Ellen Shanley MBA, RDN, CDN, FAND
Current Nominee on National Ballot for Board of Directors, Director-at-Large
What inspired you to become a RDN/NDTR?
My Mother was a dietitian so I heard about the profession very early on. When I was in high school I really liked science and thought I would go into a healthcare profession. I took some placement tests and they indicated as my #1 career a home economics teachers and #2 a dietitian. Well I went with #2 and have loved my career since!
I think it is interesting as well that teacher came out as a career option. Needless to say I’m not in home economics but I do teach!
Where do you work now and where have you worked in the past?
I am a faculty member at UConn in the Department of Allied Health Sciences (AHS). My title is Dietetics Director and we have both a Coordinated Undergraduate and Graduate program and a dietetic internship. Prior to coming to AHS, I was the Didactic Program Director at UConn in the Department of Nutritional Sciences.
What is your favorite recipe/food?
I love anything Italian! Both of my Father’s parents were from Italy so it comes naturally. I love to travel and must say Italy is a favorite country and the food is unbelievable! I have lots of favorite recipes. One of my favorites is shrimp fra diavolo.
General tip for improving diet?
Eat what you like and watch portions and frequency!
If stranded on island-what one food or beverage you would want an unlimited supply of?
I’ve got to go back to those Italian roots and say pasta. Diet coke too!
What is the best part of your job?
I love all of the interactions with wonderful people! It is great to work with colleagues that are very bright and dedicated and we work so hard for the students. I continually feel energized and excited about the profession and they keep me on my toes. I hope young too!
Where do you want to see the RDN/NDTR profession in 10 years?
As RDNs and NDTRs, we need to continue to make others realize our knowledge and how integral it is to acute care and prevention. The medical team must see that we are fundamental to the patient/client’s outcomes. Reimbursement for our services is essential. I hope that we see more advanced practice and that employers are willing to pay for that expertise.