Clinical Nutrition Students Spotlight


"After completing the combined Master's in Science and Dietetic Internship at the University of Memphis, I have felt more than qualified for the RD exam and joining the work force in all nutrition environments. This amazing program fully prepared me to be knowledgeable and comfortable working, educating, and implementing nutrition practices with patients and doctors. The unique experience of rotating through all of the different clinics and hospitals in Memphis left me with a broad range of experiences which are valued in the health field, and I truly feel I would not have had unless I went to the University of Memphis!"

Laura Kunces, MS, RD. Program Graduate 2009

"The University of Memphis master's and dietetic internship program is unparalleled. The challenging academic coursework and real life clinical experience through the graduate assistantship and dietetic rotations places you ahead of others in the field. Both scholastically and professional, I was beyond prepared to enter the workforce in any area of dietetics and competitive among my peers. Overall, it was an excellent investment of my time, money, energy and into my future."

Bethany Stokes, MS, RD. Program Graduate 2011

“The Internship and Graduate Program for Clinical Nutrition equipped me to pass my board exam and begin a career as a Pediatric Registered Dietitian. While completing the education required, I experienced realities in my career through the graduate assistantship and residency. The skills learned and the knowledge acquired allows passing the RD exam without difficulties in addition to an unrivaled advantage to join the workforce. For those seriously seeking a medical dietetic career, it is essential to consider The University of Memphis’s Clinical Nutrition Internship combined with the Graduate program. Once completed, you will exceed expectations.”

Meg Green, MS, RD, CSP, LD. Program Graduate 2006

“I graduated from the combined Dietetic Internship and Clinical Nutrition Master’s Program with the confidence I could thrive in any area of the dietetics and nutrition profession. In addition to being very thorough and rigorous the program also fit my interests. When I decided to complete my thesis on a topic that wasn’t typical of nutrition students, the staff was extremely supportive and helped me find contacts that could assist in accomplishing my goals. Because of the clinical training and research experience during the Dietetic Internship and Clinical Nutrition Master’s program I have been able to excel in my career.”

Josh Holewinski, MS, RD. Program Graduate 2009

“My graduate education at the University of Memphis did more than just prepare me to become a Registered Dietitian. The advanced training I received through the caring faculty and their network of exceptionally qualified preceptors readied me for a career filled with application of evidence based practice, practice of clinical research, and confidence necessary to take leadership roles in my field. I would not trade my experience with the University of Memphis, and highly recommend it to anyone looking for a coordinated Masters program.”

Mary Catherine Schallert MS, RD, LDN, CNSC. Program Graduate 2006

"The Clinical Nutrition graduate program and dietetic internship not only prepared me to begin working as a clinical dietitian upon graduating, but also prepared me to continue my education and training in a medical nutrition focused doctoral program. I developed many core and essential skills during my time in the program that have proved to be invaluable both as a clinician and researcher. The program far exceeded my expectations and helped me develop both as a health care provider as well as an individual. I can say without a doubt that the 2 years I spent in this program expanded my knowledge and furthered my career substantially and because of this I am able to excel in both my current and future endeavors.”

Jacob Taylor, PhD, RD. Program Graduate 2010

“Much like any graduate program, you get what you put into each opportunity. The Clinical Nutrition program has offered me more opportunities in 16 months than I ever expected. I went from a graduate assistant at the #1 children’s research hospital, to graduating from the program with a career at one of the greatest teaching hospitals in the country. I can now look forward to a strengthening clinical career filled with promising research opportunities. You can expect an ever-growing program offering clinical experiences second to none and graduating with experiences greater than any other internship."

David Havrilla, MS, RD, LDN. Program Graduate 2012

Student Awards and Honors

2018 Interns

Marissa CastanoMarissa Castano

Marissa was born and raised in Houston,TX. She transferred to Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX where she majored in Food Science and Nutrition. During her undergraduate career, she became Treasurer of her Student Dietetic Association, worked on campus with Aramark, and held a position on the Student Committee for the Public Health and Community Nutrition Practice Group. In addition, she has spent the past four years working as a dental assistant. Marissa graduated in December 2016 with her Bachelor's of Science in Food Science and Nutrition. Her areas of interest include inborn errors of metabolism and neonatology. In her spare time she enjoys traveling, dancing, listening to music, and cooking. She is very excited to begin her graduate career and dietetic internship at the University of Memphis.


Hannah CoxHannah Cox

Hannah Cox graduated from University of Memphis in May 2017 with a Bachelor of Science in Education. She is a Memphian from birth, and loves volunteering and giving back to the city. In her undergraduate career, Hannah was involved in her sorority, Student Government Association, Up 'Til Dawn, Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society, and Student Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. She is so excited to continue her education in Clinical Nutrition at the University of Memphis. When she is not in class, working, or volunteering, she enjoys spending time with friends, and being outdoors. Her dream is to start a non-profit to help underprivileged people in Memphis.


DonJurea DanielsDonJurea Daniels

DonJurea Daniels has two pre-teen daughters and is a military spouse. She is originally from Texas, but has traveled to many places by way of the military and leisure travel. She enjoys gardening, cooking, and outdoor activities with friends and family.




Corinna DoraisCorinna Dorais

Corinna Dorais moved to Memphis, TN from Spokane WA. She studied Dietetics at the University of Memphis and is continuing her education there in the clinical nutrition master's program. She is a Veteran and has served her country for the last ten years and still continues to serve. After completing her masters in clinical nutrition, she plans to integrate her two passions Dietetics and the Military by commissioning as an officer in the Navy as a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. In her spare time, you can find her cooking or outdoors camping, hiking, fishing, golfing, and many other outdoor activities. She also volunteers her spare time at the Memphis VA hospital and out in the community. She has two fur babies and a very supportive and loving husband who serves in the Navy.


Danny HirstDanny Hirst

Daniel Hirst was born and raised in Bear, Delaware. After graduating from high school, he went on to pursue an associate's degree in Culinary Arts at Delaware Technical & Community College. Upon graduating, he then went on to the University of Delaware to study Dietetics – something he was very passionate about. During his time at UD, Daniel has been active in extracurricular activities including the Billiards Club, and the Fencing Team.
Daniel worked through college at a restaurant called "Old Country Buffet" (AKA in some parts of the country as Home Town Buffet). After working there for five years, Daniel decided to become a Dietary Aide for The Oblates of St. Francis, an assisted living facility for retired Catholic priests. Now Daniel is preparing for graduate school at the University of Memphis, and he aspires one day to become a Clinical Dietitian.



Brittany LubeckBrittany Lubeck

Brittany was born and raised in Memphis, but has also lived in St. Louis and Chicago. She graduated with a B.A. in Art History from the University of Memphis in 2010 then became interested in nutrition shortly after. She came back to the University of Memphis and obtained a B.S. with a concentration in Dietetics in 2017. She has spent the last few years working for a mortgage bank while completing her undergraduate Dietetics classes and pursuing such nutrition related experiences as working at a functional medicine clinic and assistant coaching a local cross country team. Brittany is interested in many aspects of Dietetics, but is especially excited about Sports Nutrition. When she is not studying, Brittany enjoys running, CrossFit, eating, watching movies, and spending time with her husband and dog child.


Mackenna MattoxMackenna Mattox

Mackenna Mattox is originally from Louisiana, but has lived in Memphis for the majority of her life. She has recently received her BSEd at the University of Memphis and is excited to work towards a Master's degree in Clinical Nutrition. Mackenna has worked at St. Jude Children's Research hospital in the Clinical Nutrition department for two years of her undergraduate career and feels blessed to be part of such a great hospital. In her spare time, she enjoys playing with her dog Layla and exploring new restaurants. Mackenna looks forward to learning more about the various fields of nutrition to find a specific interest.


Katie O'BarKatie O'Bar

Katie graduated from Birmingham-Southern College in May 2015 with a BS in Biology-Psychology. Her interest in nutrition is rooted in her background as an athlete. Katie played volleyball for BSC and saw the positive influence proper nutrition had on her life both on and off the court. She returned home to Memphis and earned her BSEd in Health and Human Performance with a concentration in Dietetics from the University of Memphis in May 2017. Katie is very excited to continue her journey in nutrition in her hometown and make a difference in the lives of her fellow Memphians. In her spare time, she enjoys running, spending time with her family, trying new recipes, and cheering on the Grizzlies.


Paige OrwigPaige Orwig

Paige Orwig graduated from Northwest Missouri State University with a perfect academic record. Paige was a Division 2 collegiate softball player for her undergraduate institution. Paige has been a Type 1 diabetic for 14 years which has inspired her to pursue a career in the pediatric field. Paige has founded a youth diabetic support group and, in her collegiate career, she has improved a support group and held events to benefit the American Diabetes Association. Paige has an intermediate Spanish conversational ability. At her undergraduate institution, Paige has participated in two community needs assessments, a food demonstration about heart health, and a practicum experience in the four areas of nutrition: inpatient, outpatient, dialysis, and long-term care. For employment, Paige worked at two nursing homes as a cook. Paige spent a majority of her undergraduate time volunteering at child care facilities preparing snacks and meals and working for the elderly helping with the Meals on Wheels supplemental program. Paige entered the field of dietetics for altruistic purposes. Paige aspires to work in a dynamic field of nutrition specialty in the future. She is excited for all experiences and working with new people and within new environments.


Laura PrinceLaura Prince

Laura Prince is graduating from Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, AR this May with a B.S. in Nutrition and Dietetics and a minor in Biology. She has one amazing sister that is currently living in Los Angeles, CA and five dogs back at home. Her favorite hobbies include cooking, reading, watching movies, and intramurals.


Geordan StapletonGeordan Stapleton

Geordan Stapleton was born and raised in Montgomery, Alabama. She completed her undergraduate Dietetics education at Florida State University in the Spring of 2017. Geordan enjoys spending time with family and friends, going to the movies, attending concerts, and traveling. After completion of the MS/DI program at The University of Memphis, Geordan hopes to work in eating disorders or international nutrition.



Laurie StutzmanLaurie Stutzman

Laurie is an enthusiastic dietetics student with a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics from Southeast Missouri State University, class of 2017. With the exception of four college years in Missouri, she has lived in Tennessee her whole life, and is excited to reside in the beautiful city of Memphis! While enjoying all aspects of health and nutrition, she has a particular love for clinical nutrition and delving into the specifics of metabolism and medical nutrition therapy. Her career goals include becoming a pediatric dietitian and lactation consultant. In addition to nutrition, her interests include art, theatre, and watching re-runs of I Love Lucy! Laurie is excited about her adventure as a graduate student and dietetic intern at the University of Memphis.


Madeline ThorntonMadeline Thornton

Madeline Thornton is a graduate of The University of Southern Mississippi. When she is not studying dietetics, she enjoys baking sweet treats and meals for her friends and family. Her goal is work as a clinical dietitian and eventually become a Certified Diabetes Educator as well as a preceptor for future interns.



Sara ZellersSara Zellers

Sara returned to the University of Memphis in the spring of 2015 and is now a senior majoring in Dietetics and minoring in History and graduating in May 2017. While a history minor might not sound like it corresponds to a dietetics degree, Sara enjoys researching and understanding how access to healthy food and clean water has impacted historical events and in turn, shaped today's society. She has been the recipient of the Memphis Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics' Outstanding Undergraduate award, received the Jonathan Derek Selkirk Award in History, and was awarded the President's Volunteer Service Award for her volunteer work with Wings Cancer Foundation. She also took first place in this year's food science poster session at the TN Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics' annual meeting.
Sara has held officer positions for two years in her school's Student Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and is also the Student Liaison on the University of Memphis campus for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. She works as a student research assistant in the Clinical Nutrition Department at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Sara is married with three cats and a dog.