A community created to fill a need
The idea for Diversify Dietetics was borne out of a need that our co-founders and registered dietitian nutritionists (RDNs), Deanna Belleny and Tamara Melton, did not see was being met: a community to attract, encourage and empower students and young professionals of color who were seeking careers in the field of nutrition and dietetics.
To increase diversity in the field of nutrition by empowering students and young professionals from underrepresented minority groups to join the next generation of nutrition experts.
Wait... aren't there already Members Interest Groups (MIGs) for people of color?
While there are several phenomenal nutrition organizations dedicated to increasing diversity for specific underrepresented minority groups, there was no one organization that was inclusive of all ethnic and racial groups. Additionally, many of today's students and nutrition professionals can be found connecting on social media, and there was no dedicated community focused on increasing diversity in the nutrition profession. The goal is for Diversify Dietetics to fill in those gaps, and complement initiatives of MIGs.
Meet the Diversify Dietetics Community
Tamara S. Melton, MS, RDN, CPHIMS
Co-Founder and executive director
Tamara’s first love is teaching and she has taught and advised thousands of students. Tamara had the opportunity to found and develop Georgia State University’s first Health Informatics program, where she used unconventional methods to recruit and retain a minority majority student body. It was her experience serving in this role and watching her students flourish and succeed that gave her the idea for Diversify Dietetics. Tamara had a hunch that an organization led by professionals of color, supported by a community passionate about diversifying the healthcare profession, would attract more students of color to the field of nutrition and dietetics. Her professional practice area is in nutrition informatics, process improvement and data visualization- with a touch of teaching always woven in.
You can reach Tamara at email@example.com
Deanna Belleny, MPH, RDN
Co-Founder, Director of Programs
Deanna Belleny is the co-founder and Director of Programs at Diversify Dietetics. She was inspired to found Diversify Dietetics after several thought-provoking personal experiences as a student and a dietetics professional of color. Deanna's practice background is in public health and healthcare quality improvement. She has worked for close to 10 years planning, implementing and evaluating programs that impact underrepresented minority groups. Additionally she has trained numerous allied health teams and leaders in both professional and interpersonal skill development. She is passionate about equity and supporting students and professionals of color who wish to pursue a career in nutrition and dietetics.
You can reach Deanna at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Deanna's LinkedIn Profile
Meet our Board of Directors
jessica jones, Ms, RDN, CDE
Jessica is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator with a passion for helping people transform the way they eat and make peace with food. She is the co-author the 28-Day Plant-Powered Health Reboot and A Diabetes Guide to Enjoying the Flavors of the World. As the co-founder of the healthy living website, Food Heaven Made Easy, Jessica provides evidenced-based nutrition tips and tricks for living a nutritious life. When she is not counseling patients on nutrition therapy for wellness and chronic disease management at the University of California San Francisco, Jessica co-hosts the Food Heaven Podcast, which was named New & Noteworthy by iTunes in 2016. You can follow Jessica on Instagram , Facebook, and Twitter.
tessa nguyen, RD, LDN
Tessa is the founder and principal of Taste Nutrition Consulting. Tessa is a professionally trained Chef and Registered Dietitian working as a consultant in the food and nutrition industries. She is passionate about providing medical nutrition therapy through culinary applications for clients in the form of fun, hands-on cooking classes and lectures. Tessa's interests also expand into food writing. She has been published in Food & Nutrition Magazine as well as their online publication, Stone Soup. Tessa looks forward to teaching and empowering clients to reach their personal nutrition goals through flavorful culinary nutrition interventions, because she believes there's no substitute for good taste. She is currently living and working in South Korea. Follow her blog at Taste Nutrition Consulting. You can also follow Tessa on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
Hannah Thornton, MS, RD, LD
Hannah is a Clinical Assistant Professor and Director of the Dietetic Internship at Texas State University. She worked for years as a biologist and a Yoga teacher and finally found dietetics to be the happy intersection between plants and people. In her teaching, she focuses on creating inclusive educational spaces for dietetics students of all levels. In her research, she focuses on reducing food insecurity among college students. Hannah maintains a private practice aimed at supporting pregnant people and new parents in a positive, holistic environment. When she isn’t working, she can usually be found attempting to identify and reduce her unconscious biases and chasing her two children around the backyard.