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Today @ MAND – Nominations and Black History Month

February 27th, 2021

AND elections are done and Massachusetts participation went up to 13.54% from last year’s 8.1%! Keep up the participation as we have the MAND Board of Directors elections coming quickly. Read further for the nominations. Lastly, the entire month of February is National Black History Month. So at MAND we wanted to feature once again the inspirational, historical and influential Black individuals that contribute to food and nutrition.

2021-2022 MAND Slate of Candidates for BOD Positions & Goals

Survey: 60% of Young People Want to Vote in This Year's ...

Secretary-Elect: Valerie Machinist

I love being involved with MAND and being a part of the MAND board. I enjoy working with other dietitians towards the goal of “empowering MAND members, through advocacy and education, to serve their communities as nutrition experts.” I’ve held many positions on the MAND board over the years, and the role of Secretary-elect/Secretary has always appealed to me. I enjoy interacting with all the different positions, learning about the good work they are doing, and in this role, having the opportunity to record and organize all of it. I would be honored to be able to continue serving MAND in this capacity.

Treasurer-Elect: Kristin Otto

As the treasurer-elect, I would like to utilize my business/accounting background to help optimize spend for MAND events. I hope this will help to strengthen and maintain the organization. Positioning MAND to financially thrive so members can obtain the most benefit for years to come is something I would love to accomplish.

Treasurer-Elect: Shahira Orcel

I anticipate that this position will push me to work outside my comfort zone, allowing me to grow and increase my range of competencies. I hope to network with other dietitians in the field while increasing my knowledge of how financial management can help to support advocacy, education, diversity and inclusion in the field of nutrition. As treasurer-elect, I hope to continue to strengthen the financial position of MAND so that it may continue to adapt and evolve to support and empower its members.

Education-Elect: Christine McCarthy Clark

As the Director of Education-Elect, I look forward to network with local dietetics professionals. I intend to assist in bringing forward current and relevant topics to the members. I hope to offer insight from my own experience in the area of nutrition education.

Public Relations Elect: Shelby Burns

If I am elected for either position I hope to continue and further the efforts of those that have preceded me. Specifically as PR chair elect, I think it is essential to find ways to increase member engagement with the blog, enhance the voice of members through various social media outlets, and raise awareness of MAND. Engagement is key and I hope to increase engagement as well as further opportunities for our members voices to be heard on a broader level. As someone who is well connected currently to the media, I would love to present opportunities for our members to get more national recognition as experts in nutrition. Overall, I hope to create more opportunities for professional development and active participation so that ultimately our field,
and our specific Massachusetts chapter, is further recognized as demonstrated leaders in the promotion of population health and nutrition.

Technology Elect: Brigitte DeVeau

My previous experience in project management, organization and collaboration with teams would be beneficial in supporting the Director of Technology as their responsibilities rely heavily on coordination with other Board members and support staff. I have past experience drafting and managing budgets and would be more than capable of assisting the Director. Having shifted careers from marketing to nutrition, I would love the opportunity to hear the perspectives of the Director and other Board members as they discuss industry topics and address the challenges that arise throughout the year.

Technology Elect: Sarah Hawkins

This is an extraordinary time in our lives where we have been somewhat disconnected from each other and redirected to perform as dietitians with a heavy reliance on technology. I would like to support the Director of Technology in ensuring that the MAND website is engaging and informative. I would also look forward to collaborating with the board to ensure that dietitians across Massachusetts have the online tools they need to be able to promote the role of the dietitian as the primary resource for all nutrition services. I see a need for dietitians across the state to collaborate and showcase best self experiences in order for us to grow as a community and show our strength as the nutrition experts that we are.

Nominating Committee Chair-Elect: Brittany Taylor

As Nominating Committee Chair Elect, I would hope to continue assisting to identify the best dietitians for the available positions on the MAND board. I have greatly enjoyed my time as a Nominating Committee Member and would like to continue encouraging fellow dietitians in how their skills and career goals could fit into a board position. Through this, I hope to impact MAND’s ability to continue improving the field of dietetics in Massachusetts.

Nominating Member: Melanie Mott

As a member of the Nominating Committee, I would like to identify a diverse group of dietitians who desire to help shape the future of dietetics to serve on the MAND Board of Directors.

Socials for Success-Elect: Allegra Egizi

If I have the opportunity to serve as one of the SFS positions, I hope to use my strong communication, organization, and interpersonal skills to create and promote networking events; strengthen relationships that exist both within and outside of MAND; and ultimately, to help MAND grow as an organization. I am an extremely passionate and outgoing dietitian with a genuine love for the field, a natural inclination to lead, and a strong desire to learn. I would love to use my program planning experience, along with my communication skills to lead as the Socials for Success-elect Director.

SPRC and Diversity Liaison-Elect: Rachel Andrade

As State Professional Recruitment Coordinator (SPRC) and Diversity Liaison-Elect, I would strive to increase diversity, equity, access and inclusion within the dietetics profession through collaborative work with like-minded professionals and students. I hope to inspire students of diverse backgrounds to enter the field through education, access, and mentorship. I would also focus on providing content and access to resources for working professionals to continually develop cultural humility and gain skills to improve their practice working with people of different backgrounds and marginalized communities. Finally, I would engage dietitians and students through outreach, and highlight the unique backgrounds, talents, and work being done by those contributing to diversity in dietetics.

SPRC and Diversity Liaison-Elect: Susan Hazarvartian

Initially, will be working closely with the Director of SPRC/Diversity Liaison, to gain knowledge and background of the position. I would work as a team member. I would establishing some creative, various ideas to increase student recruitment for our profession. Our profession, is such a diverse melting pot, that can help us grow in our understanding, knowledge and background, as we work with various individuals. We all have unique strengths to share, thus this makes our differences shine! Share your differences in the dietetic field and see how unique the world around us is and how we can change our profession for the better, with a little bit of education.

Reimbursement-Elect: Ellen Lowre

Advocate for the Registered Dietitian’s role in receiving increased reimbursement opportunities. Promote the role of the Registered Dietitian and importance in the role of medical nutrition therapy interventions and beyond.

Some of the First Cookbooks

We all have cookbooks in our kitchen, right? Thankfully, these enable us to create delicious meals and special memories with our families at home. Two of the first African-American women cookbook authors were Malinda Russel and Abby Fisher. Let’s take a look at their lives, learn about their interest in nutrition and culinary, and their impact in our society

The first complete African-American cookbook was printed in 1866, and authored by Malinda Russell. The 250 brief recipes cookbook was titled A Domestic Cookbook: Containing a Careful Selection of Useful Receipts for the Kitchen. Instead of Southern recipes for the “poor,” her cookbook provided fine recipes inspired by European cuisine, providing a different perspective of African-American cooking. This confident woman descended from a grandmother who was an emancipated slave. Russel was robbed twice of all her money, was widowed, and had a disabled son. This cookbook was her income generating survival manual. Jan Longone, a cookbook collector, rediscovered this 19th century cookbook. The only known copy of Russell’s cookbook resides at the University of Michigan.

Abby Fisher’s cookbook, entitled What Mrs. Fisher Knows About Old Southern Cooking, was published in 1881. The author was born into slavery in 1831 in South Carolina. Culinary-related business was part of the Fisher family. In 1877, she migrated from Mobile, Alabama, with her husband Alexander and 11 children to California. Upon arriving in San Francisco, she used her talents to set up a preserves business (hello pickles!). In her cookbook, Fisher demonstrates how she kept her family together during adverse circumstances. More than just a cookbook, Abby gives us a glimpse into the reality of what cooking looked like before electricity and modern appliances. Her recipes have survived over time and are still simple to make in our kitchens. In the cookbook’s final recipe, “pap for infant diet,” Fisher shares a most personal reflection: “I have given birth to eleven children and raised them all, and nursed them with this diet.”

Both Fisher and Russel were able to draw inspiration from the adversities presented to them to provide resources to their families and the benefits of home cooked meals at their tables.

If you want to make the recipes of these cookbooks a staple in your kitchen, and bring a little taste of history to your home: You can obtain Fisher’s cookbook through this link.

Here is a scanned copy of Russels cookbook:

“What is history? An echo of the past in the future; a reflex from the future on the past” – Victor Hugo

“ Maybe if we re-invent whatever our lives give us we find poems” -Naomi Shihab Nye


Gabriela Cohen, originally from Venezuela, is a graduate student at Simmons University. She is completing her combined Masters in Nutrition and Health Promotion and Dietetic Internship Program with an expected graduation date of May 2021. Gabriela has an interest in becoming a pediatric dietitian, with a focus on eating disorders and promoting intuitive eating. She enjoys cooking and is a cookbook collector herself.

Do you want to contribute to the MAND Blog?

We just ask that it is less than 500 words, and you please submit a photo with a short personal biography to include with the post.

Consider writing your own feature article and send your submission to Sierra Parker and Dana Steinmetz, editors of Today@MAND:

Posted by: Maureen Kelly Gonsalves

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President's Welcome

Hi fellow RDs,

Your Academy membership opens doors and unlocks your potential. Renew your Academy membership before May 31st and receive a multitude of benefits  ranging from at least 24 CEUs to a variety of evidence-based resources.

Did you know that:

  1. The deadline for membership renewal is May 31stso make haste and renew!
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So, renew today, and get a load of the value of membership

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