About Erica

I am a doctoral student in Human Nutrition, Foods, and Exercise at Virginia Tech and Registered Dietitian passionate about health and wellbeing for all individuals. I am interested in dietary assessment, weight bias, and eating disorders. After graduation, I hope to use my knowledge and skills to help the public through research, teaching, and dietetics practice.

Why nutrition?

I became interested in nutrition in high school, when I was interested in learning how nutrition could impact the human body and support athletic performance. In college, I competed on the cross country and track teams, where I became increasingly aware of how disordered eating and eating disorders impacted the female running community, which inspired me to use the field of nutrition to make a positive impact on the world.

Now, as a dietitian, I am passionate about teaching others about nutrition while maintaining a focus on positive body image, flexibility with food, and self-compassion. I enjoy helping to expand others’ views of what a dietitian is- beyond the stereotype of the “food police” that simply promotes weight loss. In my private practice, I work to help empower clients to eat in a way that nourishes and supports overall health, including mental health.

In my research, I similarly try to maintain an attitude of neutrality around different ways of eating and different body shapes and sizes. I try my best to use non-stigmatizing language when talking about body size in my writing, and to communicate nuance when talking about diet and dietary patterns.

As an educator, whether teaching undergraduates or educating patients and families, I seek to inspire curiosity in those I teach. In a field so rife with disinformation, I like empowering others how to find high-quality nutrition information, and how to think critically about the information put out about nutrition in the media.