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K-State Today

September 16, 2015



Student earns $10,000 scholarship for dietetic doctoral work

By Jane P. Marshall

Emily Vaterlaus Patten, a doctoral candidate in the College of Human Ecology, Boise, Idaho, has received a $10,000 scholarship awarded to registered dietitians who demonstrate a commitment to the future of the profession through teaching and research.

Patten is one of only 10 national winners selected by for a 2015 Commission on Dietetics Registration Doctoral Scholarship. She is focusing her research on leadership in clinical dietetics practice.

"Emily's work fulfills a significant gap in dietetics research," said Kevin Sauer, associate professor in dietetics, Department of Human Nutrition at Kansas State University and Patten's major professor.

"Clinical dietitians make up the majority of our profession and they are coping with the complexities of the changing healthcare system and health status of the nation," Patten said. "The current environment is ripe with opportunity for clinical dietitians to not only progress the profession, but really have a positive influence on our nation's health. To date, 'leadership' has been a feel-good, buzz word without a clear bridge to practice for nonmanagers in our profession. By developing a leadership taxonomy, clinical dietitians and their managers will have a new tool to plan/track development and inform continuing education choices." 

The scholarship winner completed a Bachelor of Science degree in dietetics and master's degree in nutritional science from Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah. She has been a clinical dietitian and an administrative dietitian and regional educator in Salt Lake City, an Institute of Child Nutrition consultant at the University of Mississippi in Oxford and a Child Nutrition Management Academy cadre trainer with the Kansas State Department of Education in Topeka.

Patten currently teaches management in dietetics at K-State and plans to teach administrative dietetics at a university.

Also receiving one of the coveted scholarships is Catherine Metzgar, president-elect of the College of Human Ecology alumni advisory board. Metzgar graduated from K-State with a degree in dietetics in 2010 and did her internship with Hershey Company in Pennsylvania.

Commission on Dietetics Registration is the credentialing agency of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the nation's largest organization of food and nutrition professionals.

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