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Food for Thought

Posted by Xiong, Song - October 22, 2012 - Featured, Song X., Students

I have always enjoyed food, travel and learning. You can probably only imagine my excitement when I was able to attend the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Food and Nutrition Conference and Exposition (FNCE) in Philadelphia this year with nine other UW-Stevens Point students.

I was fortunate enough to attend last year’s conference in San Diego, but I was still awed at the site of 10,000+ professionals in attendance and 1,000+ sponsors at the expo. I was able to meet pioneer dietitians such as Suki Hertz, nutritionist for the Food Network; Ellie Krieger, host of Food Network show Healthy Appetite; and Jill Jayne, Rockstar Nutritionist.

With so many sessions offered, it was difficult to choose which to attend. I did manage my way into workshops discussing topics such as leadership, school food service and public policy. In one session, I approached Suki Hertz like a little girl meeting Justin Beiber. After an embarrassingly giddy conversation, she gave me her business card!

Of course education doesn’t start when the conference starts. We flew in a day before the conference so we had some extra time to explore Philadelphia, and explore is exactly what we did. Sitting up-top of a double-decker bus, we discovered the history of Philly from the infamous Rocky Steps to Penn’s Landing to Philly cheesesteak hotspots. A walking ghost tour led us around various cemeteries scattered throughout the city. We even ventured upon the burial grounds of Benjamin Franklin.

My most important lesson I received was confirmation that I am definitely pursuing the correct profession. I was able to incorporate food, travel and learning into one field of interest. Now I am only hoping I will be able to do the same in Houston, Texas, next year!

Daniel Clausen, Chelsea Roth, Claire Wyttenbach, Elizabeth Silvernale, Song Xiong, Erica Boncher, Julie Heitkamp, Sarah Wildes, Beth Seidl and Kaylin Monson.


Song Xiong is a senior at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point majoring in dietetics and communication.

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