Nutrition alumnus awarded prestigious NIH dietetic internship, plans graduate work in Germany

Brayden in the lab
Brayden Smith conducted research in Sarah Johnson’s lab as an undergraduate with fellow student Lauren Grabos.

Story by Aiko Link

Brayden Smith (’21), a Colorado State University Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition alumnus, honed his research skills as an undergraduate working on clinical studies. Now Smith’s experience has paid off with his selection for a competitive National Institutes of Health dietetic internship and acceptance into a master’s program in Germany.

Achievements as a student

Smith graduated in December of 2021 with a Bachelor of Science in nutrition and food science and a concentration in dietetics and nutrition management. During his time at CSU, he challenged himself to learn beyond the classroom. When not in the classroom or studying, he volunteered with the Food Bank for Larimer County, participated in the One Healthy City Project with CSU’s One Health Institute, and presented a poster at the Celebrate Undergraduate Research and Creativity Symposium, winning Highest Honors. He also attended many professional conferences and webinars to advance his dietetics knowledge.

As a freshman, Smith volunteered in Associate Professor Sarah Johnson’s lab for a semester, then quickly became an undergraduate researcher in the lab. Working in the lab introduced him to good clinical practices and the importance of sound study design. The continued exposure to clinical research led Smith to become interested in and apply for the NIH dietetic internship.

The NIH dietetic internship is located in Bethesda, Maryland, outside Washington, D.C. Smith will start the internship in August and cycle through 16 weeks of clinical rotations, five weeks of clinical research, and one week of clinical and research management alongside the other components of dietetic internships.

Tech Uni of GermanyAdvanced study in Germany

After completing his internship, Smith plans to pursue a master’s in nutrition and biomedicine at the Technical University of Munich, Germany. During his time in Germany, he wants to take his experience and knowledge from the comprehensive internship to learn more about German food culture, labeling, and nutrition policies. Overall, he will gain an international perspective and approach to nutrition.

Smith was recognized by the department as the Outstanding Senior for Fall 2021 and he was also highlighted as an outstanding graduate after being nominated by Johnson.

To all the current and incoming students Smith advised, “Finding connections early and working hard will make the journey more rewarding, but also don’t forget to find hobbies and foster your personal and mental growth!”

Congratulations to Smith on his amazing academic accomplishments!

The Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition is part of CSU’s College of Health and Human Sciences.