Today’s Dietitian: Fifth Annual Showcase of 10 Incredible RDs Who Are Making a Difference

For the past five years, Today’s Dietitian has asked readers to nominate colleagues who they believe have accomplished incredible feats in the dietetics field, who have gone above and beyond what’s expected of them to spread nutrition messages, establish new trends, lead movements, and help the underserved lead healthier lives. Each year, all the wonderful successes you have in the nutrition profession continue to amaze us, making it increasingly difficult to select only 10 winners from such an exceptional pool of high achievers.

Dietitians represent nutrition in many different areas and in many different ways. Some work with underprivileged populations, the elderly, and children. Others tirelessly investigate our food sources and sustainable food systems and provide nutritious meals to those who don’t have access to them. And still more are making great strides in the areas of education, policy reform, research, and engaging one another as they advance the profession.

In honor of National Nutrition Month® and Registered Dietitian Day, Today’s Dietitian has chosen 10 exemplary dietitians who deserve recognition for their exceptional work in the field. We hope you enjoy their stories and become even more inspired to continue the incredible work you do each day.

Lisa Eberhart, RD, CSSD, LDN, CDE

Dietitian for University Dining at North Carolina State University

As a full-time dietitian with North Carolina State University, Lisa Eberhart hasn’t only changed the way students eat but the way they perceive food. She has proven that even minor changes can make a dramatic difference in students’ nutrition, as one healthful choice often leads to another. Putting fruit and vegetables in prominent positions, changing milk from 2% to 1%, using turkey in place of beef, and switching from white to wheat bread are just a few healthful changes students on campus readily are accepting.

“We’ve tried to make things healthier without making a big deal [about it] to the students because that can turn them off,” Eberhart says. “I’m proud of how far we’ve come. We have a huge fruit and vegetable bar that’s very popular with students as well as a hydration station that looks like something you’d see at a spa and that attracts students to drink more water.”

But Eberhart also is especially proud of the food labeling program. She says North Carolina State has one of the best allergy marking systems among universities, and that allows students with allergies to feel comfortable making safe dining decisions.

The campus offers iPads that enable students to sort menu items by allergen, she explains. For instance, if students have a peanut allergy, they can select the peanut icon to bring up a list of safe foods they can eat.

Eberhart began her work for North Carolina State as a consultant while keeping up with a thriving private practice. Ultimately, it morphed into a full-time job, which she says is a bit like a dream come true. “I have the perfect job because it’s a marriage between food, foodservice, clinical nutrition, and education,” she says. “It’s such a great combination, and I really love it.” Read more.