UNH dietetic program grads heading to top choice internships

Friday, May 1, 2020
UNH dietetics students in the simulation lab

This year, UNH’s graduating dietetics majors have achieved an impressive feat: all who applied for dietetic internships through the “matching” system have been accepted, or “matched,” by one of their top three choices. The four graduate students and five alumni who applied for dietetic internships have also successfully matched.

Nationally, the match rate for students seeking to enroll in dietetic internships is between 56 and 66 percent.

Among the programs the students will be heading to are Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Beth Israel Deaconess, the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, and UNH’s own combined Master of Science with Dietetic Internship (MSDI) program.

“Our dietetics students are truly impressive,” says Maggie Dylewski Begis, clinical associate professor and director of the didactic program in dietetics. “They have all worked hard to successfully navigate our rigorous curriculum as well as gain extracurricular experience. They all have the potential to significantly contribute to the field of nutrition as competent and successful registered dietitian nutritionists (RDNs).”

The UNH dietetics program is no stranger to success. Graduates of the dietetic internship program routinely score well on the national dietitian registration exam and in 2018, the entire class passed. The average 5-year pass rate is 98 percent, another testament to the strength of program and its faculty.

“I cannot speak more highly of the UNH dietetic program,” says Tiana DiBenedetto ’20, who will be attending the MSDI program at Boston University in the fall. “The faculty truly want to help you succeed. They create such a great and welcoming community, and they go far above teaching through immersive, hands-on clinical work and in the simulation lab and that fully prepare us for our futures.”

Marissa Luciano, who is staying at UNH for the MSDI program, also points out that UNH’s dietetics program offers students opportunities in every field of nutrition, which is not commonly available at other schools.

“Whether you are interested in sports nutrition, public health, food insecurity, clinical, or unsure of what you want, there are opportunities to volunteer and participate in each,” she says. “Starting the first semester students enter the nutrition program, the faculty help prepare you for whatever you want to do. If something is lacking on your resume, they will advise you on a club, job, or volunteer opportunity. The faculty are always working on new things to add to the program and work hard to incorporate new experiences.”

The UNH dietetics major is accredited by The Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The United States Department of Education recognizes ACEND as an accrediting body.

In 2019, Begis and Kevin Pietro, clinical assistant professor of nutrition, were recognized with COLSA’s top honors. Begis won the outstanding advisor award and Pietro was honored with the excellence in teaching award. Both award nominations were supported by high praise from students and colleagues alike.

But despite the substantial influence of an invested and expert faculty, Begis gives most credit to the students themselves.

“Our students have a remarkable commitment to their academic and professional success, which translates into their solid critical thinking skills, communication skills, empathy, integrity, and professionalism,” she says. “That is why we have a high match rate.”

  • Written By:

    Sarah Schaier | College of Life Sciences and Agriculture