November 2017 Member Spotlight

Jennifer Sporay, RDN-AP, CSO, LDN, CNSC, FAND originally from Birdsboro, PA, currently resides in New Cumberland, PA where she is the Clinical Nutrition Manager at UPMC Pinnacle for Sodexo. Her role involves working with a team of 25 dietitians across 4 hospitals throughout Harrisburg and Mechanicsburg.

She completed her undergrad at Mansfield University and her internship through Marriott, now Sodexo, in Philadelphia. Jennifer has returned as a student to Mansfield and will have her Masters of Science in Nutrition completed in the Spring. With the minimal free time she has left, she enjoys hiking, foraging, and spending time with her three dogs.

Jennifer actually started college as an English Literature major but began to look to other areas of study when she did not envision a career developing. By chance, she took an introduction to nutrition class, fell in love with nutrition, and transferred the next semester to a school that offered the major. If she did not pursue nutrition, she could see herself as a trauma flight nurse and would want to be the one flying.

When asked what her family taught her about food Jennifer responded, “Marry someone who knows how to cook for you!” She then went on to explain that her family actually taught her much about eating and a healthy lifestyle. Growing up, they went to the farmer’s market almost weekly, were never forced to finish meals, and were always encouraged to try new things. She grew up attending aerobics classes with her mom in the era of leg warmers and leotards and learning to balance food with activity. One of Jennifer’s favorite foods would be one she finds herself. As an avid forager with her husband, they find local mushrooms and various weeds that can be used in different salads and main dishes.

Speaking on our profession, Jennifer loves to encourage RDs in non-traditional roles and she has a lot of respect for those who have used their food and health knowledge to branch into other areas. She would love to see an improved public perception of dietitians and how this expertise differs from others offering nutrition advice.

Some of the benefits Jennifer finds from being a member of PAND and the Academy are networking and having all of the resources and support from both organizations. She finds the evidence-based information and the fact that many of these leading experts are fellow members to be great benefits. She noted, “Having the ability to reach out to colleagues and have meaningful discussions about the work we do is a great networking benefit.” Through volunteering with PAND and AND, she found more insight into these resources and gained a greater respect for the accomplished individuals that have worked to move the profession forward. “It makes me proud to be a part of a group working together.”

When speaking on eating habits, Jennifer noted, “I would encourage everyone to consider how much food they eat and how much is wasted. As a whole, our society wastes so much food, while the issues of hunger and food crises are evident across the country and throughout the world.” She notes the importance of mindful eating and the awareness of how food is grown and cultivated. She explained, “I’d encourage others to conserve more and eat with awe and gratefulness for the sacrifices that were made for all that we have.”

By Emily Wunder, MSCN, RD, LDN, PAND Media Team