Culinary students returns to IUP for second degree as McNair Scholar

Posted by on Saturday, October 8, 2016 0:56 - 0 Comments


Senovia Roberts (senior, culinary dietetics) is a McNair Scholar and an alumna of the IUP Punxsutawney Culinary School who returned to IUP in order to get a degree and become a licensed dietician.

Roberts got her culinary degree at the Punxsutawney campus, but she always knew she wanted to continue her education beyond that.

“At the time, my future goal was to become a registered dietitian with a thorough knowledge of culinary techniques in order to help patients and clients with diseases and conditions with modification to their diets,” Roberts said. “So it was part of my decision initially to apply for the Culinary Dietetics degree at IUP main campus.”

After coming to Indiana to pursue a degree in food and nutrition, Roberts had the opportunity to become a McNair Scholar, which has opened up even more doors for her.

The McNair Scholars program is a federally funded program aimed at first-generation college students, financially needy students and members of traditionally underrepresented groups who are interested in graduate school in order to increase degrees awarded to underrepresented groups.

Each student within the program conducts original research.

For her research, Roberts is working with her mentor and adviser, Dr. Nicole Clark, professor of food and nutrition to survey IUP students about breastfeeding and academic knowledge, attitudes and beliefs.

IUPShe presented part of her research at the National McNair Research Conference in Buffalo, N.Y., this past summer.

“[Roberts] has distinct goals,” Clark said. “She is seeking out ways to help improve academics related to nutrition and plans to go on for her Ph.D. or doctorate degree.

“She is very driven and has already prepared much for her research which is about the knowledge, beliefs and perceptions of students in nursing, nutrition and dietetics and family and consumer education.”

In addition to being a McNair Scholar, Roberts became a certified culinarian through the American Culinary Federation, and she earned a culinary externship at Pinehurst Resort.

After graduation, Roberts plans to continue her education by pursing a master’s degree as well as a PhD. She expressed an interest in nutritional sciences or a related field.

“To those who may be having trouble finding their way, don’t give up,” Roberts said.

“The journey to your goal may have its ups and downs, but it is all part of your development and learning experience.

“So be positive and do your best in just about everything you do. It will pay off.”

Roberts recommended that anyone who meets eligibility for the McNair Scholars program apply and “take on a new adventure.”

“I would also start asking professors in your departments if they are working on research and see if you can assist them in any way so that you

~ Story originally posted on 10/7/16 by Stephanie Bachman, Lead News Writer, on The Penn