Caring for Her Community – Ellison White Clark

After earning her undergraduate degree, Ellison White, ’18, M.S in Nutrition, worked in fundraising for four years. Reflecting back on her first info session for the nutrition program, she can still remember how nervous she was about making such a big career change. But at Meredith, she found an entire community of faculty, staff, and classmates who were ready to support her.

“The faculty made me feel right at home. From helping me plan my course of study to connecting me with alumni in the area, the faculty here have always been eager to support me in whatever way they can.”

After completing her Master of Science in nutrition at Meredith, she felt well-prepared for a career in her chosen field of nutrition and dietetics – one that has new discoveries emerging all the time.

“Knowing where to find evidence-based resources and how to incorporate them into my practice is something my professors taught me to value.”

At Meredith, Ellison loved the small class sizes and open-door policy of her professors, which allowed her to get to know them well. Their commitment to their students made a real impression on her.

“I will never forget one semester when my professor held office hours at a local coffee shop the week of spring break for students to come to ask her questions,” said Ellison. “Their dedication to their students is unlike anything I have ever seen before.”

Ellison’s ability to connect and communicate with other people to create positive change are significant strengths that she was able to build on during her program through activities both inside and outside of the classroom.

“My professors encouraged me to get involved in places in the community that interested me, but also in places that would teach, strengthen, and develop me as a future nutrition professional.”

For instance, she worked for the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle, managing Cooking Matters at the Store – a nutrition education program that teaches low-income families how to buy healthy food on a budget.

Ellison also gained new leadership skills through her involvement in the Nutrition Graduate Student Association, of which she was the co-leader. She enjoyed working to enhance the student experience through the association’s efforts; she also appreciated the opportunity to get to know students whom she otherwise may not have met.

“We held fundraisers, community service projects, and social events to get others involved on campus and in the greater Raleigh community.”

According to Ellison, the biggest challenge she faced was learning to balance school, community, work, and family. She learned to be thoughtful about where she wanted to focus her time and efforts –  lessons that she knows will serve her well throughout her career.

“Meredith has high expectations of their students, but they also provide a lot of support to ensure that we achieve great things. I have learned to believe in myself and my abilities at Meredith.”

Learn more about Meredith’s Master of Science in Nutrition