Olivet Class of 2018 graduate lands impressive dietetics internship

Hard work and dedication lead Emma (Ross) Elsasser to OSF Saint Francis Medical Center. 

April 8 of each academic year is a very important time for Olivet Nazarene University dietetics majors and all dietetics majors across the country. This is the day known as “match day.” On this day, dietetics majors find out what internship they’ve matched to. 

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This past April, Emma (Ross) Elsasser ’18 matched for an internship with the impressive dietetics program at OSF Saint Francis Medical Center in Peoria, Illinois.

“The internship process is very competitive, and I knew this going in,” Emma says. “I had to focus not only on having a good GPA, but also on juggling my extracurricular involvements. They want to see good grades, but they also want to know that you have balance with the things you’re involved in.”

Dietetics majors are required to do an internship, which means going through an online application process called “Dicas.” The individual writes a personal statement to each internship facility, sends transcripts and participates in interviews.  

Emma says she’ll be “forever grateful for Olivet” because professors go above and beyond to set up internships and ensure student success. 

“Olivet is unique because we have 125 hours of practicum experience, and other schools don’t have that,” she says. “That requirement sets us apart.” 

To pursue her interest in dietetics, Emma transferred to Olivet from a community college in her hometown of Minier, Illinois, at the start of her junior year. She was also a student-athlete on Olivet’s Tiger volleyball team and member of the dietetics honor society. During her last year, she became the assistant coach for the junior varsity volleyball team. 

Emma was very dedicated to the science of dietetics but also loyal to her sport, even in the midst of tough courses. With a demanding major and a variety of extracurricular activities, she realized that time management and communication were the most important skills she used in order to stay on track with her priorities.

“I know rewards would come to Emma because she’s worked so hard for them,” says Head Coach Brenda Williams of Tiger volleyball. “She’s always been loyal to her sport, but also loyal to her love of dietetics.” 

Emma has a short-term goal of becoming a registered dietitian (R.D.), which requires her to have 1,200 supervised practice hours along with passing an exam. As for her long-term goal, she plans to work with sports. 

“I’m happy to say I had Emma as a student,” says Dr. Catherine Anstrom, professor and director of Olivet’s dietetics program in the School of Life and Health Sciences. “Her dedication and hard work brought out leadership qualities that will make her even more successful. I see her going above and beyond in her career.”

To learn more about Olivet’s dietetics major, contact the Office of Admissions at admissions@olivet.edu or 800-648-1463. 


Published: 8/2/2018