Dietetic Internship graduates its 20th class Dietetic Internship graduates its 20th class Photo provided by North Oaks Health System -- Six graduates of the 2013 North Oaks Dietetic Internship Program celebrated their accomplishments at a ceremony and reception on June 6. From left are North Oaks Nutritional Services Director Ann McDaniel-Hall, Kirstin Fiorello, Corey Dwayne LeDoux, Theresa Pevey Derenbecker, North Oaks Dietetic Internship Program Director Virginia Pelegrin, Ellen Elizabeth Smith, Emily Loraine Thevis, Claire Toups and North Oaks Education Director Nicole Barnum. Advocate staff report July 03, 2013 Comments 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 experiences, they were told during a ceremony June 6 at the E. Brent Dufreche Conference Center. 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,” keynote speaker Dr. Cheryl Atkinson said. “Always know your strengths, but always be yourself. An original is worth more than a copy.” 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. Three graduates received special honors, 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 Bertrand, who was a registered dietitian and graduate of North Oaks’ second Dietetic Internship class. 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 visit http://www.northoaks.org.