Dietetic Intern Class of 2017-2018


  Megan Brown grew up in the small town of Ashdown, AR and moved to Conway in the Fall of 2012. She graduated from the University of Central Arkansas in December 2016 with a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition. She chose to pursue a career in nutrition because she believes dietary health is the lifeblood of our well-being and food is mother nature’s medicine. After graduating from the UCA MS/DI, she plans to work in a community setting to improve overall health in rural Arkansas by implementing programs that will help people enjoy being active and eating healthy, nutritious food while working within the constraints of a family budget.


  Seth Buckman is a two-time graduate of the University of Central Arkansas: the first being in 2015 with a degree in Insurance & Risk Management and then again in 2016 with a degree in Nutrition. Seth was born in Springfield, MO and grew up in AR with two younger sisters. He is blessed to be engaged to Caitlyn Brune and will be married this December. Seth and Caitlyn enjoy camping, enjoying time with family and friends, and sitting on the porch at the lake indulging in many cups of coffee. Seth chooses to pursue Nutrition, specifically pediatric nutrition, because he believes that if you can teach children healthy eating habits early, it will not only stick with them throughout their lives but also will help parents to make healthier choices for themselves and their families. After the internship, he hopes to work in the field of pediatrics and eventually complete specialty certifications in pediatric and sports nutrition.


  Erica Burgener grew up in Morrilton, Arkansas with her mom, dad, and sister and moved to Fayetteville in 2013, where she achieved her BS at the University of Arkansas in 2017.  She enjoys going on vacations, spending time on the family farm, working out, and playing disc golf with her boyfriend, Andrew. She hopes to move away from Arkansas and live elsewhere after graduating from the UCA MSDI for a few years, then plans to move back to Arkansas to start a family. While she can see herself working for WIC, as a lactation consultant, or anything pertaining to pediatrics, she is using the internship as a learning experience, viewing every rotation with and open mind to find her niche in nutrition.


  Yufei Chen graduated from University of Delaware in 2014 with a Bachelor’s degree in Dietetics; sooner, she moved to Arizona and obtained her Master of Science degree in Human Nutrition at Arizona State University. She is originally from Hangzhou, China, a beautiful and modern city on the southeast coast of China. She enjoys reading, traveling, and cooking. She came to US in 2010. While she was exploring different field of nutrition, she found her biggest passion in obesity prevention and management. In the future, she would like to work in community settings to guide and educate obese populations about healthy eating and promote behavioral lifestyle changes to improve health. She also enjoyed working in local community organizations to monitor school breakfast and lunch programs and promote nutrition education.


  Natalie Cordoza was raised in the small town of Pea Ridge, AR and then moved to Fayetteville, AR to get her degree in nutrition from the University of Arkansas, where she graduated in 2017. She grew up cooking with her mom, dad, and sister; this is what sparked her love of food and nutrition. She enjoys swapping in healthier ingredients to make indulgent recipes more wholesome. In her free time, you’ll either find her in the kitchen experimenting with new recipes, or outside running on the trails. Her dream job is product development, where she can incorporate food science with nutrition to create healthy food products.


Sarah Jane Frick is a graduate from the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. She was born and raised in Russellville, AR then became a Texas transplant in grade school. In her spare time, she enjoys playing with her miniature dachshund, Henley Mae, and is a CrossFit Coach. She has an embroidery and vinyl printing business called Jane’s Blessings. Her love for the dietetic field stemmed from a life changing moment which is where she found her heart for helping people to understand that “you are what you eat”. Being a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist is just more than a dream for her, it is a calling that is something she pours her heart and soul into. Educating and teaching others is a huge love of hers and wants to continue to see where the Lord has called her through the next 15 months.


  Roy Grant is a graduate from the University of Central Arkansas with a Bachelor of Science degree in Nutrition during the fall semester of 2016.  He was born in Hollywood, Florida, but calls his hometown Yellville, Arkansas, where he grew up.  He spent five years in the United States Navy working as a mechanic.  Roy has one dog named Dexter, after Dexter’s Laboratory.  He enjoys camping, fishing, skating, rock climbing, and being with his girlfriend, Hannah.  In the next 2 years, Roy sees himself working as a Registered Dietitian in Washington DC with a federal organization such as the USDA.  His passion stems from his Filipino heritage and he has seen first-hand that nutrition is needed beyond our borders. He is looking to, one day, travel to developing countries and work to introduce agriculture that will benefit the communities.


  Hannah Holstein graduated from the University of Central Arkansas in May of 2017 with a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition. Her hometown is Mansfield, Arkansas. She has completed four years as a cross country/track student-athlete and will continue to be a collegiate athlete throughout graduate school at UCA. Her hobbies are running, hiking, spending quality time with friends, and travelling abroad. Her goals for the next 5 years are to be a sport dietitian at a small D1 university and work with athletes achieving their ideal weight for their sport and helping athletes reach their full potential while being student-athletes. One of her goals is to be active in medical missions across the world and to go on Mercy Ships for 3 months or more and work in third world countries providing nutritional help.


  Lauren Kara grew up in Gravette, AR with her mom, dad, and little sister.  She began her college degree as a nursing student at the University of Central Arkansas, but later discovered that nutrition was her passion.  She graduated from UCA in December of 2016.  Lauren enjoys spending time with family, gardening, and reading.  Lauren would like to move out of state after completing the internship, but eventually move back to Northwest Arkansas.  She is keeping an open mind in all rotations, but plans on working with school wellness or in research.
  Miranda Schrock graduated from the College of the Ozarks in May of 2017 with her bachelor’s degree in nutrition and dietetics. She was born and raised in Harrisonville, Missouri along with her three brothers.  Her hobbies include cooking, exercising, fishing, and hiking. She chose to pursue a profession in the field of dietetics because she is a firm believer in treating life with life, and promoting this idea that wholesome, life-giving foods provide the essential nourishment, balance and health that don’t just add years to your life, but life to your years. Her passion for nutrition fuels her desire to become a leader of change once she completes the MS/DI program at UCA. She hopes to then secure a position as a registered dietitian nutritionist in either a community or clinical setting.  Additionally, if the Lord wills it, she also hopes to serve the communities of Alaska as an RDN for some time of her life.


  Naomi Sweeney graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics from the University of Central Arkansas in May of 2017. She is originally from Tacoma, WA. While still living in Washington she worked for Kindercare Learning Center, for 3 years, as a pre-school teacher and cook. Naomi moved to Arkansas in 2004. She worked for Pilgrim’s Pride in Clinton, AR where she served as a part of the quality control team for the poultry processing plant. Naomi also has hospital experience through her work as a Diet Clerk and Supervisor at Arkansas State Hospital. Naomi is looking forward to finding her niche in the field of nutrition and dietetics. Her varied experience throughout her life has given her the unique ability to fit into several different facets of the profession. Naomi is very interested in the politics of nutrition and being an advocate for underserved members of the community. After completion of her MS/DI Naomi does plan to continue her education and attain a doctorate in Nutritional Anthropology.


  Darby Wallace is a fifth generation farmer’s daughter from Stuttgart, Arkansas and a third generation of alumnae for the University of Central Arkansas where she obtained her Bachelor’s in Nutrition. As she continues her education in the UCA Dietetic Internship, Darby’s main goal is to more closely bridge the gap between the farmer and the consumer. She believes that we have the right to know more about where our food comes from, and that starts with educating the public on the role of the farmer in it all. She enjoys spending her summers with her family and friends on the river, and her winters in the rice fields hunting ducks with her dad, granddad, and brother. She also leads worship for New Life Church, is president of her dietetic internship class, and holds many other leadership roles in the community of Conway. When she is finished with her Master’s she plans on going back to Stuttgart and planting the seeds of nutrition focused, farming education to the public.