Student & Alumni Spotlight

Master of Sciences in Sport Nutrition Home

Student & Alumni Spotlight

Where are they now?
Here is a list of our current graduates who are working as full time sport dietitians.



Vanessa Risoul, MS RD

Creator of the Nutrition Center at the High Performance Center in Mexico City, Mexico and Consultant to the Mexican Olympic Athletes

Lauren Jones, MS RD CSSD

University of Utah

Regina Hammond, MS RD CSSD

Owner of Eat2Win:Nutrition for the Whole Athlete,

Lauren Story, MS NASM-FNS

Owner of Fitfuel Performance Nutrition,

Claire Mademann, MS RD CSSD

Owner of Nutrition on Track,

Shelly Guzman Johnson, MS RD CSSD

Pro Sports Club

Emily Kaley, MS RD

Current: NYMets and New York University; Former: Sport Dietitian assistant to Madison Square Garden Sports Teams (NY Knicks, NY Rangers, NY Liberty, Westchester Knicks, Hartford Wolfpack).  Emily also worked with the Chicago Cubs minor league.

Claire Siekaniec, MS RD CSSD

Sports Dietitian at Tosh –Orthopaedic Specialty Group, Intermountain Healthcare

Nuwanee Kirihennedige, MS RD CSSD

Sports Nutrition Consultant to the US Olympic Committee and graduate faculty at University of Colorado Colorado Springs

John Boesch, MS RD LD

Texas Tech University

Andrea Vanderwoude, MS RD CSSD

Current: Seattle Seahawks; Former: University of Southern California

Meredith Price, MS RD CSSD

University of Washington. Meredith completed a Gatorade Sport Nutrition Fellowship with the US Olympic Committee.

Erin Berg, MS RD CSSD LD

University of Wisconsin.  Erin completed a fellowship with the University of Alabama.

Kate Burks, MS RD CSSD LD

US Army Special Forces



US Army World Class Athlete Program (Athletes in the army training for the Olympics)

Katie Frushour, MS RD CSSD LD

US Military Nutrition Counselor

Sarah Underriner-Weber, MS RD

Current: Military performance (in Hawaii); Former: Washington State University


Whether a student is involved in a project or a thesis for their capstone experience, all student's work is recommended to be submitted for conference presentations.  Most of our student master's capstone projects and theses have been presented at the American Academy for Sports Medicine Conference (ACSM).  Below are a few highlights of our student's work.

A few featured presentations

  • Risoul-Salas, Vanessa (2015)
    • Risoul-Salas V, Reguant-Closa A, Kirihennedige N, Harris MM, Lohman TG, Müller W,  Meyer NL.  Body Composition in sport: Intra and inter-observer reliability using ultrasound and skinfolds.  Presented at American Academy for Sports Medicine Conference, San Diego, CA.  (May 26-May 30, 2015)
  • Reguant-Closa, Alba (2015)
    • Reguant-Closa A, Harris M, Meyer NL.  Validation of the Athlete's Plate Quantitative Analysis (Phase 1).  International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Metabolism 26:S1-S15, 2016.
    • Vanessa and Alba also recently were coauthors.  Check out their paper: Wolfram Müller, Timothy G Lohman,  Arthur D Stewart, Ronald J Maughan, Nanna L Meyer, Luis B Sardinha, Nuwanee Kirihennedige, Alba Reguant-Closa, Vanessa Risoul-Salas, Jorunn Sundgot-Borgen, Helmut Ahammer, Friedrich Anderhuber, Alfred Fürhapter-Rieger, Philipp Kainz, Wilfried Materna, Ulrike Pilsl, Wolfram Pirstinger, Timothy R Ackland.  Subcutaneous fat patterning in athletes: Selection of appropriate sites and standardization of a nocel ultrasound measurement technique: Ad hoc working group on body composition, health and performance, under the auspices of the IOC Medical Commission.  British Journal of Sports Medicine   50:45-54, 2016.  doi:10.1136/bjsports-2015-095641
  • Viner, Rebecca (2014)
    • Viner R, Berning J, Harris M, Meyer N.  Energy availability and dietary patterns of cyclists with lower than normal bone mineral density.  (May 29, 2014) Presented at the American Academy for Sports Medicine Conference, San Diego, CA.  (May 27-May 30, 2014) Medicine and Science in Sports Exercise 46(5): S332, 2014.
    • Becca also recently published her article from the work she did at UCCS.  Check it out!: Viner RT, Harris M, Berning JR, Meyer NL.  Energy availability and dietary patterns of adult male and female competitive cyclists with lower than expected bone mineral density.  International Journal of Sport Nutrition and  Exercise Metabolism  25:594-602, 2015.
  • Fritscher, Kate (2012)
    • Fritscher K, Harris M, Meyer N.  Survey of a gluten free diet and its effect on performance amongst elite cyclists.  Presented at the American College of Sports Medicine Conference June 2013 and 5th Annual Mountain Lion Research Day April, 2013.
  • Hammond, Regina (2013)
    • Hammond R, Meyer N, Harris MM, Elder C.  Impact loading and nutrition in cyclists: A clinical intervention study to enhance bone mass.  Presented at the American College of Sports Medicine Conference June 2013 and 5th Annual Mountain Lion Research Day April, 2013.
  • Rubenstein, Nicole (2013)
    • Rubenstein N, Meyer NL, Harris MM, Larson-Meyer E, Needham C.  Seasonal Vitamin D status, body composition and performance: A retrospective analysis in winter sport athletes. Presented at the American College of Sports Medicine Conference June 2013 and 5th Annual Mountain Lion Research Day April, 2013.

What our past students are saying
Not everyone pursues their sport dietetics certification, but we are proud of the fact that of the students who have pursued their sport dietitian certification, we have had a 100% pass rate on the CSSD exam (on the first try)!  Below, several of our current and former students, wanted to share a few words about our program, and how it's helped them.  You will notice a variety of experiences and perspectives.  Our student body interest is wide-ranging from Sport nutrition to sustainability to a little bit of both.  Sometimes our students' passions change after they start the program, and other times, as one student put it, "I feel like I got two Master's Degrees for the price of one".(RV, Class of 2014)

Bethany Frieler (current student, graduating Spring 2016)
This program has given me a new perspective on food and ignited my passion for localizing food systems. A year and a half ago I never thought about the "roots" of my food nor the impact my food choices had on the environment and my community. By connecting with my food, community and planet earth on a deeper level my passion for the field of dietetics has soared. While at UCCS, I have had numerous hands-on and experiential learning opportunities from digging in the dirt and harvesting produce at the UCCS farm to learning how to develop recipes and cook seasonal, healthy and sustainable meals. I have also had the opportunity to work with regional and international coaches and athletes. I assisted with body composition measurements, discussed heathy fueling/recovery strategies and even addressed food sovereignty with international coaches. While all of these priceless experiences are in itself remarkable assets of the program, what also makes it so special is the family you have waiting for you when you arrive in Colorado Springs. With a small program and an incredibly strong support system, UCCS quickly becomes your home.

Erin Berg, MS RD (graduated Spring 2014)
After graduation I was selected as the Mote Family Sports Nutrition Fellow at the University of Georgia. This was a 2 year fellowship position which started in July 2014. As of November 2015, I started a full-time position as Performance Dietitian at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Knowing that sports nutrition was the field I wanted to be in long-term, completing my masters in sports nutrition was extremely beneficial. There are not many masters programs that are specifically sports nutrition, so having that higher education from a well-known program definitely is a selling point when it comes to seeking out fellowships, etc. Plus, graduating from such a reputable program gave me the confidence, knowledge, and experience to dive headfirst into pursuing my dream career.

Although I have not directly worked in sustainability, being in a program with courses focused on it was eye-opening. Personally and professionally, I focus on a whole foods approach promoting sustainable responsibility and foods locally sourced when possible. 

While working at UGA as Mote Family Sports Nutrition Fellow, I was nominated by my director as a candidate to attend CPSDA's 2015 Advanced Practice Workshop and was selected by the committee to be an attendee.  I also plan on adding CSSD to my credentials by March, as I will be taking the exam in February.

Sean Svette, MS RD (graduated Spring 2014)
I graduated Spring of 2014. I appreciated the ability to connect frequently with instructors. This helped build my confidence as a student. After graduation I was extremely fortunate to attend a dietetic internship at Penrose St. Francis. My internship experience provided an overview of the various career fields in dietetics. This experience helped reinforce my passion for education. Soon after completing the program I was offered the opportunity to return to UCCS to help co-teach the course "Food, Culture, Community, and Health" developed by Dr. Meyer and one of the core courses in the Sport Nutrition program. In some ways this was a dream come true. For the past five years I've been working with a local non-profit Pikes Peak Urban Gardens. During this time I've helped teach people how to grow and cook flavorful nutrient dense foods. Bringing this experience back to UCCS was truly a privilege. Now in 2016, after seven years of school, I've completed the process of becoming a Registered Dietitian. I can't completely put into words the appreciation I have for all the help I've received. The Sport Nutrition program at UCCS has definitely helped propel my professional career. The philosophies of community health and sustainability stressed throughout the program have become a part of my personal ethos. I can guarantee from a student perspective that the Sport Nutrition Program will provide the best access to resources to help you succeed.  

One of the most exciting projects I'm involved with currently is a new hospital greenhouse project between Penrose Hospital and Pikes Peak Urban Gardens. This came about from my time interning at Penrose. We're looking forward to creating nutrition education programs for patients, providing high quality food for the hospital cafe, and even having the option to provide patient rehabilitation in the garden. This project represents a true shift towards preventative health care at the local level. It's a privilege to be a dietitian involved in a project that's at the forefront of the local food shift.  

CPT Kelly Ping Kaim, MS RD CSSD (graduated 2011)
I graduated in the first Sports Nutrition Class in 2011.  After graduating, I started instructing Sports Nutrition Classes at UCCS, running the Peak Nutrition Clinic, and consulting with athletes at both UCCS and Colorado College.  I got my CSSD certification shortly after graduating as well.   In 2012, I decided to do something a bit unusual and joined the Army.  I came into the Army as a CPT in 2013.  I have been stationed at Fort Carson the last 3 years, during this time I have been the Dietitian for our World Class Athlete Program (athletes in the army training for the  Olympics).  In addition to this, 6 months ago I was selected to serve as the only Division Dietitian in the Army.  In this role, I teach nutrition classes to the service members and collaborate on ways to enhance performance of our Soldiers at Fort Carson.  This Spring/Summer I will also be the Army's supporting Dietitian for the Warrior Games.

Prior to attending UCCS for Grad School, I knew the basics of sports nutrition and that it was the field I was passionate about.  After attending UCCS for my masters I felt like I left there as a subject matter expert on Sports Nutrition and not only that but able to apply what I had learned to the real world.

Alba Reguant-Closa, MS RD (graduated May 2015)
I am a former UCCS Graduate student in Sports Nutrition from the country of the Pyrenees!  I graduated in May 2015.  After graduation I returned to my Country (Andorra) and decided to pursue my PhD. My PhD is integrating sustainability into Dietetics and specifically into sports nutrition.   Even as I am doing my PhD I am also working some hours as a dietitian and collaborating with some sports federations and the Andorran Olympic Committee, supporting our national athletes.

I really liked the UCCS program and enjoyed those two years in Colorado in general! My two highlights are: 1) being a small program, we receive a close and fantastic mentorship from our professors and lots of opportunities to participate in different projects, from helping our classmates with their research to external UCCS opportunities for internships. 2) The MS degree can be tailored at your interest, if you want more practical applications you can find them; if you want more research you can do it. There are lots of opportunities-- when they ask you if you want to get involved...  just say yes!

As dietitians we do not learn about food sustainability and food sovereignty in our dietetics training. I strongly believe this is a big lack in our education as dietitians, especially in the challenges we are facing in our days. I really appreciate that the Masters at UCCS provided me with opportunities to learn and collaborate on projects of food sustainability and made me a better dietitian. The Flying Carrot, Venetucci Farm, the healthy campus initiative...there are lots of projects that you can get involved with!  In addition, due to my high interest on the topic and aiming to learn more about it, my PhD topic is based on sustainability and how we can integrate those concepts more when educating nutrition to the various populations.   Moreover, I am a "carrot", so if you come to UCCS you will learn what this means... for those future "carrots".... Welcome!

I came to UCCS thanks to a Fulbright scholarship.   I had the opportunity to do my Masters project on research with an elite athlete training center and to collaborate with them on other projects during my two years at UCCS.  I had the opportunity to collaborate on various research projects helping my classmates and I also participated in different sports conferences. I helped Dr. Nanna Meyer with another UCCS graduate sports nutrition student with the Speed Skating Olympic Trials for Sochi 2014.  I had the opportunity to participate on the Ultrasound body composition project.  I got a graduate assistantship for Venetucci Farm- Flying carrot I was a speaker, with another student, at the ADP (American Distance Project) Symposium in January 2015 at an elite athletic training center where we gave a talk on sports nutrition updates.  Finally, I participated on the Coaches Enrichment Certificate Program form the IOC Solidarity Program with the other graduate students in sports nutrition.

Colorado is a fantastic place to live. If you like skiing, biking or just hiking, you have the outdoors and wildlife in your backyard. As a student  you can focus on yourself and on your career. You can study hard and have some quiet moments in the Colorado Mountains, Garden of the Gods or some nice coffee shops around town. I miss Colorado powder, so enjoy it, if you are finally going to UCCS!  Food is great on the region, and you can learn about native foods and recipes, volunteer at some farms, and enjoy a fantastic harvesting season during summer months.  

Andrea Vanderwoude, MS RD (Graduated May 2015)
I graduated in May 2015 and went right into the Gatorade SNIP internship program at USC for 9 months. 

I appreciated the whole foods focus and sustainability aspect of the program. In addition, the rigorous coursework prepared me to know the science behind food and its effect on the body to utilize it in the best possible way for the athletes and decide between different products and whether to use them or not.    I have not been able to incorporate sustainability as much as I would like as an intern, but I plan to with my own practice/team/job in the future.    The people I work with at my new location appreciated the work ethic and contribution I have brought so much that they have worked on creating a position for me in their nutrition department and now I am the USC Sport Dietitian!

Kristina Comer, MS RD (Graduated May 2015)
I was intended to graduate May 2014 but my project took longer than anticipated.  So, I completed a dietetic internship at Children's Hospital Colorado while finishing my master's project and passed the RD exam in 2015. I currently work as a Clinical Dietitian full time at University of Colorado Hospital specializing in solid organ transplant and plan to obtain my CNSC later this year. Aside from clinical, I also teach barre fitness classes and try to integrate sport nutrition into that position as much as possible through presentations and workshops. I hope to continue to gain hours in sports nutrition and sit for the CSSD exam in the next 3-4 years. 

I appreciated the wide variety of experiences and opportunities available to me at UCCS in the Sports Nutrition Program. The program really integrates nutrition into many areas -- sports, clinical, community, sustainability - and the overall approach allowed me to feel well-rounded entering my first job. I also appreciate the opportunities to work with elite athletes and respected members of the Sports Medicine team at elite training centers. The rigor of the program and amazing mentorship set me up for success in the field of dietetics! 

I currently am on the committee for the Slow Food Planet App with Slow Food Denver. Staying an active part of a community with goals for sustainable food systems allows me to stay present. We meet monthly to visit and review restaurants and businesses in the area and assess their commitment to sustainability, the environment, and overall good food. I hope to continue to integrate this aspect of nutrition into my career.

I've been accepted to present at ACSM's Annual Meeting in Boston this summer. The research skills I obtained at UCCS has allowed me to continue my efforts through a quality improvement project at UCHealth - focusing on malnutrition - and we have been selected to present at this year's Interdisciplinary Symposium.

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Last Updated: January 25, 2017
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