutions to issues across all areas of dietetics, from local farms to community clinics

Then, my long-term goals as a dietitian are to:

  • become a CDCES (Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist)
  • work within communities of color to reduce the growth of diabetes and contribute to organizations and nonprofits to increase equitable access to nutritious food

We’re so inspired by the drive and passion of our three finalists, and very much look forward to watching their journeys as they strive to make a positive impact on their future clients and in their communities.

For the latest updates on the HUM x Diversify Dietetics grant recipients, follow us (and them!) on Instagram.


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