College of Agriculture & Natural Resources
Nutrition & Food Science

Meet the Current Class



Meet the 2016-2017 Dietetic Internship Class


Michael Abernathy

Michael Abernathy was born in West Monroe, Louisiana and moved to Mississippi when he was five years-old. Michael played sports growing up and into high school, but struggled with weight throughout his life. While completing his degree in Business Administration from the University of Southern Mississippi, Michael began researching weight loss dieting and began working out in the gym. Michael completed his first degree in 2011 and in the process lost 85 pounds. After college, Michael began working at an ophthalmologist clinic in Hattiesburg, Mississippi where he quickly learned the relationship between diet and chronic illnesses that affect the eyes. During his two years in this field, Michael’s interest in nutrition developed into a passion. In 2014, he decided to pursue his passion for nutrition and become a registered dietitian in order to help people accomplish their personal weight loss goals as he had. Michael finished his degree in Nutrition and Dietetics at the University of Southern Mississippi in 2016 and is excited to continue on his path to becoming a registered dietitian. In his spare time, Michael enjoys spending time with his new wife, playing guitar, working out, and playing video games. 

Alyssa Ardolino

Alyssa Ardolino was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and graduated from Pennsylvania State University with a BS in Nutritional Sciences in 2016. Ever since she was little, she loved playing sports and cooking new recipes. In high school she played volleyball and club volleyball and began to see women disconnected from positive body image. Her interest in nutrition stemmed from her desire to help people reach their full potential and show them that food and exercise habits result from small choices made every day. In college, she started a Changing Health, Attitudes, and Actions to Recreate Girls (CHAARG) Chapter to ignite a passion in women for health and fitness on her campus. Being the President of CHAARG showed her how much of a difference she could make in the lives of others. In addition, she worked in a Metabolic Diet Study Center on campus for two years and with sports and community dietitians during the summers. She considers herself an optimist who enjoys running, photography, cooking, traveling, and playing with her Pomeranian.


 Tuesday Brooks

Tuesday graduated in May 2016 from the University of Arkansas with a Bachelor of Science in Human Nutrition and Hospitality Innovation with a concentration in Dietetics. Tuesday was born and raised in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Health and fitness were always an important part of Tuesday’s life. She grew up preparing healthy meals and exercising with her mother. From a young age, Tuesday knew she wanted to be a health professional. She decided that becoming a dietitian would be the perfect career because it combines her love for medicine and her interest in health and fitness. In the past couple of years, Tuesday has volunteered at public schools teaching young students about locally grown food and has worked as a diet technician at Washington Regional Medical Center. Other interests include spending time with her friends and family, going to the lake, hiking, cross-stitching, and going to the dog park with her Shih Tzu, Isaac. 

Kara Carter

Originally from Gordonsville, Virginia, Kara grew up playing a number of different sports including field hockey, soccer, and competitive swimming. It was through her efforts to improve her performance that she found her passion in dietetics. Her desire for improving health, paired with witnessing the effects of obesity on her friends and family, led her to pursue a career in Dietetics with the ultimate goal of working with overweight and obese children and their families. Finding this passion in high school brought Kara to James Madison University where she received a Bachelor of Science in Dietetics and a minor in Spanish. During her time at James Madison University, Kara was able to gain experience working with the Virginia Cooperative Extension, instructing nutrition classes at the university recreation center, giving individual nutrition consultations, and carrying out research on school nutrition screening programs. When Kara isn’t thinking, talking, making, photographing or actually eating food, she enjoys adventuring outside, running half marathons, teaching others how to swim, and spending time with her chinchillas, Milo and Asher.

Julia Dugas

Julia Dugas graduated from Minnesota State University (MNSU), Mankato with a bachelor of science in dietetics and a minor in mass media. She has always lived an active lifestyle, being involved with softball, tennis and weight training throughout high school. It was later in life that Julia saw the benefits of combining a balanced diet with physical activity. Julia’s family influenced her to pursue a career in dietetics when she became “that annoying one” at family dinners, always sharing fun (or not-so-fun) facts about food. While attending MNSU she was President of the Student Dietetic and Nutrition Organization, an undergraduate research assistant and a nutrition writer for the MNSU chapter of Her Campus. Outside of academics, Julia was a dietary assistant and department lead at Mayo Clinic Health System. In Julia’s free time she enjoys going to the gym, snowboarding, practicing yoga, and spending time with friends and family.

Politimi (Paula) Karamihas

Politimi (Paula) Karamihas graduated from the University of Maryland with a BS in Kinesiology in 2012.  After college, Paula moved to Madison, WI for 9 months where she worked at a gym personal training.  While in Wisconsin, she applied and was accepted into the Sport Sciences MS program at Florida State University. During Paula’s MS program at FSU, she was able to begin interning with FSU Athletics, where her love of nutrition was discovered. FSU’s emerging Sports Nutrition department was the catalyst for her decision to pursue a second BS in Dietetics. Paula graduated with a MS in Sport Sciences in 2015 and a BS in Dietetics in 2016. Over the past two years, Paula has worked closely with FSU’s athletic teams providing education, perfecting her peanut butter and jelly and smoothie making skills, and traveling with FSU Football. This experience has taught her how fulfilling a career in helping others with nutrition can be. Outside of school and work, Paula enjoys traveling, playing with dogs and babies, eating, and watching sports (Go Terps! Go Noles!)

Ysabel Montemayor

Ysabel Montemayor was born in the Philippines, and at the age of five, immigrated with her family to Southern California, where she was raised alongside three siblings. She developed a passion for food at a young age because she loved to eat and try dishes from different cultures. She enjoyed growing up in a diverse suburb in Orange County and during her two years in community college, realized that it was possible for her to combine her growing interest in health with her long-time passion for food, urging her to pursue a degree in Nutrition. She transferred to California State University Long Beach where she graduated with a B.S. in Nutrition and Dietetics in the spring of 2016. During her time in college, Ysabel gained experience towards her career which included volunteering in a hospital, where she rotated on multiple floors and helped the patients and staff; working food service jobs in a fast-casual sushi restaurant and a tea shop; and volunteering in various areas of the community, such as the kitchen of a homeless shelter. Other activities that Ysabel enjoys include listening to and playing music, photography, fitness, and fashion.

Rachel Parr

Rachel was born and raised in Roanoke, Virginia. She fell in love with cooking at an early age and became intrigued by how food plays many roles in daily life. Rachel obtained her Associates Degree at Virginia Western Community College in Roanoke, where she took an introductory nutrition class that further inspired her to learn more about food and nutrition. She then attended Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia to complete her Bachelor’s Degree in Human Nutrition, Foods and Exercise with a concentration in Dietetics. While in Blacksburg, Rachel served as a Nutrition Counselor on campus and worked with SNAP Educators, a Diabetes research team, and in cooking labs with her professors to gain a spectrum of nutrition experiences. Some of her favorite experiments in cooking labs are attempting to recreate well-loved foods and making them more nutrient dense. Having been a bookseller for nine years, she loves to read in her free time. Her favorite authors include Michael Pollan (Cooked and Omnivore’s Dilemma) and Kurt Vonnegut (Slaughterhouse Five). Her favorite reading companion is her 7-year-old pug, Eliza.


Maria Angela Ricca Sbodio

Angela was born and raised in Argentina. She started college as a biochemistry student because of her fascination with the physiological process of the human body. Angela has always been interested in the prevention of chronic diseases through the practice of a well-balanced diet and being physically active; however, in Argentina, Angela had never heard about the Dietetics profession. After moving and transferring to college in the United States, Angela was introduced to the world of Dietetics where she found everything she liked and wanted to do. Angela graduated from Point Loma University in San Diego with a Bachelor’s degree in Dietetics. The passion she feels for the science behind nutrition and the role that chemicals in food play in human health, have inspired Angela to attend several nutrition conferences. Angela was able to see how medical nutrition therapy is used while volunteering and shadowing dietitians in various clinical settings. She also learned about community nutrition by volunteering at the many centers in California and Maryland. Running, cycling and cooking are Angela’s favorite hobbies. She has completed several half marathons and a full marathon. Angela loves spending time with her husband and kids.

Benjamin (Ben) Sizemore

Ben was born in Dayton, Ohio, as the eldest of four boys and was raised outside of Charlottesville, Virginia. Ben has been involved with sports since a young age which fostered his interest in health and wellness. He began to realize the impact nutrition has on the human body during his high school wrestling career. Ben began attending James Madison University in 2011 while studying Biology. During his sophomore year after a lecture on vitamins and minerals, Ben realized how proper nutrition can prevent many diseases and ailments and switched into the Dietetics major a week later. Although switching majors during his sophomore year added an extra year of school for Ben, it was a decision he will never regret. Ben graduated from JMU in 2016 with a Bachelor of Science in Dietetics. Ben was actively involved on JMU’s campus and held leadership positions in JMU’s club dodgeball team, his honors fraternity, and in the school’s dietetic association. Outside of nutrition, Ben enjoys weightlifting, reading, attending sporting events and concerts, adventuring outdoors, and binge watching movies. 






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