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What Sets Us Apart?

Personal Attention & a Culture of Support

With a cohort limited to just 10 students, you are not just another number. You will form real relationships with your classmates and the program director. Your online cohort will create a culture of learning, professional growth, and connection. Although you may be miles apart, your community is just a click away.

Focus on Sustainability

UVM is a national leader in all areas related to sustainability. The UVM MSD is among the few dietetic programs that have adopted sustainability as a program focus. This theme is embedded throughout the graduate coursework and SPE, preparing graduates to be leaders at the intersection of dietetics practice and sustainability. 

Connections Across the US

There is rich diversity that comes from classmates participating from around the country. While there are core program requirements to ensure comparable practice experiences, no two rotations are identical. This wide variety of experiences contributes to unique learning opportunities and engaging class discussions.

Diverse Experiences

You will be exposed to a variety of practice settings, populations, and professional development opportunities to prepare for entry-level work as a registered dietitian nutritionist. This diversity of experiences will support you in becoming a well-rounded practitioner and developing a robust professional network. 

Some examples include:

  • Sustainable food systems immersion experiences (e.g., farm tour, farmer's market, hunger councils)
  • Cultural responsiveness activities (e.g., free health clinic for migrant farm workers, ethnic market)
  • Inter-profressional practice opportunities (e.g., virtual care planning clinic, end-of-life ALS care planning meeting)
  • Volunteer experiences (e.g., state food bank, garden-based learning)
  • Professional meetings (e.g., affiliate dietetic association, hunger advocacy)
  • Legislative initiatives (e.g., legislative day, draft bill related to sustainable food systems)

Career Focus

The UVM MSD program is designed with your professional future in mind! During your time in the program you will receive guidance and mentorship on how to become a competitive candidate in your preferred area of practice.


What I found most valuable about the MSD program was the encouragement and flexibility offered to explore areas of professional practice within community nutrition that were of particular interest to me. Every week we spent time as a cohort reflecting on our various SPE experiences and any influence they had on our professional development. Graduating from the MSD program, I felt confident that I had not chosen a single career path. Instead, I could see endless possible professions to pursue as a registered dietitian.

Mattie Alpaugh, MS, RDN, Class of 2018 


Program Team

Farryl Bertmann, PhD, RDN

Farryl Bertmann, PhD, RDN
Dr. Farryl became the MSD Program Director on July 1, 2021 and has been a member of Nutrition and Food Sciences faculty since 2015. Farryl’s focus areas include food security & nutrition assistance programs, inclusive and equitable approaches to community-based nutrition education, and global food sovereignty. She is passionate about developing and evaluating nutrition programs that are sustainable, inclusive, culturally-derived, and resilient. She has been collaborating with agricultural centers from rural Vermont to rural Kenya; along the way she strives to create community-engaged learning opportunities for her students.
Dr. Farryl believes the goal of teaching is to kindle in students the passion for life learning.  She hopes to transform students in a way that they become conscious and aware of the world around them. She wants her students to seek opportunities to broaden and expand their knowledge anywhere, in any circumstance, whether it is taking a moment to focus on breathing when they are faced with a challenge to reading the nutrition label on the back of a package.  She feels students are best prepared for their career if they are engaged, curious and willing to learn.


Where are they now?

James Lesley MS, RDN, SNS
Class of 2016
What are you doing now? I am an area supervisor for Jeffco Public Schools Food & Nutrition Department. I supervise approximately 60 employees and oversee day-to-day operations in about 20 schools. My biggest role is to enforce and ensure National School Lunch Program regulations and district policies are followed by the kitchens. I also coach my kitchen managers to manage their employees and navigate unique situations as they come up. I am also the Membership & Marketing Committee Chair for the Colorado School Nutrition Association and help maintain fundraising efforts and membership numbers. 
How did the MSD Program prepare you? The strong food service rotations you get from the MSD program give you a solid foundation as well as a wide variety of programs to observe and learn about. Having the large scale experience from UVMMC and small scale from ANESU rotations helped me learn about managing food service operations and ensuring organizational goals are accomplished. The MSD program also demands a lot of your time and tests your ability to prioritize several projects, which is a vital skill to have while managing a large team and several independent sites. I am constantly switching hats as I go from school to school and deal with different situations. 
Jessie Curran, MS, RDN
Class of 2013
What are you doing now? I am the Assistant Director of Wellness & Nutrition for Brown University Dining Services. In my role, I provide expertise on nutrition and sustainability, I train our team on protocols related to the risk management of food allergies, I coordinate the menu planning process; including staying current on food trends and customer preferences, and I collaborate with University Health Services, the Office of Sustainability, Employee Wellness, and Recreation to support the health and growth of the Brown community.
How did the MSD Program prepare you? The MSD program prepared me to work in a fast-paced and demanding environment. By nature, you are being exposed to so much during such a short window. At any given time, you are involved in several activities and projects, working in many environments, with a variety of people. As a result, you develop the ability to prioritize, triage, and organize your responsibilities. We were taught the process of reflection as a tool for recognizing lessons and adjusting rapidly. Among the many things I learned in the MSD program, I have found that skill most helpful. 
Gillian MacKinnon, MS, RDN, IBCLC
Class of 2011
What are you doing now? I have been working in one of twelve local health offices in the Vermont WIC program since 2011. Through WIC, I work with low-income women and children birth to 5 and offer breastfeeding support, nutrition education, and referrals to other community resources. I co-lead the Maternal Child Health/ Breastfeeding Coalition of Addison County and I’m involved in community groups and projects promoting health and wellness (i.e. Addison County Hunger Council, Ok. You’ve Got This resilience campaign).
How did the MSD Program prepare you? The MSD program helped prepare me for my current role by exposing me to community nutrition and the impact we as a nutrition professionals can have on women during pregnancy and young children as they begin their relationship with food. My rotation with WIC during my internship showed me I could experience a balance of one-on-one interaction with clients and also have time to work more behind the scenes independently and with community partners. I am grateful that I was able to meet and work with people I now consider colleagues during my time in the MSD program.
Leslie Langevin, MS, RD, CD
Class of 2009
What are you doing now? I co-own Whole Health Nutrition, LLC a nutrition counseling practice. I provide individualized nutrition counseling for children through older adults and teach nutrition and cooking classes. My favorite part of my job is working to help people use food to help reduce their medical symptoms and to help children with picky eating and how to have fun with food. I also wrote The Anti-Inflammatory Kitchen Cookbook a guided scientific based guide for a Low-Histamine, Anti-Inflammatory Diet with recipes to help get started. 
How did the MSD Program prepare you? The program helped me to be able to learn all of the dietetic roles in this wonderful community. I knew going into the program that I wanted to do outpatient counseling and was able to have good exposure to this for me to start my practice. UVM is a wonderful school and I loved my time in my Master's Program and the variety of classes that I took. 


Small Class Size

Maximum enrollment of 10 students per cohort

100% RDN Credentialing

Among students who have taken the registration examination for dietitians.

100% Employment Rate

Among students who seek employment within 1 year.