North Oaks Health System’s Dietetic Internship faculty and staff honored nine graduates for completing the program May 8. Due to COVID-19, the graduates gathered for a socially distanced luncheon at the E. Brent Dufreche Conference Center on June 10 instead of a traditional commencement ceremony.
Members of the class include, seated, from left, Amanda Hines of Mandeville; Emma Moore of Baton Rouge; Emma Pittman and Hannah Eblen of Metairie; (standing from left) Ashley Smith of Folsom; Zachary Williams of Chesterton, Indiana; Brittany Francisco of Denham Springs; and Courtney Cornett of Albany. Not pictured is Heather Moran of Greenwell Springs. Standing at far right is Leslie Ballard, director of the North Oaks Dietetic Internship program.
Two graduates received awards this year. Hines received the Mary Nelson Award that is given by program faculty in recognition of eagerness to learn, dedication to the profession, and high professional standards. Hines also was selected by her peers to receive the Dannye Young Taylor “Always Remembering Others” Award in recognition of selfless assistance of others. Taylor is a longtime patient representative for North Oaks Health System. The award was created in her honor by her husband, Dr. Rodney Taylor.
Pittman received the Carol Bertrand Award for Excellence. The award was created in memory of the late Bertrand, who was a registered dietitian, grassroots advocate for the dietetics profession, and graduate of North Oaks’ second Dietetic Internship class. Faculty selected Pittman for her essay on the potential of registered dietitians taking a role in public policy related to medical nutrition therapy.