Friday, July 25, 2014

CAUSES Alum Interns in Mayor’s District Leadership Program

By Arielle Gerstein

Jennifer Dixon Cravens, who completed her Masters of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics at UDC, is currently participating in the Mayor’s District Leadership Program. This internship program allows undergraduate and graduate students to gain professional experience in the District government as well as attend lectures and brown bags about topics such as leadership and customer service. Ms. Dixon Cravens was selected for the Mayor’s Leadership Program (DLP) in the fall of 2013, and Summer 2014.
Jennifer (middle) graduating from the internship program. Pictured to the left with
DC Department of Human Resources, Director Shawn Stokes.

Her first assignment was in the Deputy Mayor’s Office for Health and Human Services a 9 month position. The second internship is with the District of Columbia Department of Health/Community Health Administration in the Nutrition and Physical Fitness Bureau. During her internship with the Department of Health, she assists Public Health Nutritionist, Public Health Advisors, and the Community Health Administration (CHA) Bureau Chief with designing and developing, implementing and evaluating nutrition services for DC residents. She is also helping to edit, update, and evaluate SNAP-ED and WIC State Plans. 

Of her degree, Jennifer explains, “It has allowed me to compete globally and nationally in my field. A Master of Science in Nutrition from UDC has allowed me to serve as a community educator, public policy and health education promotion advocate, and be a leader in the field of nutrition.” 

She completed her degree in 2012 and is still taking courses at UDC. Aside from her work with the Mayor’s Office, Jennifer has another claim to fame: she was the first student to register in 2010 for the Master of Nutrition & Dietetics Program and the first Graduate of the Master of Science in Nutrition & Dietetics Program in 2012.

According to Dr. Prema Ganganna, director of the program, Jennifer was an active research assistant who helped collect important quantitative and qualitative data for the multistate Research project NE-1039 “Changing the Health Trajectory for Older Adults” funded through a USDA regional research project of the UDC Agricultural Experiment Station. 

“Jennifer exhibited passion for working in a variety of nutrition settings focused on preventative care and optimizing nutrition among all audiences of varying needs and economic levels,” commented Dr. Ganganna.

 Keep up the good work, Jennifer!

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