Julia Hawkins

Equinox Staff

Each year for the past five years, Keene State College has offered a nutrition coaching program for KSC staff and students. Human Resources director Karyn Kaminski helps promote programming for Healthy KSC, which is available for faculty and staff. When describing the relation between the human resources and the intern program, Kaminski said, “Human resources does not do the coaching. They work with the dietetic intern program through our Healthy KSC program to coordinate nutrition coaching through the dietetic intern program. Dietetic interns are accepted into the KSC program, and then they work with the field coordinator Whitney Hightower to then promote these nutrition coaches.”

Human resources works with the dietetic intern program to coordinate nutrition coaching. Dietetic interns are students who have been accepted and are now working to be dieticians. The Head of the Nutrition Coaching Program Whitney Hightower said, “Nutrition coaching is a free service that is offered to all students, faculty and staff at Keene State.” Sessions are one-on-one, and are about 30 to 45 minutes long, although some sessions may be shorter or longer, lasting up to about an hour.

Nutrition coaches are dietetic interns, which are nutrition students who have already gotten their degree. Some of these dietetic interns are from Keene State, but they may come from across the country as well. Students spend one year in this program working on completing their training to become registered dieticians. During their time here, they will look to complete their entire internship and move further in their process of becoming a dietetic intern.

When the dietetic interns graduate from their undergraduate schooling in nutrition, they must complete a dietetic internship. After selecting which program they would like to be a part of, they apply there. If they are accepted, they are submitted into a matching program which pairs a dietetic intern with a client based on their schedule and availability. There are an average of 16 accepted interns in this post-graduate program.

Clients meet with their coaches generally about four times. Their first meeting is about getting to know their client, and asking why they want or need assistance in nutrition coaching. All of the follow up sessions are focused on strategizing and making goals.

Dietetic intern Lauren Williams chose the Keene State College dietetic intern program. Williams would set up weekly meetings with Hightower, and would plan what her coaching sessions would look like.

When describing her one on one meetings, Williams said,

“I would try to get a better idea of what things typically look like for that client to better understand them… then we can assist the clients in follow-up sessions on how to make changes happen and help them go from where they are to somewhere better.” Williams has completed eight sessions so far, and will soon be close to completing her internship here at Keene State.

Human resources has been around campus helping advertize the nutrition program here at Keene State College. Anyone is able to sign up for this program.

Julia Hawkins can be contacted at

jhawkins@kscequinox.com