I am Alexis Trice. I will begin my dietetic internship this fall with Lipscomb University. I graduated from Lipscomb in the spring of this year. My goal is to go into private practice and specialize in weight loss, diabetes, or maternal nutrition. Lipscomb is a private, predominantly white institution. Before I discovered dietetics, I majored in biochemistry. I soon learned that this was not the right major for me and I switched to dietetics the second semester of my freshman year. Nutrition was a topic of interest for me starting in high school, but I had no clue what a registered dietitian was. Attending a PWI all four years of college showed me how important diversity is in all fields. Being the only black dietetics major was at first discouraging, but I realized that it was not a weight for me to carry. However, it was an opportunity for me to represent the black community in my area and shed light on the importance of diversity in nutrition education.
To all minority dietetics majors: Don’t be discouraged from enlightening your white peers about your culture and the cultural foods that may not be mentioned in your nutrition classes. Your knowledge and cultural diversity are relevant and necessary. My coursework was taught by all white, female professors. The lack of diversity left no room for classroom discussions on being culturally competent. I think that schools that offer the dietetics major should all implement a class solely about cultural diversity in nutrition. I believe it would be beneficial for all dietetics majors to learn and it would make nutrition look less black and white. I am glad that there’s newfound awareness on how non-diverse the field of dietetics is, and I hope to see statistical changes in the coming years.