Congratulations to Idaho’s Outstanding Dietetics Student Award Recipients for 2022-2023

Students will be recognized at the Annual Meeting, and their names will be published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics in September. The future is bright for RDNs in Idaho and the Pacific Northwest. Students are selected for this award by their programs.

For more information about this National recognization, click here:

Kaela Armstrong, Idaho State University BS Dietetics, ODSA 2023.

Kaela is a senior in the undergraduate dietetics program at Idaho State University. During her time in the
dietetics program, she has become known for her unending willingness to volunteer to help with and lead projects.

Kaela was invited to join the Beta Rho chapter of Phi Upsilon Omicron National Honor Society in the
spring of 2021. The following academic year, she served as the Beta Rho Chapter Public Relations Chair
and the 2022 Beta Rho Professional Project Awareness Campaign leader. As the Awareness Campaign
leader, she worked with Beta Rho members to spread the word about the Idaho Food Bank’s Backpack
Program to over 1,000 people via social media and community events. In collaboration with other
Professional Project efforts, led to Beta Rho raising $2,000, which was donated directly to the
Backpack Program.

This academic year, Kaela is serving as the Beta Rho Chapter President and the National Collegiate
A representative for Region Four (the northwestern United States). In these roles, she has often
expressed that leadership is not about telling people what to do, but rather, leadership is guiding people
to be successful in what they want to do. She has supported her fellow officers, chapter members, and regional colleagues to meet their goals, such as increasing membership and participation.

Kaela is also a member of the Nutrition and Wellness Club at ISU. She can always be counted on to bring
laughs to an event, whether it be a social or service-related event. One of her favorite events to
plan was the ISU 2022 Bootacular Event. That event is an opportunity to create nutrition-based
educational games for children in the community and provide a nutrient-dense snack.
Kaela continues her service all year, and summertime is no exception. Kaela spent summer breaks
volunteering at specialized camps for kids with conditions such as PKU and Diabetes, learning about the
management of these conditions from both dietitians at the camp and the people attending.
During her time in the undergraduate dietetics program, Kaela has shown her drive for leadership and
service, all while maintaining academic success. Kaela sees a management role in her future – either
through a position, she is hired into or in private practice. Either way, Kaela is better prepared for them
through her numerous leadership experiences while at ISU.

Megan Follett, University of Idaho MS Dietetics, ODSA 2023.

Megan came to the University of Idaho in Fall of 2016 from Snohomish, WA. There she began her studies and found the field of nutrition and dietetics. From there, she double majored in Food and Nutrition and Child, Youth and Family Studies, where she worked to combine her love of nutrition sciences and working with young children and families. When the Master’s in Dietetics degree became available at the U of I, she didn’t hesitate to apply and continue her education in the field and become a Registered Dietitian. Megan’s goals are to help children and families enjoy food and nutrition and help find new ways to advance the field. She hopes to work in the clinical and research field in the future. After completing her program this Spring, 2023, Megan is planning on continuing her education to a Ph.D. in Nutritional Sciences at the University of Idaho. She enjoys time with friends and family in her spare time, reading, cooking new dishes, and playing trivia. 

Shannon Haderlie, Idaho State University MS Dietetic Internship, ODSA 2023.

As a kid, Shannon wondered how they knew the information about food that we read on the nutrition
label. During high school, a career exploration class allowed her to shadow dietitians for a term, and she
was hooked. The science of food got her interested, but the personal connections made by dietitians
made her sure this was the profession for her. Shannon attended Idaho State University and earned her
bachelor’s degree in dietetics. Then, she took some time off to raise a family. After a couple of moves,
her family settled back in Idaho, and she heard about the combination of the master’s degree and
dietetic internship programs at Idaho State. With 4 teenagers at home and her husband just finishing
grad school himself, it seemed the perfect opportunity to go back to school. A 17-year gap year may not
the typical start to getting a master’s and completing an internship, but now that it’s all done, she
wouldn’t have it any other way. With life experience plus a great education as a foundation, her hope is
to work in clinical or outpatient education, using her knowledge to help people understand nutrition and
improve their health one small goal at a time.