Although the day marked the end of formal instruction for the North Oaks
Health System Dietetic Internship Program’s 20th graduating class,
it is just the beginning of the students’ learning experience, they
were told during a ceremony on Thursday, June 6 at the E. Brent Dufreche
The graduates are Kristin Fiorello, Mandeville; Cory Dwayne LeDoux, Eunice;
Theresa Pevey Derenbecker, Ponchatoula; Emily Loraine Thevis, Mowata;
Claire Toups, Thibodaux; and Ellen Elizabeth Smith, Beaumont, Texas.
“It is a lifetime of learning,” shared keynote speaker Cheryl
Atkinson, PhD, RD, LDN. “Always know your strengths, but always
be yourself. An original is worth more than a copy. ”
Dr. Atkinson, president of the Louisiana Dietetic Association, is an author
and associate professor at Southern University A&M in Baton Rouge
and the Director of Southern’s Dietetic Internship program. She
congratulated the students on their accomplishments and encouraged them
to become active members of their new vocation.
Special honors were bestowed upon three graduates, including Fiorello who
received the Mary Nelson Award, given by the Dietetic Internship faculty
for exceptional work, enthusiastic attitude, dedication to the dietetic
profession and academic excellence.
The Southeast District Dietetic Association chose Thevis as recipient of
the Carol Bertrand Award for Excellence. The award was created in memory
of the late Bertrand, who was a registered dietitian and graduate of North
Oaks’ second Dietetic Internship class.
Dr. Rodney Taylor presented the Dannye Young Taylor “Always Remembering
Others” Award in honor of his wife to Toups in recognition of selfless
assistance of others.
The North Oaks Dietetic Internship Program offers qualified individuals
a unique opportunity to attain eligibility for the Registration Examination
for Dietitians through one year of supervised experience. For more information
about the North Oaks Dietetic Internship, contact the program office at
(985) 230-6548 or