Auburn University

1984 Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award


Tell us a little about your career and what you do for a living?

I am the Vice President of Clinical Nutrition Services at Alsana: An Eating Recovery Community and we are really growing. We have employees all over the country ranging from dietitians to chefs and we really broadened our scope and approach to helping those in need. We really focus on five different dimensions of care instead of just one or two. Helping people struggling with eating disorders is more than just counseling or putting them on a meal plan. There are so many other avenues to consider and we really strive to help the person heal in all areas of life.

You received the Sullivan award in 1984. Do you remember who nominated you?

I do! Dr. Sarah Strawn told me after I found out I was receiving the award that she nominated me from the College of Human Sciences. It is actually a funny story. There was a student in our class that had a lot of health issues and missed a lot. I kept notes from each class and would share them with him whenever he missed. I actually told Dr. Strawn one day that I must take great notes because that student had a better grade than I did! It’s crazy to me that she remembered that small act of kindness and nominated me for the Sullivan award. I didn’t think anything of it. I was just trying to help a fellow student.

I am still so honored to have received the Sullivan award. It sits on my bookshelf and I see if every day. I truly think about it often and how much it means to me.

What do you do outside of “work?”

You know, I really think my career is all about giving back and helping people. I go back to my alma mater twice a year and teach the juniors and seniors in the College of Human Sciences about eating disorder nutrition. There is so much more to it than anyone can teach in school and eating disorders aren’t really covered in the normal curriculum. I try and share some real life experiences with them and also teach as many people about this field and I do.

If you had one piece of advice to younger people, what you tell them?

Give more than expected. It will always come back to you. Give your time, give back in your field of study or work. There are so many ways to give back and when you do, you get more than expected in return.

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