Dietetic Internship Program, 2018-2019


Emily Barrett


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Emily received her Bachelor of Science degree in Dietetics from the University of Nevada, Reno in 2017. She is originally from Massachusetts and was raised on an organic farm. Emily has a background in agriculture and over two years of organic farm management experience. After graduating with her nutrition degree, Emily worked as a dietetic technician at Carson Tahoe Regional Medical Center for a year of clinical nutrition experience. In 2017, Emily received her Dietetic Technician, Registered (DTR) credential. While Emily was completing her nutrition degree and working as a dietetic technician, she was also focused on her skiing career and competing in the Freeride World Qualifier freeskiing events across North America. Emily is very passionate about the roots of nutrition that began on the farm and connecting them with the importance of preventative nutrition in disease prevention for all. Emily aspires to specialize in diabetes management and become a Certified Diabetes Educator. She is excited to have the opportunity to gain the experience through the dietetic internship program at CSU Sacramento and furthering her nutrition career.


Mohini Bhakta


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Mohini graduated from the University of Reno, Nevada in 2016 with a B.S. in Nutrition (emphases in Nutrition Science and Dietetics) and in Biology. Mohini then worked at Carson Tahoe Regional Medical Center as a dietetic technician, obtained her NDTR and obtained her credentials to become a Certified Clinical Medical Assistant Mohini is also working to become a certified personal trainer. Due to a family history of preventable disease, Mohini learned to appreciate the perspective of “let medicine be thy food”. The importance of nutrition and lifestyle, especially in populations with preventative disease are where she hopes to focus much of her time. In the future, Mohini plans on furthering her education with an emphasis in Nutrigenomics. She hopes this will lead to a better understanding of the relationships between populations, food and genetic predisposition so she can be more aware of these influences when working in the community. Growing up in Bishop, California, Mohini was able to take advantage of the outdoors and its four seasons. She continues doing so and enjoys trail running, snowboarding, and indoor rock climbing, with hopes of conquering the real rocks of this world. Mohini is excited to begin her internship at CSU Sacramento where she hopes to build upon her interests of the correlation between preventative diseases and nutrition through the program’s emphasis.


Elizabeth Custer


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Elizabeth graduated with a BS in Clinical Nutrition from the University of California, Davis, including honors from the Department of Nutrition. While attending UC Davis, she volunteered at several local facilities to gain foodservice experience including the Western Human Nutrition Resource Center, University Retirement Center, Davis Joint Unified School, and Segundo Dining Commons. She was also a member of the Student Nutrition Association, and gained experience providing nutrition education to the Davis community at local schools and events. She interned for the Team Davis Good Foods Garden, teaching participants with mental and/or physical disabilities the basics of nutrition, healthy snacks, and produce gardening. After graduating, Elizabeth completed a DTR certification and was able to apply her knowledge in the professional setting. She began as a Dietary Aide at Fairfield Post-Acute Rehab, a 99-bed skilled nursing and rehabilitation facility and within four months was promoted to DTR, and within the next year to Dietary Manager. She gained experience in resource management, people management, quality assurance, staff and patient education, and patient care. Elizabeth currently has an interest in working with disabled and geriatric populations in a clinical setting, preferably at a hospital or skilled nursing facility. She aspires to promote health, wellbeing, and manage nutrition-related diseases by improving or even reversing the health conditions patients are facing. She is ecstatic to be a part of the California State University Sacramento Dietetic Internship and to gain the advanced knowledge and experience necessary for a career as a successful RD.


Jaquilyn Diamante


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Jaquilyn Diamante was born in the Philippines but since age three was raised in Vacaville, California. As a child, she enjoyed cooking family recipes with her parents and older brothers. At Solano Community College, after completing her first diet analysis, she knew she wanted to continue learning about nutrition. While going to college, she worked at Starbucks part time, learning much about coffee and foodservice management. After transferring to Sacramento State University as a Nutrition and Dietetics major, she worked as a student interviewer at the Public Health Survey Research Program. Primarily focusing on two studies, the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) and Champions for Healthy Change, Jaquilyn conducted 24-hour dietary recalls over the phone with low-income California residents. During her last semester, she interned at Meals on Wheels for her community nutrition class, creating nutrition education material about fruits and vegetables, and presenting to the older adults at Congregate meal sites. After graduating in Fall 2017, Jaquilyn worked at Meals on Wheels as an Administrative Assistant, strengthening her office and computer skills while continuing with the nutrition department. She created more nutrition education materials and participated in the Seniors Farmer’s Market Coupon event.


Katie Fernandez


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Katie graduated from California State University, Chico in 2016 earning her bachelor’s degree in Nutrition and Food Sciences with an emphasis in General Dietetics. While completing her undergraduate courses, she also worked at several internships with the Center for Healthy Communities in Chico where she taught cooking and nutrition classes to low-income adults and their families. She also interned with the Senior Nutrition Program in Orland and helped incorporate locally grown fruits and vegetables into the recipes used there. Katie also worked as a diet aide for Riverside Convalescent Hospital in Chico and was an undergraduate student assistant for her professor at CSUC. After graduating, Katie became a Dietetic Technician, Registered (NDTR), worked as a diet clerk at Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento and volunteered for Meals on Wheels. After the dietetic internship, Katie plans on staying in the Sacramento area to work as an inpatient clinical dietitian. She is thrilled to be completing her dietetic internship at CSU, Sacramento and looks forward to gaining valuable experiences. Katie enjoys powerlifting and participates in local 5K runs in her spare time.


Kayanne Hagar


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Kayanne began at San Diego State University as a nursing major because of her desire to work in a health profession. As a student living in the freshman dorms, she enjoyed the challenge of discovering creative ways of designing healthy, well rounded meals with the little amount of resources the dorms offered. Her interest in cooking and the therapeutic effects of food quickly turned into a passion. After careful thought and research, she decided that a career in nursing wouldn’t truly satisfy my passion so she declared as a nutrition major. Initially uncertain of future professional opportunities as nutrition major, she learned more about the role of Registered Dietitians in her health promotion and disease prevention classes and knew that a RDN was exactly what she was going to be. To become more involved on campus and in the community and to further explore her interest in the relationship between nutrition and health, as well as to have a meaningful impact on the lives of others, Kayanne joined Kappa Delta National Sorority. Through that organization, she participated in numerous community service events, served as an academic mentor and gained valuable leadership experience as the sorority’s health and wellness chair. She joined SDSU’s Student Nutrition Organization, volunteering at a hospital and working in numerous restaurants to gain food service experience. After college, she gained experience in diabetes research while working as a Dietetic Technician, in a skilled nursing facility to prepare for the dietetic internship. She is excited to start at CSU Sacramento and finish the final step to becoming an RDN!


Katherine Llyod


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Katherine Lloyd obtained her BS in Family and Consumer Sciences with an emphasis in Dietetics and minor in Biological Services at California State University Sacramento. Originally from Southern California, Katherine spent most of her life in the Bay Area before moving to Sacramento in 2012. During her last year at CSUS, Katherine was offered a position as a Diet Tech at Center for Discovery, a residential eating disorder center, where she worked for almost two years. In 2017, she transitioned to the hospital setting at Sutter Roseville Medical Center where she worked as a Diet Clerk. During her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family and two dogs.


Vicki Mohning


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Pursuing a degree in Nutrition was originally motivated by Vicki’s family, who placed a high value on academia and philanthropy. She also had an inherent interest in physical activity and health from a very early age. Since receiving a BS degree in Clinical Nutrition from San Jose State University, Vicki has worked extensively in the field, gaining experiences which continue to shape and motivate her. Working as a Diet Technician at Kaiser has exposed her to an environment which is constantly challenging, always interesting, and intensely moving. Facing a debilitating illness can have devastating effects on a person and their family. It takes a team - patient, family, and healthcare professionals - to combat disease and restore health. Vicki is grateful for her experiences working as a personal trainer where the focus was on disease prevention vs. disease management. The idea that people, in spite of their genetic proclivity, can prevent, delay, or even reverse disease through diet and exercise is an approach that she strongly endorses. As a personal trainer, she worked with a diverse group of clients from youth groups to the elderly, and from conditioned athletes to the deconditioned and injured. She thus learned to develop and adapt programs to suit the needs of the individual. And, as with healthcare, a team approach enabled her clients to reach goals that seemed unattainable alone. Vicki’s nutrition degree has not only fulfilled her original motivations, it also encompasses many aspects of her personal life. I love to grow, harvest, and experiment with fresh, culinary ingredients. Most other pursuits outside of work involve “moving”. She loves hiking, running, biking, kayaking, ultimate frisbee, indoor rock-climbing, playing guitar, chasing her nephews, and having time with family and friends. Vicki is excited about all aspects of the CSUS Dietetic Internship. Becoming a Registered Dietitian will complete her original goal, and expand her scope so she can explore and continue to grow.


Irene Ventura Curiel


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Irene Ventura Curiel graduated from the University of California, Davis in 2018 with a Bachelor’s of Science in Clinical Nutrition. As an undergraduate student, she dedicated her free time volunteering throughout Sacramento County, and was concerned about the prevalent health disparities among the underserved populations. Irene is pursuing a career in dietetics to utilize her knowledge and expertise in nutrition to advocate for society’s vulnerable groups. In preparation for her career, Irene volunteered as a Spanish-English interpreter for a registered dietician and for the Sacramento County WIC office. She also worked for the UC Davis Nutrition Department and the UC Davis Medical Center as a research assistant. In recognition for her outstanding community service, the UC Davis Internship and Career Center awarded Irene consecutive community service awards in 2017 and 2018. Throughout her undergraduate volunteer service, she developed experience in clinical and community nutrition, and ventured to tackle international public policy through her research. Irene was part of a research team that performed a month-long collaborative needs assessment survey centered around the healthcare resources available to neglected rural populations in a central province of Vietnam. Irene and her team assessed the needs and availability of health technologies for the diagnosis and monitoring of diabetes mellitus, infectious diseases, and cardiac biomarker testing for the rapid diagnosis of acute myocardial infarction. Irene’s research findings have been presented in the form of two manuscripts (in press) and numerous presentations. Irene is honored to be a part of the California State University, Sacramento dietetic internship program for the 2018-2019 term. Irene is ready to use her nutrition knowledge to assist underserved populations foreign and domestic in the exciting career ahead of her.


Nicole O'Neal


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Nikki O’Neal graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno in 2014 with a Bachelor’s of Science in nutrition and dietetics. She went on to earn a Master’s of Science in nutrition from Bastyr University in 2018. Her graduate thesis work examined different modalities for diabetes management. During her time at Bastyr, she was also an active volunteer in the Seattle community. As a Cooking Matters nutrition educator, she facilitated classes for veterans at the VA Puget Sound Health Care System. As a Teen Feed coordinator and garden liaison, she cultivated produce and planned whole foods-based meals for homeless youth in the Seattle area. She witnessed firsthand how nutrition can transform lives and is driven to show people the power of food as medicine. These experiences among others strengthened her passion for whole foods nutrition and chronic disease prevention. Some of her other interests include integrative and functional nutrition, public policy and sports nutrition. In her spare time, Nikki enjoys gardening, cooking, reading and spending time with her husband and 4-year-old French bulldog. As a northern California native, she is thrilled to return to the area and complete her dietetic internship at Sacramento State.