Upping the Game: Athletics and Academic Partnerships for the Win


Dietitians working in higher education either within Athletics as performance RDNs or academic departments are uniquely positioned to build cross-disciplinary collaborations that support student education and create a new model of practice in performance nutrition. This presentation highlights how the University of Arizona’s School of Nutritional Sciences and Wellness is expanding workforce demand and supporting student success through partnerships with Athletics and the College of Fine Arts. These new collaborations support the success of Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) students, Graduate Programs in Dietetics (GP) students, Individual Supervised Practice Pathway (ISPP) interns, student-athletes, and performance RDNs on campus. Curriculum developed to support these collaborations provide experiential learning opportunities for DPD and GP students and ISPP interns who gain valuable career, leadership, and life skills. Performance RDNs are working with a new population of student-athletes and have increased their student and intern work force. More student-athletes across campus receive valuable evidence-based nutrition education and support.

Learning Objectives

Promote cross-disciplinary approaches that support graduate student and intern success by providing career focused opportunities to build on skills learned in the classroom

Develop an experiential learning curriculum which provides opportunities for future dietitians to be more competitive and prepared to work in the field of sports nutrition

Establish collaborations and partnerships that can expand the performance nutrition team and support student-athletes within Athletics and other departments

Performance Indicators

2.3 Collaborates with inter- and intra-professional team members to achieve common goals and to optimize delivery of services

3.1 Demonstrates and applies leadership skills

6.6 Designs and analyzes program curricula that align with program goals, objectives and competencies


Ronnie Mullins

Associate Professor of Practice

University of Arizona

Carmen Young

Associate Professor of Practice

University of Arizona


Amy Drescher

Assistant Professor of Practice

University of Arizona

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