Jason Alme '21
Jason Alme ’21 is pursuing his third undergraduate degree, this time with a personal diagnosis as a powerful motivator.
Jason Alme: I am most proud of my involvement with ADA Camp Carefree, a two-week overnight summer camp for Type 1 diabetic children. I myself am a Type 1 diabetic and being able to volunteer at the camp as a nutrition student and fellow diabetic is tremendously rewarding. The campers do not expect the dietetics students to be diabetic either, so the moment they realize I'm like them is super fun. I think the camp is very important to these kids — it's something just for them — and so being a part of that has made me very proud and grateful.
Alme: I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at 25 years old — after I had already completed two undergrad degrees at University of Georgia (GO DAWGS). Nutrition therapy and diabetes education were things that had never crossed my mind prior to 25, but after my diagnosis they became tremendous priorities as foundations of my treatment. As a result, I am pursuing dietetics with a sense of focus that I lacked during my first two undergrad degrees. I chose this major because it's a crucial aspect of minimizing disease risk and complications, as well as the fact that it provides an academic challenge.
Alme: Short version: DO IT! It's a great major, very fascinating and rewarding, and the people are awesome. If you're still on the fence, I'd say search the net for feedback from nutrition professionals regarding their career satisfaction. Talk to some nutrition students as well to see how they're liking the program. Feel free to contact me, I'll be candid. If you're still not sure after that, don't be afraid to go for it, even if you change your mind later on. It's the reason I'm still in college in my 30's. At the very least, you'll learn something.
Alme: More school. I plan on completing my master’s and then completing the dietetic internship, after which I will sit for the exam and become licensed. After that, maybe Disney World?
I have my first kid on the way, so I'm sure that I'll be working in Disney somehow. PhD before and/or after my Disney trip and maybe a few more kiddos. After the PhD, I will become a certified diabetes educator and certified specialist in sports dietetics and spend many more years volunteering at Camp Carefree and making everyone call me doctor. I have a lot more goals to pursue, so graduation is just the beginning.
Alme: UNH is enabling me to meet the didactic requirements for becoming an RD, and providing me the course credit needed to complete my MS. The challenge of the course work has helped me to improve academically and I'm gaining skills and knowledge that will prepare me for my career in dietetics. But more than that, UNH has given me the opportunity to meet and network with some really great folks, as well as take on some enriching volunteer work. It's been great getting to know the faculty and my fellow students and building a network of professionals in the nutrition industry.
Alme: The campus is beautiful, which makes for some nice walks to and from class. The people are great too - the faculty and my fellow students make the day-to-day work of education a lot of fun.