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Morrisville State College diet tech students reach out to veterans

Elizabeth Seeley, Whitney Graham, and Timothy Hayes, prepare food during a Meal Management lab held at the Copper Turret, college-run restaurant.

Elizabeth Seeley, Whitney Graham, and Timothy Hayes, prepare food during a Meal Management lab held at the Copper Turret, college-run restaurant.

— Four students from the accredited dietetic technician program at Morrisville State College recently reached outside of their classroom to help veterans at Clear Path for Veterans in Chittenango.

The students volunteered their time and expertise, providing helpful nutritional information to 11 soldiers from Fort Drum experiencing low-level TBIs (traumatic brain injuries) who will be entering into civilian life within the next year.

The students, seniors in assistant professor Joan Nicholson’s Community Field Experience class, discussed one-on-one dietary needs of soldiers and those with TBI’s, and also provided educational materials. Additionally, they answered questions and discussed Morrisville State College’s programs and opportunities for veterans.

But the visit wasn’t all about healthy eating. It was also their way to show support for the nation’s returning servicemen and women.

“I was happy to share some of my dietetics knowledge with those who had made sacrifices to serve our country and had been through so much at such a young age,” said MSC student Tim Hayes, of Nedrow.

“I think the exchange of thoughts and stories; and the personal connection we made was worth much more than any “food facts” we could have given them,” MSC student Beth Seeley, of Cazenovia, said. “It was a powerful experience for me.”

Dietetic technician students who participated from Morrisville State College included Whitney Graham, of Smyrna; Beth Seeley, of Cazenovia; Judy Durant of Verona; and Tim Hayes, of Nedrow.

“The Morrisville dietetic program is so very fortunate to have the opportunity to bring a global perspective to the students through our community organization partnerships such as Clear Path,” Nicholson said. “Students apply their skills, learn from the people they work with, and serve the community. Everyone benefits from these experiences.”

Clear Path for Veterans is a non-profit organization that helps veterans returning from war get acclimated to civilian life.

MSC students are also reaching out to the campus with nutritional information during March, National Nutrition Month, with a display in the campus library which includes books on nutrition and food, and nutrition games and recipes.

Morrisville State College’s dietetic technician associate degree program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, a specialized accrediting body recognized by the United States Department of Education.

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