Thursday, February 23, 2012

Meeting the need for dietetic professionals

Deb Myers, RD, LD, Ed.D.
Guest blog by Deb Myers, dietetics program director

Bluffton University will be opening its own dietetic internship beginning in August 2012, and I’m really excited about it. It’s been a dream we’ve had for a long time!

A dietetics internship is an accredited post-baccalaureate certificate program required for a student to become a registered and licensed dietitian. Our program will operate under the department of nutrition & dietetics.

All internships have an emphasis area in addition to meeting guidelines to train in the areas of clinical dietetics, public health nutrition and food management. When senior dietetics students apply for an internship they look for those which match their primary areas of interest.

Bluffton’s program will have a strong public health nutrition emphasis, which is great because nationwide job growth in that area is predicted to expand a lot by 2020!

Recent graduates in internships include Caitlin Heiss ‘11 who wanted to work with persons with developmental disabilities. She’s at the University of South Dakota’s dietetic internship, which has a specialty in that area. Plus, she has been able to intern at a Native American hospital.

Lydia Litwiller ‘11 wanted an internship with a strong emphasis on clinical nutrition and critical care. She was accepted at the University of Michigan’s Hospital dietetic internship; a top-ranked U.S. medical facility.

An internship is a time of working and learning; where the student puts the final pieces together to become a professional. It’s challenging because it requires a 40 hour per week commitment plus additional study and projects. 

Currently, there just aren’t enough internship openings across the United States to meet the need, so getting into an internship is very competitive. We will be offering a much needed service to eight carefully chosen interns. Ours will be a nine-month program that will be open to dietetics graduates from across the nation, including students from our own undergraduate program at Bluffton.

A tremendous amount of personal and professional growth takes place in an internship year. It will be exciting to see our interns grow in preparation for getting that first professional job.

Additional info: In order to become a registered and licensed dietitian, students must complete a baccalaureate degree in an accredited dietetics curriculum, complete an accredited internship program and pass the national registration examination. Even before Bluffton’s own internship begins:
  • 98% of our graduates have been placed in Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (formerly ADA) internship positions within a year of graduation. 
  • 93% of our graduates have passed the registration examination on their first attempt (100% on second attempt).
Bluffton’s new program has already received national exposure through the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (formerly the American Dietetics Association.)

For more information about Bluffton’s dietetic internship, contact Deb Myers, associate professor of dietetics.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Strengthening body, mind and spirit

Andy Chaffee and Brandon Fullenkamp
Guest post by Brandon Fullenkamp ‘11

I’ve always been a competitive person. Whether it’s been inter- or intra-personal, the drive to meet a challenge almost never escapes me. I’ve also always been there for my friends, and try to support them in everything they do, especially when it’s for a good cause or it could better them somehow.

Amusingly enough, being a part of the Team Andy project allows me to combine both of those parts of my life into something great! As soon as I read what the premise of the project was, I knew I was going to have to push myself harder than I had before, not only to strengthen my own body, but also my mind and spirit as well.

Ever since I started here at Ohio University (as a grad student), and had a giant fitness complex and pool at my daily disposal, I’ve realized the phenomenal advantage having those things is on one’s life. Not only does the fitness building offer beautiful views from the treadmills and elliptical machines out the gigantic windows, but there is also an indoor track, group fitness classes, personal trainers and a weight room, as well as racquetball and basketball courts and a rock climbing wall.

Having all those resources available can be a little daunting at first, but soon one can find their niche and start their workout regimen. I, for example like to wake up early (6:30 a.m.) and be in the pool around 7 a.m. doing laps. It’s a great way to start the day and gives my metabolism a great boost. Then, in the evening, I love doing a group fitness class like Zumba (Latin dance class), boot camp (combination of cardio, strength training and plyometrics), or even yoga (great way to center the mind and de-stress after a difficult week of classes).

The things I’ve gained already from this experience are far greater than I could’ve ever hoped for in the beginning. I am not only physically stronger, but more importantly, I have gained mental discipline. That discipline that I use to wake up every morning much earlier than other students has started to present itself in other facets of life. I can now harness that discipline into my academics (can you say procrastination?).

Another great benefit I’ve noticed is that my energy levels are much higher and more consistent throughout the day. And, anybody that knows me will probably get a chuckle out of that, because they know that my energy levels before were already pretty ridiculous at times.

All in all, this has been such a beneficial experience for me, but also I think for the Bluffton community. It really shows how we can all band together, and though we may not be able to see each other, we will always feel the support from each other and be able to accomplish great things, through each other.

Grace and peace,
Brandon Fullenkamp
Class of ‘11

Bluffton's own Ironman-in-Training Andy Chaffee and his dad will present "Couch to May Day: Where Running Can Take You" on Feb. 24. Marty Chaffee, a leadership consultant, will present an eight-step program for positive change from personal expeience. Andy will debut a Couch to May Day Run 10-week training program. This presentation is free and open to the public.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

It must be good to be J. Denny

Last night did not disappoint. Well maybe the last-second 3-pointer by the opponents wasn’t so good, but the long-anticipated “beheading” of the 2011-12 J. Denny Beavers at halftime was golden.

It was fun to watch the anticipation grow on campus this past week. With each passing day the speculation became more intense.

In the past two years, J. Denny has become an important part of campus culture. He welcomes first-year students at special recruiting events. It’s not a MCB party unless J. Denny is there. Of course he supports our athletics teams. He was a hit at the 2011 Mennonite Conference. And he’ll be making a special appearance at the Ohio Music Educator Association conference alumni breakfast later this month.

After the beheading, former and current J. Dennys and their mentors gathered on the Founders stage for photos and an afterglow. What a great fraternity. There were hugs, laughter, more hugs, glowing faces.

Now the search begins for next year’s J. Denny Beaver. Who will answer the call? There is no “type” of student who excels as the mascot, music major, honor student, athlete. Although, obviously, these “types” of students are not mutually exclusive at Bluffton!
You could be J. Denny…

It must be such a rush to be J. Denny Beaver; to be part of this tight group, with shared secrets, unwaving support, understanding and common experiences. I’m honored to be just on the edge of this fraternity, trusted on a “need to know basis.” I've helped in emergencies, turned my office into craft central as the big black reveal boxes were decorated.

As Robin Bowlus, J. Denny Beaver’s “handler,” posted on Facebook earlier this week: “Best ‘other duties as assigned’ job." Ever.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Making a difference

Serving in Atlanta, spring break 2011
Of Bluffton’s four Enduring Values – Discovery, Community, Respect and Service – service has always been the hardest one to capture in a story.

Not this winter however. There are a multitude of projects in the works for February, many of which are student-initiated and will make for good photographs, which combined make for good stories!

For instance (in the order in which they will happen)
  • The FIA (Fashion and Interiors Association) is sponsoring “Sewing for Change” this weekend. The idea is that people can drop off their mending/alternations to FIA students during meal times today, tomorrow and Friday, Feb. 1-3. The students will fix whatever needs fixed and return the items on Monday, Feb. 6.

    A small fee will be charged for the work, starting at 25 cents for fixing a button, with the hope that additional donations will be made. All proceeds will go to the Gweimen Centre, a self-sufficiency centre for widows and orphans of HIV/AIDS in Nigeria, founded by the mother of Bluffton student Deborah Kadangs.
  • The student organization SERVE (formerly known as Diakonia) is planning a three-day “bike-a-thon” to raise funds supporting its spring break service trip to Chicago through Mennonite Mission Networks DOOR program. Last year, students spent spring break in Atlanta working through the urban initiative Mission Year.

    Students will take turns riding an exercise bike in Marbeck Kiva from 8 a.m.-9:30 p.m. Feb. 14-16, during Spring Spiritual Life Week. Donations will be accepted during the event with a friendly competition between riders to raise the most during their time on the bike. Guest bikers will include President Harder, J. Denny Beaver, Tig Intagliata and others.
  • On Feb. 29, baseball team members are putting their locks on the line to raise money for St. Baldrick’s Foundation, a volunteer-driven charity that funds childhood cancer research grants. You read right, at this point,  22 student athletes and coaches are accepting pledges to shave their heads on Feb. 29, a week before they head south for spring training.
Add to this list the graduate students’ Jamiii Project, the MLK Jr. Day of Service and Team Andy... What an active, involved and passionate student body we have. We can all be proud of our students who are doing their part to make this a better world.