Petersons Named Outstanding Dietetics Educator

Petersons named Outstanding Dietetics Educator

Maija Petersons, associate professor in the department of Consumer Resources and Technology at Western Michigan University, has been named a recipient of the Outstanding Dietetics Educator Award from the American Dietetic Association.

Petersons was one of 35 educators selected nationwide to receive the honor, which was presented for the first time at the annual regional meeting of the Dietetic Educators of Practitioners April 1 in Sioux Falls, S.D. The organization, which is affiliated with the American Dietetic Association, is composed of teachers who specialize in dietetics instruction.

The award recognizes the teaching, mentoring and leadership activities of faculty and preceptors in dietetics education programs accredited and approved by the American Dietetic Association. Award winners must be members of the American Dietetic Association and demonstrate leadership in national, state or district dietetic association activities. Award criteria also included community service, honors received, scientific and professional presentations, and articles published.

Petersons was nominated by a colleague from Michigan State University and supported by letters from three WMU students. She received particular recognition for developing a dietetics internship program at the university four years ago. Under the program, eight students who receive degrees in dietetics each year are sent through a series of rotations at food service facilities in area hospitals and clinics to receive hands-on experience in clinical nutrition, community nutrition and food service management.

Petersons also was cited for activities that included serving as president of the Southwest Michigan District Dietetic Association. She also served as treasurer of the Michigan Dietetic Association, and chaired the association's bylaws, policies and procedures committee.

A WMU faculty member since 1977, Petersons earned a bachelor's degree from the UW-Stout. She received a master's degree from the UW-Madison and a doctoral degree from Ohio State University.

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