Foundational workshop to support future nutrition professionals in media engagement and knowledge translation

How can you cut through the clutter to know what’s right and what’s not in the world of food and nutrition information? Ask a nutrition professional.

Nutritional Scientists and Registered Nutritionists/Dietitians know that reaching the general public with easy-to-understand, evidence-based nutrition information is essential to supporting informed choice. That’s why the Mount’s Department of Applied Human Nutrition is thrilled to welcome two internationally recognized Dietitians for an event on February 26 designed to provide Applied Human Nutrition students with foundational knowledge and skill in science communication.

Gina and Sue
Gina Sunderland (left, above) and Sue Mah (right, above) are Registered Dietitians with extensive experience working with the media. Co-founders of Media Training Boot Camp, Sue and Gina help train nutrition professionals to deliver audience-focused, evidence-based, clear and helpful nutrition information using various forms of media. Their Mount event will focus on radio and television/ video communications.

Named the 2017 Dietitian of the Year by the Dietitians of Canada Business and Industry Network, Sue has appeared in more than 250 print, broadcast and online feature from coast-to-coast-to-coast. She is currently the go-to nutrition professional for CTV’s Your Morning and the CBC National News Network.

Gina is also an award-winning Registered Dietitian who has been featured in print, broadcast and online media across Canada and in national TV and radio commercials. For the past five years, Gina has served as volunteer nutrition month spokesperson for the Dietitians of Canada.

At the Mount, Sue and Gina, with a number of local media mentors, will help build the media communication skills of future nutrition professionals. In the morning, Applied Human Nutrition students will get an introduction to radio and TV media, interview skills, and key message development. Sue and Gina will share advice from their previous media experiences and lead attendees in a critique of their own and colleagues’ past media. In the afternoon, students will put their skills to the test as they participate in practice interviews on some hot topics in nutrition – for example, the value of vitamins and supplements, the role of sports drinks, nutrition for cancer patients and more. (See event agenda here)

“I see this event as a coming together of minds and formalization of a community of practice interested in growing and sharing nutritional science information with one another and the larger community.”

— Dr. Shannan Grant, Assistant Professor, Applied Human Nutrition

“Canadians are increasingly looking to media for guidance on their relationship with food and nutrition. As nutrition professionals, we have the capacity to play a key role in knowledge transfer by working with the media to effectively communicate evidence-based information to the public,” said Dr. Shannan Grant, Assistant Professor of Applied Human Nutrition at the Mount.

“This workshop is unique in that it is facilitated by nutrition professionals for nutrition professionals. Our students are interested in developing knowledge and skills to improve transfer of evidence-based nutrition information. Our hope is that this workshop will help attendees develop foundational knowledge and skills and motivate them to continue to seek out media-oriented opportunities. I see this event as a coming together of minds and formalization of a community of practice interested in growing and sharing nutritional science information with one another and the larger community.”

The student media training workshop is an initiative developed by Mount Department of Applied Human Nutrition faculty Dr. Shannan Grant, Dr. Daphne Lordly and Judy Fraser-Arsenault; in partnership with Dr. Tess Laidlaw from Communication Studies, Kate Comeau, Dietitians of Canada, and Sue Conlan, former member of the Mount Department of Applied Human Nutrition, currently of the Department of Nutrition and Dietetics at Acadia University; and with support from Greg Pretty, Supervisor of the Mount’s Multimedia Services and Gillian Batten, Manager of Communications at the Mount.

This event has been funded, in part, by an internal University grant, called the Social Change Through Community-engaged Research Grant. Student-based support has also come from the Department of Applied Human Nutrition Student Caucus, Communications Club, and Canadian Obesity-Students and Young Professionals chapter.

For more about Applied Human Nutrition at the Mount, visit the University’s website or the department’s Facebook page.