Megan Govindan wears many hats at West Virginia University.
The teaching assistant professor of human nutrition and foods is a teacher, adviser, mentor, registered dietician and consultant.
She can now add director of the Didactic Program in Dietetics in the WVU Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design to the list.
Govindan agreed to take on the role when Betty Forbes, former program director and lecturer, retired at the end of 2011.
The rigorous undergraduate program is often the first stop along the path to becoming a registered dietician. After completing the program, students can apply for a dietetic internship, such as the competitive dual internship and master’s program at WVU. The accredited program curriculum also meets academic requirements for membership in the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
“I’m really looking forward to seeing the program grow,” Govindan said. “I’m also excited to help the program get more exposure within the university and state.”
She hopes to accomplish that by showing others, especially students, that nutrition and leading a healthy lifestyle can be fun.
“Nutrition is more than ‘An apple a day keeps the doctor away.’ Everyone can benefit from eating consciously and being physically active,” she said.
She also hopes to get more students interested enough to take an introductory course in nutrition as an elective while pursuing their degrees.
“Introduction to Human Nutrition fulfills the requirements for GEC 2 (Group C) and GEC 4. This course allows students to understand the fundamentals of nutrition while challenging them to evaluate their eating habits to prevent chronic disease,” Govindan explained. “It has real-life applications regardless of your major.”
The Wheeling native earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in human nutrition and foods, as well as a master’s of public health from the Department of Community Medicine in WVU’s School of Medicine.
While pursuing her master’s degree, Govindan received a $10,000 grant from the General Mills Champions for Healthy Kids program to help promote healthy lifestyle choices for kids. In 2007 she implemented the Helping HAND (Health Awareness and Nutrition Decisions) program at the Shack Neighborhood House in Pursglove, W.Va. and became a Registered Dietitian in 2008.
In addition to her new role, Govindan is a member of several college and division-level committees, serves as the faculty adviser for the Student Dietetic Association, is a nutrition consultant for the West Virginia Board of Education, and is a nutrition and wellness consultant for The Shack Neighborhood House.
She is a current member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the West Virginia Dietetic Association.
The WVU Didactic Program in Dietetics is currently granted continued accreditation by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics.
For more information about the human nutrition and foods program, contact Govindan at 304-293-1887 or visit http://nutrition.wvu.edu.
CONTACT: Lindsay Willey; Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design
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