Donna S. Martin, EdS, RDN, LD, SNS, FAND, a double alumna of the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Department of Nutrition Sciences, has been elected president-elect of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
Martin, a 1977 graduate of what was then the UAB Master of Science in Clinical Nutrition/Dietetics program, is the first UAB graduate to hold this position at the world’s largest organization of food and nutrition professionals.
“I believe that everyone has a right to eat right – and I don’t’ think there is any greater group of people on this earth to make that happen than the members of this association,” said Martin, director, Burke County (Georgia) Board of Education School Nutrition Program. “My vision for our association is one where we collaborate, commit and communicate to every level of membership, and position our members to be advocates and leaders in our community.”
“We are so pleased for Donna Martin’s election. Our goal has been to train leaders in nutrition and she has certainly achieved that status,” said W. Timothy Garvey, professor and chair, UAB Department of Nutrition Sciences, director, UAB Diabetes Research Center. “We offer Donna our sincere congratulations and believe the Academy will have a bright future under her leadership.”
As Martin assesses her most recent achievement she says could not have accomplished it all without the nutrition programs in the UAB School of Health Professions.
“I can honestly say that my education at UAB has been the foundation for my entire career,” said Martin. “It allowed me first to become a Registered Dietitian through the internship program and then my UAB master’s degree opened up an unlimited number of career options that I have taken advantage of.”
When Martin moved to Augusta, Georgia in 1979, she was the only person with a master’s degree in dietetics. She wrote a self-study for a new dietetic internship program and then became director of that program. From there, she went into School Nutrition and has “had a career beyond my wildest dreams and this election will just be icing on the cake!”
The Academy, celebrating its 100th year of service, has more than 75,000 members around the world. In her campaign for election, Martin said there were great opportunities for members to work together to “address our nation’s approach to food security, food safety, food variety and nutrition quality.” Her campaign platform included:
- Education: increased number of preceptors
- Research: more training for members
- Advocacy: taking ownership of issues
- Agriculture: ensure food systems maximize outcomes
The board, comprised of national leaders in nutrition and health, has 18 members and oversees the direction, budget, guidelines and policies of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Martin will serve this year as president-elect and will then be elevated to president of the academy in 2017.
With a top 10 ranked PhD in Nutrition Sciences program, today’s UAB Department of Nutrition Sciences offers one of the most comprehensive nutrition experiences on one campus. In addition to Martin’s program, which is now called a Master of Science in Nutrition Sciences, Dietetic Internship/Clinical Track, the other Master’s offered in this expanding department include a Research Track and a Lifestyle Management & Disease Prevention Track.