University of Illinois; BSc, ’20
My name is Elizabeth Gutiérrez, and I go by she/her pronouns. In May of 2020, I received my bachelors degree in food science and human nutrition with a concentration in dietetics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). I am now pursuing my Master’s Degree at UIUC in nutritional sciences where I will also complete my dietetic internship in the Fall.
My current interests in dietetics are community nutrition with a focus on health behaviors that acknowledges the barriers due to racism, weight stigma, etc. As I have learned more about the intersectionality of these issues, it’s hard to ignore.
Before entering the dietetic program as a transfer student, I was not aware of the lack of diversity. I never thought much of it until I heard the statistics regarding minorities/males in the profession.
When it comes to cultural competence education in accredited schools, I believe that it isn’t a one lecture or a highlighted feature section of a certain class. I think that as a future healthcare professional, learning needs to be happening throughout the entire process of the program. You don’t learn about the how, why, what all in one class when trying to address someone’s reasoning for adhering to your recommendations or not. More work needs to be done, and work can be done at every level- individual and organizational.
I think that we can create a more inclusive space by always listening first. Someone’s lived experience is always valid.
Follow me at @nutrition4theaveragejoe to watch me go through the the rest of my dietetic journey with some yummy food along the way!