One of the first graduates of MCLA’s health sciences degree program is back on campus, consulting with students on nutrition.
Devyn Renzi ’19 is finishing up her internship requirements for a master’s degree in nutrition from the University of Bridgeport—she needs a 1,000-hour supervised internship to complete the program. “When I was at MCLA as a student, I saw the need for it,” she said.
Many other aspiring nutritionists choose to do this work at a doctor’s office or other medical setting. “This path was more of what I was looking for. I really wanted to do some sort of community work. It was important to me to get out there and give back,” she said.
She reached out to Professor of Biology Anne Goodwin, who had been supportive of the nutrition work she did as an MCLA undergrad. “She was a godsend,” Renzi said. “She hooked me up with all the right people I needed to talk to to make this happen.”
Renzi worked with MCLA’s Health Services team, meeting with students one-on-one and offering advice and information to help them meet their nutritional goals—everything from how to make better choices in the dining hall to making major lifestyle changes in the interest of better health. She worked with MCLA student Hannah Mazzeo, who helped promote Renzi’s services on campus and helped her create a nutrition brochure as a reference for students.
Student clients were also able to input health data into a portal so Renzi could help track their progress. “Having somebody to hold you accountable and instill some motivation is half the battle,” Renzi said. “It’s not that people don’t want to or don’t know how to make these changes—it’s just a matter of getting there.”
When Renzi finishes her internship hours, she’ll be ready to sit for the Certified Nutrition Specialist Exam in 2022. Renzi discovered her love of nutrition at Berkshire Community College, transferred to MCLA for its health sciences path, and has spent the last two and a half years working toward her master’s degree at Bridgeport.
“It’s been such a rewarding experience for me,” she said. “Bridgeport has been a 2.5-year program and it took me five years to get my undergrad degree. I’ve known I wanted to go into nutrition for the past five years. To finally be able to offer my knowledge and recommendations is just awesome, and it’s especially cool to do it for MCLA students. This is such a critical age to work with because you’re instilling health habits for success down the road.”
Renzi will go back to meeting with students (virtually) during the spring 2022 semester. MCLA students interested in working with her can email her directly at Devyn.email@example.com. Renzi is also offering nutrition coaching for the wider population—find out more about her services at www.nourishwithdevyn.com.