Class of 2017-2018

The CSU Sacramento Dietetic Internship Program is proud to include these eight interns.  Please learn more about these bright individuals by reading bios below.  

Jacklyn Arkelian


Jacklyn graduated with Cum Laude honors from California State University, Fresno in May of 2016 with a Bachelor of Science in Dietetics and Food Administration. While attending Fresno State Jacklyn was involved with several different programs on campus, including Winning With a Healthy Lifestyle, Bulldogs in the Grocery Store, and the Families Understanding Nutrition Center.  She also volunteered within the community at Saint Agnes Medical Center and the Poverello House. After graduating, Jacklyn worked as a nutrition assistant and diet clerk at Madera Community Hospital, where responsibilities included obtaining patient meal preferences, educating patients on foods that are compatible with their diet orders, and assisting the clinical dietitians and other hospital staff with the nutritional care of patients.  Jacklyn also obtained valuable leadership experience during her time working as a lead instructor for Clovis Unified School District, where she coordinated an after-school program with over 100 students enrolled and was responsible for supervising eight staff members. In her free time Jacklyn enjoys spending time with friends and family, hiking, and working out.  She is grateful for the opportunity to complete the dietetic internship at California State University, Sacramento, and is excited to grow as a professional in the dietetics field over the next 10 months.

Rachel Comstock


Rachel graduated with Magna Cum Laude honors from Central Washington University with a Bachelor of Science in food science and nutrition and a minor in child development. Rachel is originally from Santa Clara, California, but has spent the last four years in Ellensburg, Washington developing a passion for food and dietetics. During those four years, Rachel participated in several research studies and volunteered as a peer nutrition educator at her school, where she offered nutrition counseling to students with a variety of health goals. During her junior year, she was awarded an undergraduate scholarship by her school’s nutrition department and proceeded to graduate with the title of Dean’s Scholar.

 While obtaining her degree, Rachel gained over 1000 hours of food service experience by working as a kitchen aid in her college’s commercial kitchen. Rachel also had the opportunity to pursue her passion for fitness by working as a group fitness instructor teaching both cycling and strength classes. While preparing for her internship, Rachel spent the past summer working for a youth health sciences summer camp where she taught classes and designed coursework related to nutrition.

 In the future, Rachel hopes to work as a clinical dietitian specializing in pediatrics, focusing on disease prevention and treatment. 

Maria Dutulescu 


Maria was raised in Davis, California and graduated with honors in Clinical Nutrition from the University of California, Davis and received a citation for outstanding performance from the Department of Nutrition.  Maria has a passion for sharing knowledge and helping others; she looks forward to providing nutrition education individually and in group settings. During college, she was a member of the UCD Student Nutrition Association and volunteered for Community Meals and Challah for Hunger, organizations which help fight hunger locally and globally. She has been fortunate to have worked with a variety of populations, such as teaching healthy cooking to children with the UC Cooperative Extension, assisting with perinatal nutrition at CommuniCare, and volunteering for the adult and children weight management programs at Sutter Health. She is most passionate about nutrition as a means to prevent and treat chronic conditions through long-term lifestyle changes. During the summer, Maria may be spotted watering her family’s community garden, riding her bike around Davis, and swimming at Lake Berryessa. This school year, she is so excited to have the opportunity to apply and add to the knowledge from her major and experience from her internships by working in various nutrition related settings and ultimately as a registered dietitian.

Scott Elkington


Scott graduated with magna cum laude honors from California State University, Sacramento in May 2015 with a Bachelor of Science in Dietetics and minors in Biology and Chemistry. While at CSUS, Scott was given the opportunity to mentor his peers as a professor’s assistant for one of his favorite courses on principles of food preparation, as well as food service management.  Before graduating, Scott was accepted to study abroad for a semester where he could continue his studies in dietetics while living in Perth, Western Australia. Upon graduation, Scott was hired at Meals on Wheels and given the opportunity to create monthly nutrition newsletters and educational materials, present and discuss nutritional concepts with participants, and manage the daily operations of several congregate cafe sites where participants dine. During this time, he also volunteered at the Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op as a nutrition and cooking educator, teaching low-income individuals how to prepare healthy meals on a budget. Most recently, Scott has worked as a dietetic assistant at UC Davis Medical Center, working directly with patients interviewing them about food preferences and adjusting their menus to ensure therapeutic accuracy. Scott is extremely passionate about holistic approaches to nutrition and health as well as advocating for people to lead healthy lifestyles by providing them with the resources to do so. He believes that healthcare should have a more preventative approach which will increase patient independence and reduce the number of hospital visits and health complications. After completing the dietetic internship, his goal is to remain in the Sacramento area, practicing as an outpatient clinical dietitian and possibly one day starting a private practice. Scott is looking forward to completing his dietetic internship at CSU Sacramento and continuing to make a difference in the health and livelihood of those living in the Sacramento area. 

Elsa Esparza


Elsa is a graduate from UC Davis, 2017, where she received her BS in Clinical Nutrition. While exploring the field of health as an undergraduate student, Elsa held several positions on campus. As a UC LEADS Scholar, Elsa’s first internships revolved around research. She served as a Research Intern at the Western Human Nutrition Research Center for three years in Dr. Laugero’s Stress Nutrition and Biology Research Lab, and also interned at UCSF during the Summer of 2016, working closely with the Healthy Beverage Initiative. Furthermore, her role as President of the Student Nutrition Association at UC Davis allowed her to provide a social and professional network for students interested in food, health, and nutrition. She received clinical experience through the local CommuniCare Health Center and Sutter Davis Hospital. Elsa also worked at Health Education & Promotion, collaborating with campus partners to improve the nutrition environment on campus by developing campaigns and strategies in an effort to increase the overall wellbeing of students at UC Davis. Under Dr. Liz Applegate, Director of Sports Nutrition, Elsa developed sports educational materials and presented the importance of recovery eating to the Intercollegiate Athletic teams on campus. Additionally, Elsa served as a Kids in the Garden Guide at the UCD Student Farm, teaching and working with children and the public through a combination of lectures and interactive activities. 

Elsa is grateful for the opportunity to further her career in dietetics and looks forward to expanding her knowledge within the CSUS DI program. Throughout her career, she is eager to apply that knowledge of nutrition and use scientific evidence to influence public policy and create healthier environments, particularly in low-income elementary school settings. 

Justin Ho


Justin graduated with Cum Laude honors at Sacramento State in December 2016 with a Bachelor of Science in Dietetics. He also has a culinary arts degree and an extensive working history in food service establishments such as restaurants, hospitals, a courthouse cafeteria, and correctional facility. Justin enjoyed his previous job as a Dietary Aide at Marshall Medical Center in Placerville, California for the past two and a half years while in school. He believes his work experience in clinical and community settings as well as working with diverse populations will aid him in the dietetics field. Justin also served as a professor’s assistant for his nutrition class and as a student peer mentor at Sacramento State. He looks forward to participating in the CAND Education Council during his internship and gaining valuable insight about the profession. Justin enjoys playing board games with his lovely wife, is an avid sports fan, and loves dancing with and chasing around his three beautiful little girls.

Alyssa Linscheid


Alyssa received her bachelor’s degree in Clinical Nutrition from UC Davis in 2012 and her master’s degree in Nutrition and Dietetics from Cal State University, Northridge in 2017. While receiving her education she gained numerous dietetics experiences. During her time at UC Davis she volunteered at a community health clinic, an elementary school kitchen, the Sacramento Food Bank, and a community nutrition program aimed at promoting a healthy lifestyle among school-aged children. While at Cal State University Northridge, she volunteered at the Marilyn Magaram center where she led a grocery store tour, became Bod Pod certified, created nutrition labels for various food companies, and wrote nutrition articles for the center’s newsletter. Her passion for promoting a healthy relationship with food has flourished over the past four years while working as a diet technician in the field of eating disorder treatment. She looks forward to her career as a Registered Dietitian and hopes to specialize in eating disorders in the future. Alyssa is extremely passionate about nutrition and is excited about the opportunity to further her career in dietetics by participating in California State University, Sacramento’s Dietetic Internship Program. In her free time, she likes to read, hike, watch movies, and hang out with her husband.

Brittnee Lister


Brittnee was born and raised in Sacramento and earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Dietetics with a minor in Biological Sciences from Sacramento State in 2015.  While completing her undergraduate coursework, Brittnee enjoyed volunteering for many community organizations in the Sacramento area including: Sutter Medical Foundation, Cares Community Health, Meals on Wheels, and the State WIC offices.  During her last year as an undergraduate, she also interned as a Nutrition Peer Health Educator on campus and educated fellow students on healthy eating.  After finishing her undergraduate education, Brittnee moved to Long Beach, California to pursue her Master of Science degree in Nutritional Science at Cal State Long Beach.  Her thesis research focused on observing snacks provided to youth soccer participants. While in Long Beach, Brittnee became a Nutrition and Dietetic Technician, Registered (NDTR) and worked for a local medical center for the remainder of her graduate education.  In addition to working with patients within the hospital, Brittnee also worked as a graduate assistant within the Family and Consumer Sciences department at Cal State Long Beach.  Brittnee enjoys exploring new restaurants, baking, and spending time with her family and friends.  She has a passion for helping her community through nutrition and is excited for the experiences she will gain through the Sacramento State Dietetic Internship.