FNCE 2021

DIFM Member Reception- Virtual Gardening Event
Sage Advice on Medicinal Herb Gardening
Presented by: Amrie DeFrates, RD (Dietitians in the Garden Co-Founder)






DIFM Diversity Stipend Winners 2021-2022

Diversity Stipend Winner 2021-2022 
2021 Student Winner

Jamika Smith, MPH, BS

Born and raised in Columbus, Ga I have always had an interest in nutrition and wellness. In 2010, I graduated salutatorian of my class from William Henry Spencer High School. I attended Fort Valley State University to receive my Bachelor of Science degree in Food and Nutrition. During my years attending Fort Valley State University, I was presented with numerous great opportunities. I was able to study abroad in Tanzania for two consecutive summers. I assisted my professor Dr. Johnson in research grants as student site coordinator in the “Share Our Strength’s Cooking Matters No Kid Hungry Program.” The research findings were presented in a poster session during the Annual Conference and Exhibition in Atlanta, GA. I also served as president of our Food and Nutrition Club. After receiving my bachelor’s degree, I sought to continue my education and obtained a Master in Public Health from Fort Valley State University in 2017. Shortly, after graduation, I enlisted into the United States Army Reserve, as a Nutrition Care Specialist. I worked for WIC as a public health nutritionist serving as the head-start liaison to provide WIC services within the schools through WIC on Wheels. I am president of our Columbus District Dietetic Association. Currently, I am completing my dietetic internship with Andrew’s University and simultaneously enrolled in their Master of Science in Nutrition and Wellness program, which has a plant-based emphasis. After completing this program and becoming a registered dietitian, I plan further my education at Loma Linda University in the doctoral program in Nutrition.

Diversity Stipend Winner 2021-2022
2021 Student Winner

Katherine Hinojosa, MS

Katherine Hinojosa is currently a Dietetic Intern at the University of Michigan School of Public Health. She received her Bachelor's and Master's Degrees at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in Dietetics and Human Nutrition. After the internship, she hopes to become a dietitian and work in sports nutrition. In the past, Katherine ran cross country, track and played tennis for a while. After going through injuries, fatigue, gastrointestinal issues, and improper food intake as an athlete, Katherine decided that she wanted to learn more about nutrition for performance and functional nutrition for athletes who may encounter the same issues she had. As a Bolivian woman, Katherine also wanted to incorporate cultural foods into sports nutrition as she grew up with a Bolivian family that had different foods and nutrition practices than her teammates and classmates. In her spare time, she enjoys running, baking sweet goods, traveling, and learning more about nutrition from her older sister, who happens to be a registered dietitian!

Diversity Stipend Winner 2021-2022
2021 Student Winner

Nency R Patel

Nency Patel is a BS Nutrition student from South Asia currently living in Norwalk, California.  This stipend will help her become an Integrative and Functional Medical Nutrition Therapy based RDN in her South Asian community, which is in Western India. This award will fund travel and activities in the Community Nutrition class which requires her to go to elementary and middle schools in Pomona (a community with low-income Hispanics) to provide nutrition education.  She will use it for her community education project and to pay part of her internship applications.

Diversity Stipend Winner 2021-2022

2021 Professional Winner

Sheetal Parikh, MS, BSc, BSDN, RDN, LDN

Sheetal Parikh has been very passionate about plant-based nutrition since her childhood. She holds two Bachelor of Science degrees and one Master’s degree in Dietetics and Nutrition. She brings her unique experience and skills in the nutrition world by blending eastern and western cultures with innovative diets. She specializes in Plant-Based Nutrition, has been a vegetarian all her life, and promotes vegetarianism and its health benefits with a holistic approach and diverse perspective. Since 2019 she has been an author of "Vegan and Vegetarian Diets" for the Nutrition Care Manual which is a book from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND). She has been involved with setting standards for the RD Exam (Passing Score Study Task Force) and the Item Writing Workshop for the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR).  She served on the Advisory Board Committee for Diversity and Inclusion for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Some positions that she served are: Florida State Coordinator, Diversity Liaison, and present Treasurer for Vegetarian Nutrition Dietetic Practice Group. She achieved the feat of being a BSDN Advisory Board Member for Keiser University; the institution from which she graduated and won an award for Outstanding Student of the year in 2017 from the Florida Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Today, she works as the Lead Regional Dietitian in Clinical and Patient Services for Morrison Healthcare and also counsels patients and clients on the importance and advantage of eating Plant-Based foods for their health and the earth’s well-being. She is proficient in creating new plant-based recipes, designing techniques for happy & healthy cooking, and preparing appetizing meals for her clients, family, friends, and colleagues. She lives with a motto of, “You are what you Eat”. 







2020 Diversity Winner UPDATE


Demetria Cox-Thomas, MS
2020 Diversity Stipend Award
Student Winner
I finished my MS program in May and started my internship with Garden to Table this summer. Still working as Community Garden Manager at Southminster as well. I did get to use my stipend to purchase & complete DIFM's certificate of training. It has inspired me to learn more & get the credentials needed to practice IFM. I really appreciate DIFM for providing the opportunity so I could explore my interests as a RD2Be.




2020 Diversity Winner UPDATE


Malu Trehan, RDN, MPH

2020 Diversity Stipend Award
Professional Winner
I am in the process of creating a South Asian based group diabetes prevention program. Meanwhile, I began teaching with the HALT program at Kaiser Dublin (Health Achieved through Lifestyle Transformation)! Several South Asian patients participate in this class. HALT is a diabetes intervention program for patients with HgA1c of 8.0 or higher and is a 20-week whole foods plant based dietary intervention.