Member Spotlight - Claudia Sealey-Potts
Claudia Sealey-Potts, PhD, RD, LDN, FAND
Associate Professor, MS/DI and ISPP Director
Tell us about your job.
My job is a very hectic one which includes Teaching at the graduate level in nutrition and dietetics, Research, Service, and Administration (directing and managing) of two dietetic programs: Masters combined with internship and an Individualized Supervised Practice Program (ISPP). Both programs accept 15 students each cohort, so that keeps me busy all year round. I teach at least 2 classes each semester. I hold the position of a tenured, fulltime, 12-month faculty.
What do you find most interesting about your job?
Over the years I have directed and mentored close 300 students in accomplishing their goal of becoming a RD. The most interesting thing is observing the growth of students as they become proficient in translating theory into practice. I enjoy showing students how to get creative in disseminating nutrition education to the public. It is an art and every year I continue to add RDs to the profession of dietetics. It is a rewarding experience to witness the transformation of students from novice to experts. Many of my students now hold positions including Professors, owner of private practices and clinicians in hospitals, to name a few of the careers.
How did you get into this field?
I entered the field of nutrition in an unusual way. I was working in an administrative position (recruitment and personnel) in our ministry of health, that was after working for many years prior in the Judiciary. During my advertisement for health care workers I realized that there were not many applicants in dietetics. We (country) were extremely short in that area. So, during my discussion of the vacancies with Head Administration, she asked if I wanted to study. I seized the opportunity for new knowledge and a second career and began the journey into dietetics. In that pursuit, I was able to complete the BS in Nutrition and Food Science within 3 years, internship 12 months, MS in little over 1 year and PhD in 3 years.
Where were you born and raised?
I was born and raised on the beautiful twin island country of Trinidad and Tobago. I grew up on the smaller and more exotic of the two islands (Tobago). I have worked and lived on both islands at one time or another.
Where did you go to college and/or complete an internship?
• Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama
• University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Besides your profession, what are your hobbies?
Travelling, singing, cooking, tasting foods from various cultures, dancing, crochet and shopping.
What are your favorite foods?
I am the spice queen, and I enjoy spicy multicultural dishes from around the world. My favorite foods are Fresh fish, curried goat (Trini style), pastelles, variety of herbs spices and vegetables prepared in many ways, tropical fruits of any kind, and peas and beans (all varieties, green or dried).
What is on your bucket list?
Travel to countries, I have not yet visited (Sweden, Switzerland, and parts of the African continent). Use food (including herbs) as a medium for functional health.
How long have you been a member of NEP DPG? And why did you join?
Several years. Nutrition education for the public has been my focus for over 15 years. I have created nutrition education outreach programs in many parts of the US over the years and overseas, Tobago. I know that educating the public is a very distinct way to effect change. My passion dictates easy and practical ways to use nutrition to educate and motivate in community settings.
Any other interesting things you would like to share with NEP members?
I am passionate about the field of nutrition and dietetics. It has been 25 years and counting since joining the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and I strive to be fully engaged and active in many areas and levels of dietetic practice. I am an elected Delegate for Florida and my goal is to promote and support diversity and inclusion at all levels of the profession.