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Alumni News Kevin Storr May 02, 2024

Lia Puzzo

Lia Puzzo, a graduating student of UAB’ School of Health Professions (SHP) Dietitian Education Program (DEP), is the winner of the 2024 Outstanding Graduate Award for the Dietitian Education Program.

Puzzo has spent the last three-and-a-half years working as a Research Assistant in the Nutrition Sciences department while earning her master’s degree. She worked in the Metabolic Kitchen – directed by Assistant Professor Kelly Berg, MS, RDN, LDN – where Puzzo aided in designing menus and delivering nutrition interventions by sourcing, storing, preparing, cooking and providing all food to participants.

“I feel honored to be selected to receive this award,” said Puzzo. “I am very thankful to the Department of Nutrition Sciences and the DEP for this incredible journey to becoming a registered dietitian.”

“Lia's strength is her ability to handle stress while maintaining a wonderful attitude,” remarked Wil Owens MS, RDN, LD, CSCS, Registered Dietitian on UAB Department of Nutrition Sciences research staff. “Her personality flowed exceptionally well with our staff. Lia brought value to our kitchen and allowed us to maintain our commitments and deadlines.”

Puzzo graduated Summa Cum Laude in April 2022 from UAB with a Bachelor of Science in Public Health and Nutrition. She also worked in the Nutrition Obesity Research Center exercise lab.

“Lia was an outstanding intern,” said Karin Crowell, Registered Dietitian at UAB Weight Loss Medicine. “She willingly and gladly took on any task assigned, even though this was her first rotation! She did an amazing job with individual diet counseling and group education, and she really understands how to relate to patients and work with them to meet them where they are. She will be missed!"

Puzzo plans to pursue her passion of working with people affected by eating disorders as an RDN. “All my current and former mentors were always encouraging and inspiring me along the way,” added Puzzo. “They helped me in any way they could, and I am extremely grateful to every one of them.”

DEP GraduatesPuzzo with fellow UAB DEP Class of 2024 graduates.

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