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Meet Colette Miller

Date: Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Colette Miller, portraitHometown: Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Program: Master of Clinical Nutrition Program

How did you choose your program?

I studied Human Physiology as an undergraduate student here at the University of Iowa and prepared to go to physical therapy school, but always had a passion for nutrition. After graduating, I realized I wanted to pursue my passion for nutrition with my career. I found out about the new Master of Clinical Nutrition Program at Iowa and immediately applied. I was lucky to have been accepted! This program has allowed me to earn a master’s degree, gain experience in clinical nutrition, prepare me for the registered dietitian exam, and start my career as a dietitian. Not to mention, I was able to learn and work at one of the best teaching hospitals, the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics! It was an easy decision to attend this program!

What experiences outside the curriculum greatly enhanced your education?

The workshops, guest speakers, and clinical and management rotations expanded my education greatly, beyond what could be learned in textbooks and course work. Recently, we completed a workshop where we practiced effectively communicating nutrition information to a variety of audiences. We have listened to many guest speakers who presented topics such as farming, nutrition research, multiple sclerosis, eating disorders, motivational interviewing, long-term care consulting, community health, and so much more. Clinical and management rotations provided us with opportunities to apply our knowledge from course work and learn through hands on experiences. These rotations also allowed us to practice working on interdisciplinary teams of managers and health care professionals. All of these experiences prepared us for working in the broad field of nutrition as registered dietitians.

Who was especially helpful in guiding and mentoring you?

Laurie Kroymann, the Master of Clinical Nutrition program director, has been instrumental in my path to becoming a registered dietitian. She met with me in the early stages of realizing that I wanted to pursue nutrition as my career. She encouraged me to apply to the program even though I did not have an undergraduate degree in dietetics. She helped me figure out how my undergraduate classes could fit within the application criteria and the additional classes I needed to take in order to join the program. Then, once I was in the program, Laurie continued to be a strong advocate for my learning and success in the field of dietetics. She challenged me to grow as a student and pre-professional. In addition, she always kept an open door for times when I had questions, needed advice or support, or just wanted to chat about life. Her sincerity, upbeat spirit, and compassion for students is what makes the Master of Clinical Nutrition Program special, and I am certain my classmates would say the same!

What was the most rewarding part of your Carver College of Medicine experience?

The most rewarding part of my time in the Master of Clinical Nutrition program in the Carver College of Medicine was applying everything I had learned into clinical practice and watching this work make a positive difference in patients’ health and hospital experience. Whether I was practicing in pediatrics, adult, inpatient, or outpatient settings, it was always rewarding to be able to get to know patients, help solve their nutritional difficulties, and observe improvements in their health and overall well-being.

Share one memory that sticks out from your time as a student at Carver College of Medicine?

I will forever remember the resource room, the office my classmates and I shared for the duration of the program. We spent countless hours in that room talking, laughing, and studying. We made the space our own and decorated it for special occasions. We supported each other in our pursuits of becoming registered dietitians and became close friends in that room! I am definitely sad to move out of that office when I graduate but am excited for the next class that will get to move in and make new memories!