Bachelors Degrees > Teachers College, Henderson > Family and Consumer Science
Tracie Blair, B.S. ’11 had a rocky introduction to her chosen major. “I fell into the dietetics program by accident,” she recalls. After a food and nutrition class she took out of interest, she had an allergic reaction to one of the ingredients the class had been working with in a food lab. “I wanted to understand everything there was to know about this food, and Dr. [Patti] Miley recommended I sign up for dietetics.” Soon she was on her way to discovering the mystery behind her allergy and a whole world of interesting facts about how our bodies process foods, chemical reactions that occur when they are prepared and more. Her favorite class? Experimental food science.
One of the things that Tracie had appreciated the most about Henderson’s dietetics program is the small class sizes. “You really get to know each other and you are backing each other up,” she says. Since there is just one other person graduating with her, the family and consumer science department’s professors, especially Ms. Penny Whelchel , director of the dietetics program, have time to help her and others reach their specific goals. This fall, Tracie will begin her graduate degree and required internship in dietetics at Texas A&M. According to Dr. Whelchel, internship programs only have a 50 percent acceptance rate, so her acceptance is a significant accomplishment.
Tracie’s interest in sports dietetics merges her love of nutrition and her experience on Henderson’s cross country team for the past four years. She will take with her not only a solid base of classroom learning, but also a wealth of hands-on experiences. She has worked with the Clark County Cooperative Extension Service in Arkadelphia to visit schools and talk to the students and their parents about good nutrition. She has also participated in judging 4-H contests and worked under professional dietitians at Baptist Health Medical Center in town.
Although the career options for dietitians are many, some people still have misconceptions about what they do, Tracie says. “I don’t judge what people eat,” she says. “Dietitians aren’t trying to make people perfect, we’re just trying to make them healthier.”