Clinical Nutrition Preceptors
We have tried to anticipate information that would be helpful to you as a preceptor. We hope you will feel free to contact us, Ruth Williams-Hooker or Sara Foley, if you can think of other items we might make available on this website.
The coordinator will contact you regarding orientation to become a preceptor and additional inservices each year.
We have information about our interns on this site. First, you will find biosketches below for all of the interns currently doing rotations. Thus, before an intern arrives at your facility, you can look at the information below and learn a little about them. We have also added information about the coursework the interns have completed before rotations. If you go to the bottom of this page, there is a link for CPE training for preceptors.
2017 Intern Bios
Rasha Abounassif- Rasha is originally from Lebanon and was born and raised in Saudi Arabia. In 2011, she transferred to Tennessee Tech University in Cookeville, TN where she studied Food, Nutrition and Dietetics. She always had the passion of studying and learning about health and nutrition. During the course of three years at TTU, she was very active and participated in many activities associated with the FND club. In 2014, Rasha graduated from Tennessee Tech University with a B.S in Human Ecology with a major concentration of Food, Nutrition and Dietetics. Currently, she is an employee at NHC Cookeville as a Dietary Aide, as well as, taking online graduate courses with the University of Tennessee at Martin. Rasha is very excited to start her journey as a dietetic intern and a graduate student at University of Memphis and become a Registered Dietitian in the future to help people live a healthier lifestyle. In her free time she loves to spend time with family, her two cats, exercise, watch movies, read and travel a lot!
Nadine Assaf- Born and raised in Memphis, TN, Nadine graduated in August 2015 from the University of Memphis with a BSEd in Health and Human Performance with a concentration in Dietetics. Nadine became interested in nutrition after taking a metabolism course. This inspired her to do nutrition-related volunteering and work at several clinics and hospitals in Memphis. For two years, she was an undergraduate assistant for the Clinical Nutrition department at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. As an undergraduate assistant, she led a nutrition education event called 'Taking It to The Streets" every month, helped planned various events, and analyzed dietary intakes of children in Guatemala, Pakistan, and Brazil for research. She was also an active member in several organizations on campus, including being the treasurer of the Student Dietetic Association her senior year. Nadine aspires to be a pediatric clinical dietitian. Originally Palestinian, she is bilingual in English and Arabic. She loves to travel, create art, bake, be with her friends and family, and meet new people.
Kristen has called Memphis her home for five years but has also lived in Atlanta, Philadelphia, and Texas. She is a food, nutrition, and health enthusiast with experience in hospitality and cancer research working as an undergraduate assistant at the University of Memphis. In her free time she enjoys outdoor activities, sports, music, traveling and learning about different cultures. In June 2015, Kristen participated in the study abroad program Nutrition in South Africa with the University of Memphis Dietetics Department. Kristen's ultimate career goal is to become a registered dietitian and obtain a certification in a specialized area of dietetics.
Katie Cook graduated from Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota in May of 2016. She is interested in clinical dietetics with a special focus on gastrointestinal diseases and the immune system. Her goal is to help people live life to its' potential with wise food choices and to be an advocate for proper food choices in all health conditions.
Ashley graduated in May 2016 from Pennsylvania State University, where she majored in Nutritional Sciences-Dietetics and minored in Kinesiology. Originally from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Ashley learned the importance of fueling one's body for optimal health and performance while on her high school's cross country and track teams. This interest in health inspired Ashley to pursue a degree in nutrition. Throughout her undergraduate career, Ashley was very involved in the field of dietetics. For two years, she volunteered as a Peer Health Educator for Penn State's University Health Service, in which she provided educational workshops and activities for clubs and organizations on a variety of health related topics. Additionally, Ashley worked as a field experience student at an assisted living facility, where she assisted the dietitian with nutrition risk assessments, nutrition education programs and cooking demonstrations. She also served on the community service board for Penn State's Student Nutrition Association, and was an active member of the Club Cross Country Team. In her spare time, Ashley loves to run, try new outdoor activities, bake, and spend time with family and friends.
Lindsey graduated from Harding University in May 2016 with a Bachelor's of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics. Although born in Memphis, she spent the majority of her life in St. Louis. From a young age, she recognized the importance of a healthy body and mind and has since cultivated a deep love and appreciation for nutrition. Throughout college, Lindsey was an active member in her social club and held offices in SAND and HUFCS- Dietetics and Family Consumer Science clubs. In addition, Lindsey also was an employee at Classic Fare Catering wherein she helped serve meals at events, banquets, and weddings. She is most enthusiastic about nutrition education and clinical nutrition. In her spare time, Lindsey loves to hike, cook/bake, read Dan Brown novels, and travel. Lindsey is very excited about continuing her education at the University of Memphis and is looking forward to the opportunities that lay ahead in the field of Nutrition and Dietetics.
Jenna is originally from Knoxville, Tennessee. She graduated from the University of Tennessee – Knoxville in 2016 with a bachelor's degree in nutrition and a minor in business. Her plan after completing graduate school at the University of Memphis is to become a pediatric oncology dietitian. She developed a passion for pediatric oncology after her brother was diagnosed with retinoblastoma and was treated at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. University in Memphis. UM was her primary choice for graduate school because she felt like she would receive excellent training due to the university's affiliation with St. Jude. Jenna enjoys being outside, running, baking, and playing the piano. She is excited to see what adventures await at the University of Memphis!
Michael Muchmore. Michael completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Memphis in 2014. He has attended graduate courses at both the University of Tennessee, Martin and The University of Memphis as well as a graduate-level culinary focused study abroad to South Africa. He currently works at Darsalud diabetes clinic, and a part time job developing meal plans for mentally-handicap adults for over 6 years. He is interested in all aspects of nutrition, and especially wants to learn more about the effects of nutrition on sports performance athletes.
Julia is a native Memphian who loves her diverse hometown. She has always had an interest in food and nutrition since she was a young child, particularly after her father suffered his first stroke in 2000. As she grew up, Julia earned the title of being the "family nutritionist" after years of learning and sharing her knowledge of healthy eating to take care of her loved ones. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Memphis in 2013 with a BSEd. for studying Health and Human Performance with a concentration in Dietetics. She served as Vice President of the Student Dietetic Association during the 2012-2013 academic year and was awarded the title "Dietetic Student of the Year." After graduating, Julia went to the University of Tennessee in Knoxville to pursue her M.S. in Public Health Nutrition and complete her dietetic internship, yet withdrew in May 2014 due to her father's health. Now, she feels very blessed to continue her journey toward becoming an RD and hopes to grow a successful health and fitness coaching business to help combat and prevent obesity and chronic illness in the United States.
Vidisha grew up in Rochester Hills, Michigan. When she was 14 her family moved abroad for two years due to her father's work assignment. There, her mother went to see a dietitian, and it was only then that Vidisha became interested in the practice of dietetics. Accordingly, she studied dietetics as an undergraduate at Michigan State University. During her undergraduate years she worked as a research assistant in the Food Science and Human Nutrition department and received a grant that allowed her to conduct her own research study on factors influencing dietary acculturation among second generation Asian-Indians. To gain more real world experience, Vidisha took a year off before applying to dietetic internships, working at a holistic health center in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Through this position, she learned the importance of spreading evidenced-based nutritional information rather than recommending fad-based diets. Going forward, Vidisha is excited to learn and work at the University of Memphis, and further her career as a dietician. She ultimately hopes to operate her own clinic that focuses on weight-loss. In addition, her clinic would specialize in working with ethnic minorities, especially Asian-Indians, as her research indicated that Asian-Indians have unique dietary patterns and preferences, are often underserved, and yet are at a high risk for chronic diet-related diseases. By operating this clinic she also hopes to address the issue of insufficient cultural awareness and sensitivity in the dietetics field. Lastly, she is looking forward to the warmer weather and southern charm Memphis has to offer.
Kanwal Qureshi is a 2015 graduate of MTSU. She started her educational journey in Pakistan with the hopes of becoming a Physician one day, but while researching one day she stumbled upon Nutrition and the more she read the more it sounded like a perfect fit. Therefore she decided to change career paths and reached Murfreesboro, Tennessee in hopes of pursuing the greatest educational opportunities in Dietetics. After completing her Bachelors there with a perfect GPA of 4.0, and working at Monroe Carell Junior Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt, as a Dietitian Assistant, she is eager to start on her Graduate degree at University of Memphis with hopes of obtaining just as much success. She enjoys conducting research, and was even awarded third prize for presenting her research on 'Chromium and its effects on blood sugar levels of type 2 diabetes patients', at a scholarly event at MTSU. After completing her Graduate degree, Kanwal wants to go onto pursuing her PhD and conducting more research on how food and its individual components can help cure/prevent diseases. She dreams of finding the cure to major diseases such as Cancer and AIDS through Nutrition.
Grace is from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and graduated from the University of Mississippi in May 2016 with a Bachelor's of Science degree in Dietetics and Nutrition. At Ole Miss, Grace was an active member of Phi Mu Fraternity, Ole Miss Ambassadors, and Miracle Network Dance Marathon. During her junior and senior years, she worked at the Institute for Child Nutrition on the Ole Miss campus, and assisted staff with the development of trainings for Child Nutrition Programs. Grace also worked at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center (PBRC) when she was home in Baton Rouge during semester breaks. At PBRC she has assisted with research projects involving US military dining facility interventions and bariatric weight loss trials. Grace's interest in nutrition began in high school during her experience dancing with the Baton Rouge Ballet Theatre. Her involvement as a camp counselor with the Muscular Dystrophy Association for the past six years has driven her interest in clinical pediatric nutrition. After completing her Master's and Internship at the University of Memphis, Grace hopes to work as a clinical dietitian in a children's hospital.
Originally from North Carolina, Rebecca earned her BS in Food Science, Nutrition, and Health Promotion with a concentration in Food and Nutrition from Mississippi State University. It was at Mississippi State that Rebecca took her first nutrition class and instantly realized that dietetics would allow her to combine her interests in science, medicine and food into a career. She spent her first year in nutrition studying food insecurity while interning for the Summer Food Service Program through the Mississippi Food Network. Through her field experience class, she was able to shadow clinical and oncology dietitians sparking her interests in clinical nutrition. These experiences in clinical nutrition made Rebecca particularly interested in the role that nutrition plays in the treatment of critically ill patients. Rebecca would like to work as an Oncology Dietitian in the future and is excited to began this journey at the University of Memphis. In her spare time, Rebecca can be found practicing Pilates, cooking food for friends, or listening to records with her cat.
Laura is a first generation Memphian. Born, raised, and educated in Memphis, she received her first bachelors in International Business and recently received her BSEd from the University of Memphis while fulfilling her DPD requirements to be matched for a dietetic internship. Laura's interest in nutrition has evolved over the years and has developed into a love for the role nutrition plays in pathophysiology. Laura hopes to one-day utilize her education in Nutrition while working with those with developmental disorders or allergies as an RDN.
Emily West grew up in Franklin, TN, and moved to Birmingham, AL where she attended Samford University. She graduated in the spring of 2016 with a Bachelor's of Science degree in Nutrition and Dietetics and a minor in Psychology. When she was fourteen years old, Mimi was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma where she underwent several treatments and received help from many health care professionals, including a dietitian. From that point on, Mimi knew she wanted to help patients through the power of nutrition. During her undergraduate years, Mimi was very involved within Samford's Student Dietetic Association. She was elected President of the organization her senior year, where she was awarded "Most Outstanding Student Dietetic Association" in the state of Alabama. Mimi's ultimate goal is to learn more about disease prevention through proper nutrition, so she can be better prepared to work with patients in oncology, cardiology, pediatrics, and/or research.