San Francisco State University

Student Dietetic Association Newsletter
Letter from the Editor

Hello SF State Students and Staff Members!

Welcome back to the final months of Spring Semester. Personally, spring brings to my mind new beginnings, fresh seasonal fruit and vegetables, and a preview of the warming months. What are your favorite things about Spring and this fruitful time of the year?!

March is also National Nutrition Month! This year's theme is "Put Your Best Fork Forward" and as future nutrition professionals it is a great opportunity to spread the word about what RD's do, simple ways to add more fruits and vegetables to a diet, and promote healthy eating. 

Our current newsletter features an interview with SFSU's Dietetic Internship Director, Wanda Sui-Chan, recipes featuring seasonal ingredients, SDA updates, and upcoming events. The Student Dietetic Association elections are also approaching and if you are a Junior interested in leadership, please apply for a position you are passionate about! With two months of the semester left, let's go out with a bang and make this our best year yet.
With Gratitude,
Lisa Hamilton
Newsletter Editor

1. Upcoming Events/Dates
2. March: National Nutrition Month
3. A Day in the Life of an Internship Director:
Wanda Sui- Chan, MS, RD
4. SDA Elections 2017-2018!
5. Student Health Center Leadership Positions
6. SDA Farmer's Market!
7. Juniors Take Note: Dietetic Internship Planning
8. Locavore: Recipes from the SDA community
Lisa Hamilton
Patrick Newton
Deep Sengal

Danielle Davidson
Sandra Chavez
Upcoming Events on Campus and in the Community!

SDA Meeting
When: Thursday, April, 20th 3-4 PM
Where: San Francisco State University Room TBD

Please join us for this week's food demo at the farmer's market!
When: Thursday, March 30th, 11:45 PM. 
Where: SF State Farmer's Market behind the humanities building. 

We will be celebrating National Nutrition Month one last time with a food demo at the farmer's market, Thursday March 30th. We'll start setup around 11 and the demo itself will start around 12. We will be preparing a Harissa Chickpea Salad, so come stop by and enjoy some tasty food!

Maedbh & Danielle
SDA Farmer's Market Committee Co-leaders

DFM 253: Nutrition in Health and Disease will be offered this Summer June 5th - July 7th 

May 18-24th 
Commencement: May 25th, ATT Park
Department Graduation Celebration: May 27th, 1PM
The SDA Went Bananas for National Nutrition Month At San Francisco State University!

Put Your Best Fork Forward SFSU campaign and outreach were spearheaded by Sandra Chavez and Lana Myronenko with plenty of help from Dietetic student volunteers. They featured a Herb Wheel to teach people about replacing salt intake with fresh herb flavors as detailed in the article below, Herbalicious adding herbs to your plate.

There was also information about hidden calories in alcoholic drinks and the health recommendations of one serving of alcohol for women and one for men in a day. Dietetics students as well as the larger SF state community members stopped by for quick nutrition education and learned a little about National Nutrition Month! Pictured above is Max Schroder, active dietetics junior rocking the banana suit!

Attention Sophomores and Juniors, this upcoming year is an optimal time to get involved as a Student Dietetic Association officer or in a leadership position. Not only is it a great resume addition, it is a chance to make a difference on campus and in your community, have your voice heard, and develop your leadership skills. If you are passionate about a certain area, I recommend going for something you will love doing!

The SDA officers are in charge of all SDA meetings and activities (including general meetings, officer meetings, the Dietetic Internship Workshop, and National Nutrition Month). The subcommittee leaders are only responsible for managing their committees. You may apply to SDA officer positions, subcommittee positions, or both. Note: you may hold one officer position or one subcommittee position, or you may hold one of each. If applying to both leadership type positions please clarify if you only wish to hold one or the other.

The current officers will review your application and may contact you with additional questions. We will notify you via email if you have been selected by Wednesday, April 19th.


The applications are due Friday, April 14th, 11:59 PM and the positions will be announce April 20th at the SDA meeting. Application form: Please contact Patrick, President of the SDA, if you have additional questions:



Vice President
Activities Coordinator
Newsletter Editor
Website Coordinator
CAND-BAD Representative
DVDA Representative


Farmer's Market Subcommittee Leader
EDucate Subcommittee Leader
Balanced Beings Subcommittee Leader
Sports Nutrition Subcommittee Leader
Mentor & Mentee Subcommittee Leader

Student Health Center Positions Fall 2017- Spring 2018

Health Promotion & Wellness (HPW) is now recruiting for 3 programs for academic year 2017-2018!
  • Internship
The internship is a paid ($11/hr), part time (10/hr/wk) year-long commitment focusing on a specific health topic.
Health Topics:
  • Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drugs
  • Campus Health Initiatives
  • Graphic Design
  • Men's Health
  • Mental Health
  • Nutrition
  • Sexual Health
  • Sexual Violence Prevention 
  • Volunteer Ambassador Certification Program
The volunteer ambassador program is a 4hr/month semester-long commitment.
To learn more and apply for these positions, students can go to our website:
  • CalFresh Application Assister Volunteers
As a CalFresh volunteer, you would have the opportunity to be trained in the CalFresh program and help students sign up throughout the year. This includes:
  • Two 4 hour trainings the week before Fall semester to be trained in CalFresh
  • Doing outreach and tabling for CalFresh on campus
  • Providing one-on-one CalFresh application assistance to students
  • Hosting drop in hours for students to apply and ask questions
  • Working with food banks throughout the bay area with CalFresh in addition to other opportunities that arise related to food insecurity
  • 1-2 hour/ week volunteer commitment for academic year 2017-2018
Please email Lauren Muckley at if interested. You can go to the HPW website to learn more about CalFresh


 A Day In the Life of A Dietetic Internship Director with 
Wanda Siu-Chan, MS, RD


By: Lisa Hamilton

I had the enjoyable opportunity of sitting down with Wanda Siu-Chan of San Francisco State University to find out about her background, day to day as an RD in a unique position, and personal insight on joining the profession of Dietetics. She is a mother, professor, dietetic internship director, California Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Executive Board Member, avid home cook, and all around leader in the field of Nutrition! I hope you enjoy her story as much as I did.


Please describe a day in your life as a registered dietitian:


6:30 AM On Mondays (and Wednesdays) this semester, I teach CFS 453, Nutrition in the Life Cycle from 8:10-9:25 AM. I am not a morning person, but we couldn't find another time to schedule this class... I get up at 6:30, get ready quickly, drink some water, make myself a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on whole wheat bread and some fruit for the road, bring my water bottle and my briefcase, and get in the car. Hopefully, I or my kids packed their lunches the night before!

8:10-9:25 AM Teach CFS 453 class.

9:30-10:00 AM Office hours with students or interns, check e-mail.

10:00-1:00 PM About every other week, I have class with the dietetic interns. There may be lecture, but this semester, most of time is intern case studies and intern presentations. If I don't have class, I do administrative tasks which include e-mail and phone calls with preceptors, paperwork, scheduling, and documentation.

1:00-2:15 PM Eat lunch, which is usually leftovers from home, or else, Mexican or Vietnamese food that I buy on campus. Office hours and administrative tasks.

2:15 PM Head home.

3:15 PM Pick up my teenage kids from school. I may have to drive them to band practice or music lessons.

Afternoon Prepare for class, grade papers, do administrative tasks, hopefully go for a walk!

6:30 PM Start preparing dinner - typical meals are Italian - spaghetti with homemade sauce, a side of vegetables, and a good baguette; or Chinese - steamed fish, rice, and vegetables with tofu; or oven night - roast chicken, roast potatoes and yams, roast vegetables, and a salad; or soup noodles - an easy meal that everyone always likes with pork and Asian vegetables. I try to cook dinner most nights of the week and try to make enough to have leftovers for lunch the next day!

8:30 PM Do dishes, check e-mail, grade papers, etc...maybe watch a little TV.

12:00 AM Bedtime

On the days that I don't teach, I get up around 7:15 AM to prepare my kids' lunches and get them off to school, and then I workfrom home most of the day preparing for classes, and doing administrative tasks related to the internship.

I am on the California Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics's Executive Board, so sometimes I have work to do for that which may include writing articles and scheduling/organizing speakers and student events for the Annual Meeting. Both of my kids are very active in high school band and I am an active parent volunteer for that as well. On days that I work from home, I am more likely to get in a walk or a hike.

1. What inspired you to pursue a career in Dietetics, specifically a teaching role? Are there any experiences that helped you along the way to becoming an RD and current internship director?

I honestly didn't know what to major in in college at UC Berkeley. I liked biology and was thinking about that or psychology. My Dad was a "health nut" and was always trying to eat low fat and low cholesterol food (even though his Total Cholesterol was about 150 mg/dL). I thought I would check out the nutrition department, and after filling out a 3-page application, was admitted to the Coordinated Program in Dietetics.

I worked as a clinical dietitian for seven years, during which time, I completed my M.S. and also picked up teaching an evening GE Nutrition class at a local community college. Pat Booth, who was my Coordinated Program Director at UCB, had transitioned to UCSF to be the dietetic internship director there and she was also teaching Clinical Nutrition at SFSU. She contacted me to tell me that she was no longer going to teach the Clinical Class at SFSU and that I should consider applying. I was hired on as a lecturer, and eventually became the internship director as well. Along the way, I have also worked as a diabetes educator, in home care, as a consultant, for a wannabe, and as a clinical nutrition manager, but I only work at SFSU now. I am lucky to have landed in dietetics as I have enjoyed all my jobs and learned a lot from each of them.

2. Do you have any advice for: SFSU seniors applying to dietetic internships, seniors graduating and taking a different path, and juniors continuing their academic pursuits?

For juniors, if you are interested in pursuing a dietetic internship and getting your RD, I encourage you to focus on your GPA as your priority. I know there is a lot of pressure to gain dietetics work and volunteer experience, but do not do it if your grades will suffer. You can graduate and then get experience, but it is virtually impossible to raise your GPA after graduation, even if you re-take classes.

For seniors applying to dietetic internships, I recommend applying to internships that offer what you are interested in and also that match your qualifications.

For seniors taking a different path, there are definitely other career and educational opportunities available. I recommend taking the DTR exam since you are qualified to take it. If you are interested in foodservice or community program management, there are good job opportunities in those areas. There also seem to be growing opportunities in nutrition technology and in corporate wellness and business.

3. Any literature recommendations for future dietetic professionals?

Of course, you should read your professional journals, but for more casual, but useful reading, I like "Eating Well" and the AND publication "Food & Nutrition". I also really enjoy "National Geographic" which has great articles on food, sustainability, and culture.

4. What is your favorite food and one item or product you can't live without?

I can't pick one food, so I might have to go with a few. I love mango, salmon, caprese salad, spinach, and all starches. And many different types of cuisines although my current favorites are Burmese, Spanish, and Vietnamese. I can't live without my "everyday" pan, which I do use almost every day!

Locavore: Recipes from our Community

Patrick Newton, SDA President, has created a recipe for the Farmer's Market Food Demo this Thursday. If you can't make it to the demo, but would like to try the Harissa Salad for yourself, give the recipe below a try in the comfort of your own kitchen! 

Harissa Chickpea Salad 


2 tsp Harissa Paste 

1 1/2 Tbl Extra Virgin Olive Oil 

1/4 cup Plain Yogurt 

1 Tbl Honey 

1 tsp Coriander Powder 

1 Lemon (zest and juice) 

1/3 bunch of Parsley 


1 medium Shallot  

1 large Cucumber  

1 cup Cherry or Grape Tomatoes 

1 can Garbanzo Beans (low-sodium) 

1/3 cup Feta Cheese 



1) In a large bowl combine harissa, olive oil, yogurt, honey, lemon zest and juice, and coriander to make the dressing. Strip the parsley leaves from steams, chop roughly, and mix with the dressing. 


2) Peel and slice the shallot very thin and place in cold water for 2-3 minutes. Then strain and pat dry with a paper towel. 


3) Rinse the garbanzo beans and strain off excess water. Cut cucumber and tomatoes in pieces roughly the same size as the garbanzo beans and add all remaining ingredients to the bowl with the dressing (reserve half the feta cheese). 


4) Season lightly with salt and mix together. Garnish with remaining feta cheese, lemon wedges, and serve with whole wheat pita bread. Drizzle with more olive oil if desired. 


SF State Cares Instagram Account

@sfstatecares is a wonderful resource full of tips for a healthier lifestyle starting today! They often post events on campus, cartoons, and ways to de-stress during the busy school year. Their mission is to promote a healthy state of mind and body through social media and SF State events. It is managed by staff members of health promotion and wellness and if you are interested, you can check them out via Instagram or Facebook!

Student Dietetic Association Farmer's Market!

SDA Sub-Committee leaders had a lot of fun playing National Nutrition Month jeopardy & guess the herb today! Those who earned 500+ points got to choose a prize: we had veggie tattoos, bath bombs, journals, and "Let's Get Cookin" plates.They were able to outreach to students and Farmer's Market Attendees about the Dietetics field in a fun and exciting way!

The SFSU Farmer's Market takes place every Thursday 10-3 in front of the Humanities building if you would like to say "Hi" to our SDA members or pick up some fresh fruit and vegetables for the week ahead.

Attention Juniors! Below are some resources and events to help you prepare for the next steps in your dietetic career. Deep Singal has prepared a summary of the Dietetic Internship Workshop this upcoming Fall to explain why it is a great event to attend! 

SFSU Dietetic Internship Workshop

By: Deep Singal 

Prior to the completion of undergraduate coursework, dietetic students apply and compete for positions in dietetic internships at the national level. The intern must complete 1,200 hours of clinical supervised practice, in order to become eligible for the Registered Dietitian examination. The application process and requirements for admission are overwhelming, however The Student Dietetic Association (SDA) at San Francisco State University hosts an annual internship workshop to equip students with necessary information to improve chances of acceptance.

The SDA provides aspiring students in training with the opportunity to learn more about personal statements and the resume process. Dr. Susan Roe, Assistant Professor for the Human Tourism Management Department at San Francisco State University, stresses the importance of “being true to yourself.” She highlights key aspects of resume building and how to utilize the personal statement as an opportunity to express identity and separate one’s self from a dense pool of applicants.

The seminar also provides background knowledge on how to complete the Dietetic Internship Centralized Application System (DICAS) and the process of ranking desired institutions through the dietetic internship-matching interface (D&D digital). Claire Walsh, The Director of the Didactic Program in Dietetics at San Francisco State University, details each section of the application process and reminds students to meet application deadlines. She mentions the importance of choosing applicable candidates for letters of recommendations in order to persuade internship directors as to why the applying student best fits the organization. The workshop allows students an opportunity to clear any confusion in regards to the application steps and any concerns related to the online interface.

The symposium allows students to hear from an internship director and ask questions regarding applicant evaluation. Wanda Siu-Chan, San Francisco State University’s Dietetic Internship Program Director, relays key aspects with respect to the selection criteria. Aside from maintaining an overall GPA of 2.7, Directors evaluate academia by reviewing DPD professional GPA, DPD Science GPA, and overall DPD GPA. Though 2.7 is a minimum marker for application acceptance, average DPD GPA for SFSU applicants is greater than or equal to 3.6. In addition to strong academic performance, applicants must demonstrate dietetic and relevant non-dietetic work experience. The accumulated hours of volunteer work play a role in determining applicant admission into the internship. Selection criteria and requirements vary amongst the many accepting internship work sites. There is no such thing as the “perfect” candidate, however directors look for a combination of academic achievement, commitment to affiliated work, volunteer, or internship organizations, and the overall presentation of submitted applications.

During the Q&A session of the workshop, students had the opportunity to pepper current interns with questions regarding their respective organizations and the experiences involved. The panel consisted of San Francisco State University Alumni who were once in the same position as the many attendees. The symposium was not only informative, but also interactive. Students were able to network with others and seek guidance from the panel of interns. Aside from the personal stories shared, many students asked the question, “How competitive is the internship process?” Well, here are a few statistics. In the last 3 years, 50% of applicants on a national level have been matched. In 2013, 5,444 applicants applied and only 2,963 students were accepted. Fortunately, San Francisco State University is proud to hold a match rate between 55-65% in the last 5 years. In 2016, 56% of SFSU students were accepted.

The Student Dietetic Association is a gateway to the many opportunities awaiting students who are interested in the field of Dietetics. The organization provides support for underclassmen just entering the major and guides students towards pinpointing a potential career path within this field. The support from surrounding students, faculty, and staff has played a significant role in the match rates over the years. As we near the April 2nd match date, tensions are high and students typically experience mixed emotions. Students often feel frustrated with the academic rigor and busy lifestyles outside of the classroom, however many doors of opportunity await students who are willing to maintain a consistent work ethic. Accept and take on the many challenges one day at a time and dedicate your efforts towards your goal. Remember, if there is a will, there is always a way.

Who Is One of Your Nutrition Role Models?
I have the greatest respect and admiration for chef Jeremy Fox. He was the chef at a restaurant in Napa called Ubuntu, which was the only vegetarian one Michelin star restaurant that I know of. His masterful treatment of vegetables and utilization of the whole plant in novel ways has inspired me to approach the simplest ingredients with the same care as the most luxurious.

-Patrick Newton, SDA President
I am inspired by New Orleans-based food blogger Beth Moncel of Budget Bytes. She creates recipes that are delicious, easy, and affordable, such as Thai curry vegetable soup and sriracha egg salad.

-Danielle Davidson
Farmer's Market Committee 
One of my nutrition role models is self-proclaimed guerrilla/gangsta gardener Ron Finely. He began by planting fruits and vegetables for his South Central, LA neighborhood,  in the unused dirt areas around his house. This quickly ballooned to a huge project which aims to bring fresh produce to a food desert and give neighborhood kids a place to learn about food and stay out of trouble. 

-Sandra Chavez
BADA Representative
My mom is one of my nutrition role models. Although she doesn't have an RD behind her name, she studied culinary arts and is always incorporating healthy ingredients into meal time. She is a private chef and clients are always pleased when they find out a particular recipe was made with less added salt, more herbs, and features fresh foods!

-Lisa Hamilton, Newsletter Editor
Thank you for reading the March Newsletter! if you have any events, photographs, news stories, tips, or recipes to share please email me at to be included in our April/May issue. 

All works have been acknowledged in this publication. Image Credits: All images sources from searches using the name of the picture. "Preparation"  

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Student Dietetic Association SFSU · 1900 Holloway Ave. · San Francisco, CA 94132 · USA

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