The Story of A+ RD
It all started with an essay question. While preparing for my Medical Nutrition Therapy final, I was studying the effects of end-stage liver disease on a nutrition assessment. Instead of memorizing the facts, I wanted to know all of the physiology behind the answer. My curiosity hit a roadblock when I couldn’t find any online resources that provided an in-depth explanation for my question. There were study videos and websites for pre-med students and nursing students, but nothing for dietetics majors! After reading the introduction paragraphs of many esoteric research articles about the liver to piece together my answer, I decided there had to be a better way.
Dietetics students have to study a lot of information in a short amount of time, and then there are still a million things left to learn! I started A+ RD to create accessible and engaging lessons, study guides, and resources for dietetics students, dietitians, health educators, and anyone looking for science-based nutrition education. My goal is to empower curious students to become confident leaders who will become the future of nutrition.
Caroline Kohler, Founder
Caroline is a dietetic intern at Boston University and recently completed her Masters of Science in Nutrition. She chose to become a nutrition major when she was sixteen, inspired by her high school PE teacher/coach who shared her love of health and fitness with her. Throughout college and graduate school, she has loved exploring how nutrition intersects with public health, policy, research, social justice, and culture. In the future, Caroline hopes to specialize in early pediatrics and maternal nutrition, as well as become a preceptor and instructor for future dietetics students!
Caroline’s best advice to dietetics students is to “reach out and ask questions about others’ experiences, ideas, and advice! Some of the best life wisdom I’ve ever gotten came from times when I visited a professor’s office hours to talk about things totally unrelated to class, or when I asked a dietitian I’d never met before to have coffee. It’s so easy to get caught up in classes and work, but these conversations are where you really learn the answers to your big questions.”
Meet the Team
Lily Spik, Social Media and Resource Development Intern
Lily is a senior at Boston University studying dietetics with the goal of working in sports dietetics, military dietetics and nutritional genomics. Thus far, her favorite classes have been Lifecycle Nutrition and Human Physiology. “Currently, I hope to commission as an officer in either the Navy or the Air Force, and provide nutrition education and resources for servicemen/women and their families.”
She joined the A+ RD because “I think creating a space for future dietitians to interact while learning subject matter is important. It would fill information gaps and create a stronger and more informed generation of dietitians.”
Lily’s advice for nutrition students is “remind yourself why you got into the field, do your research about topics you are passionate about and ones that you can now understand more fully as you get deeper into the coursework. I got this advice from talking to my old voice teacher! She told me, ‘Inspiration needs inspiration.’ You can’t rely on work ethic all the time, sometimes you need to jump-start your motivation.”
Rachael Manasseh, Resource Development Intern
Rachael is a recent graduate of Boston University and hopes to earn a masters degree in health communication “so that I can have the skills to write professionally on topics pertaining to health and nutrition. I want to share reliable information that will help others make informed decisions about the food they choose to eat on a daily basis.”
This past fall semester, she worked with an after-school program that teaches kids how to cook and has been a part of research projects at BU and Boston Medical Center where I collaborated with a team of 5-10 other researchers to consolidate data and organize information.
Her advice for nutrition students: “Take thorough and organized notes! Once I started to rewrite the notes I took after each class, I found it a lot easier to study once exams rolled around. It also helped me better process the concepts I was struggling with by writing them down in my own words.”
Meghan Salamon, Resource Development Intern
Meghan is a junior at Boston University and would like to specialize in oncology nutrition. “I would like to work with cancer patients or patients with disease to help relieve symptoms or slow the progression of the ailment through diet.”
Meghan has been interested in nutrition for a long time. “When I was a sophomore in high school, I went vegan on a whim. This choice I see as the turning point, or the aha-moment, in my life. I learned so much about how diet can not only improve longevity, but how certain diseases can have their symptoms relieved partially through diet. I want to become a RD to help people live longer, healthier lives through the promotion of a varied diet.”
She’s also had some great experiences in the field and wants to encourage other dietetics students to do the same. “One piece of advice I’d tell other dietetics students is to try to get nutrition experience outside of the classroom. Whether it’s volunteering at a food pantry, working in food service, being a part of a nutrition club, or research, all experiences are helpful in determining what industry you’d like to work in as an RD in the future.”