SDA 2012-2013

President - Hanna Rifkin

I hadn't heard the term "registered dietitian" until a few years ago, but when I did and learned what it was, I knew I had found my calling.  The light bulb went off and after one day of consideration, I decided to go back to school.  I had previously received a B.A. in Italian Studies that went along with my love of romance languages, but I hadn't made a clear picture in my head as to how I would use Italian in my career.  When I thought about becoming a registered dietitian, however, the picture was very clear indeed.  It would combine subjects that had always interested me: cooking, healthy eating, psychology, disease, and community.  The science portion of this major has been a huge challenge for me, and yet, I see that the chemistry and biological science courses I have taken have opened my eyes to the world, and also humbled me as a person.  I have respect for the human body and all of the amazing things that it does.

Currently, I am SDA President, and I am very excited to be among a group of sharp, motivated, and warm people.  I am interested in diabetes, as it is an illness that can be improved greatly by lifestyle change.  Antioxidant research is also a field that I would love to be a part of, but really, there are many aspects of nutrition that excite me.  As for my non-school life, I am very social, like to throw dinner parties, and go see local music.  I have been a singer and performer since I was a little girl and now do local cafe gigs singing jazz.  Combined with my nutrition studies, I have found that the balance of music and science and makes me quite happy, and I am thankful for having figured that out.  

Succeeding:  Jasmine Vassar


Vice President - Chhayleng Touch

Hi, my name is Chhayleng, yet I also go by “Leng.” I am finishing up my first year at San Francisco State University as a Dietetics major. I decided on this journey of becoming a Registered Dietician when I realized that a lot of health issues could easily be resolved or prevented simply by leading a healthy and active lifestyle. Consequently, I am a strong advocate that food can be medicine.
I enjoy the field of dietetics because it offers a variety of opportunities to interact with people concerning eating healthy. Currently, I volunteer at the Veteran Affairs Medical Center and highly enjoy the clinical aspect of this field. Every day at the hospital is never the same and it provides me with new challenges that I look forward to each time.
I also appreciate the other spectrum of dietetics, community nutrition. I have lectured on various nutrition topics at the Orientation Center for the Blind in Albany and classrooms alongside Registered Dietitians. I find that this area can be just as, if not more, rewarding. For the Fall 2012 – 2013 school year, I will be participating in the Peer Educators Advocating Campus Health (P.E.A.C.H.) program where I’ll be able to further gain community experience and I could not be more elated.
I feel that as a nutrition educator, I need to be a good role model. I try to practice the healthy eating and active lifestyle that I promote through running and Crossfit. Other interests I have are meeting new people, blogging and baking.

Succeeding:  Alicia Connor


Secretary - Stefany Iraheta

Hi, my name is Stefany and I am honored to be the new secretary for the SDA 2012-2013. It has only been recently that I have been interested in Dietetics, as I did not know it existed before. When I realized my strong interest in food, I wanted to know more about how it reacts within the body from a nutritional standpoint. After have taken DFM 458, I continue working in the Vista Room kitchen as a volunteer, and throughout the year will be volunteering in a hospital. I will graduate in Spring 2013 from SFSU and gradually will go to grad school to do research primarily about obesity/child obesity.

I love to bake, watch movies, workout, do almost anything artistic, take care of animals (previously wanted to be a veterinarian), do math :p (yes I do like math), and play games (like Sudoku).

Succeeding:  Olivia Chang


Treasurer - Samantha Wu

Hi, my name is Samantha Wu (Chik Sum) I love food. I am so passionate about it that I decided to make a career out of it. Being a foodie, I respect all kind of food and learned to balance them.  I am currently volunteering at California Pacific Medical Center and assist patients to make appropriate diet choices base on their special needs. I am responsible for organizing activities to promote healthy life styles for SF state students as a Peer Educator Advocating Campus Health (PEACH). My goal is to collect and develop recipes that are delicious, easy and affordable. Food, as necessary as it is, has the power to change people’s health.

Succeeding:  Olivia Chang


BADA Representative - Brian Douglas

My name is Brian Douglas.  I am graduating May 2013 from the dietetics program.   I am most interested in public policy and school nutrition.  I chose this field because of my interested in sustainable agriculture and policy in this country.  I love educating others on how to improve their health while also making food choices that benefit the environment.  Humane treatment of animals and that way animals are fed is another area I am passionate about defending.  In my spare time, I enjoy the outdoors.  I love to travel and I love my time spent as  dad to my 18 month old daughter. 

Suceeding: Maya Schaffer

Website Coordinator - Liz Neilson

Hi!  I'm Liz Neilson and I'm very excited to serve as Website Coordinator for this year's SDA group.  I just love everything about food - learning where it comes from and how it affects our bodies, cooking, and most importantly, sharing gorgeous meals with loved ones!  I am a senior in the dietetics program and I am currently a nutrition volunteer at the San Francisco VA Medical Center, as well as a working at the VA with the new Community Living Center Cafe opening at the facility.  Besides nutrition, traveling is my passion and in my free time I love doing anything outdoors with my husband and our dog.  I am excited about the year ahead and my continued path to becoming a dietician.

Succeeding:  Lauren Remley

Marketing & Fundraiser Coordinator - Shyana Sadiq

Hi everyone!
My name is Shyana (pronounced Shy-na) and I have always had a passion for anything food related.  Meaning, I love to cook, bake, learn about nutrition, and educate others about nutrition.  Last year I was the farmer's market committee leader for SDA, and I am very excited that i will be the marketing and fundraising chair this year.  Some of my volunteer experience includes volunteering at General Hospital, St. Mary's Medical Center, and at Wu Yee Children's Services.

Succeeding:  Sonia Malhotra

Activities Coordinator – Connie Duncan

Hello all!
My name is Connie Duncan your new activity coordinator! J I am originally from Santa Rosa in Sonoma County. I had a change of career plans when I studied abroad in Florence, Italy in 2009. Italians have a different view of food and value the quality over quantity. I had the opportunity to go wine tasting, olive oil tasting in Tuscany and treasure these experiences, for they truly skewed my view on food and nutrition. I am a big fan of farmers markets and anyplace where food is fresh and organic. I believe what we put into our bodies is important to our overall well-being and everyday lives which will greatly impact our future as well. I am extremely excited to be the activities coordinator for SDA next year and hope that I can make it the best it can be and may be fun for everyone as well!

Succeeding:  Nicki Noury


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