Melanie JonesIt was Melanie Jones' senior year of high school when the subject of nutrition piqued her interest. She remembers her AP biology course briefly discussed nutrition when she realized science is involved in nutrition.

“It was the first time I’d ever realized it goes far beyond ‘simply watching what you eat’ and ‘counting calories,’” said Jones. “I decided to become a registered dietitian because I wanted to make nutrition my career.”

Jones went through the Dietetics Internship in the Department of Nutrition Sciences at UAB and finished in 2012. She said the experience allowed her to see the different areas of the field of nutrition.

“It helped me narrow down my areas of interest,” said Jones. “The program is great because it has so many fantastic resources. By spending time at UAB Hospital, Children’s of Alabama, the VA Hospital, the HIV Clinic, the EatRight program and more, dietetic interns at UAB are able to see and experience many diverse opportunities that dietetic interns in other places aren’t able to do.”

Jones is currently working as a nutrition trainee at the UAB Pediatric Pulmonary Center. As a Registered Dietitian, she assesses and provides services to pediatric patients. But school isn’t over for her yet. She’s now working on a master’s degree in Clinical Nutrition at UAB.

“I decided that I wanted to further my education and pursue leadership roles in my future career,” said Jones.

She’s currently completing her research with plans to be published.

“My research involves teenagers with cystic fibrosis that explores that the differences in clinical, environmental and psychosocial factors between those classified as having an optimal nutritional status and those classified as being in nutritional failure,” said Jones.

Even though new letters will be added to the end of her name in May 2013, Jones will still be doing what she set out to be in the beginning…a Registered Dietitian.

"I plan to still work as an registered dietitian in a clinical environment preferably with pediatrics," said Jones.