Outstanding graduate Corrin Coons uses her private practice dietitian shadowing to forge a path forward in dietetics

A female student sits at a table with information about the Kendall Reagan Nutrition Center

Twins Corrin and Sydney Coons have each earned the distinction of being named an outstanding graduate in the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition. Natives of Westminster, Colorado, the two both began their college experiences in Seattle before transferring to Colorado State University for their sophomore years to pursue bachelor’s degrees in nutrition and food science. Both will go next to the University of Wisconsin Integrated Graduate Program in Nutrition and Dietetics, and pursue the Registered Dietitian credential and a career in clinical dietetics. Read on to learn about Corrin’s CSU experience.

How would you describe your CSU experience? 

Corrin Coons smiles outside
Corrin Coons

I have not experienced too many obstacles during my time at CSU. There are so many amazing people and resources here that have allowed me to focus my time on work and school and be successfully engaged in various nutrition-related experiences. I have been blessed with supportive family members, friends, and professors throughout my time at CSU who really helped me capitalize on my time here to learn and grow as a person and a nutrition student.

How have your academic experiences here and your professors, mentors, and advisers helped you be successful in your major? 

The professors and mentors have been extremely helpful in allowing me to be successful as a nutrition major. They provided the necessary resources for me to get more help when I needed it and learn extra information when I was interested. Members of the nutrition department send out job and event opportunities, which make it easier to learn about different ways to be engaged in the dietetics field at CSU and beyond. For example, reminders from faculty about the CSU Food and Nutrition (FAN) Club got me interested in the FAN Club my sophomore year and I eventually ended up getting an internship through networking with the club and became more involved as an officer my senior year.

What activities have you been most involved in?

Twin female students stand in front of a research poster
Corrin (l) and Sydney (r) Coons presented their research at CSU’s Celebrate Undergraduate Research and Creativity

Throughout my time at CSU I was involved in the FAN Club as a member my sophomore year, active member my junior year and eventually an officer my senior year. I loved getting together with other students passionate about nutrition and helping others find and engage in this passion. I was an intern for two different private practice dietitians during my time at CSU. Both dietitians gave me insight as to what it takes to be a private practice dietitian in various specialties. They helped me build my research and communication skills through writing media quotes and blog posts. I worked in the nutrition setting as a nutrition assistant at a long-term care center and UC Health Poudre Valley Hospital. I loved learning more about both settings and how to interact well with the patients and the health care teams. I also had the opportunity to volunteer many times for the Kendall Reagan Nutrition Center, teaching cooking classes and educational workshops for summer camps. These opportunities improved my public speaking skills, while allowing me to engage with community members.

What are some accomplishments that you are most proud of during your time at CSU? 

I am proud of maintaining a 4.0 GPA while gaining nutrition-related work experience and engaging in volunteer and other extracurricular activities at CSU. I gained a variety of skills through these experiences, which include research, writing, communication and public speaking skills. I am most proud of the media quotes and guest blog posts I wrote as an intern for one of the private practice dietitians I worked with. I loved being able to take my nutrition knowledge and share that with the public. I am also proud of my final research project that I completed through my senior seminar class. I researched a topic that I am very interested in (nutrition for cancer patients) and had the opportunity to collaborate with a dietitian I met through shadowing at UC Health who helped me realize my career interests and aspirations.

What will you miss most about CSU? 

I will miss interacting with like-minded, hard-working students and faculty every day. As a somewhat small class, I loved seeing the same classmates every day and running into professors in the Gifford hallway. Everyone was always so polite and proud of each other’s accomplishments. Overall, the nutrition community at CSU is very strong and I will miss engaging with these people every day.

What are your plans after graduating? 

Upon graduating, I will be starting the University of Wisconsin’s Integrated Graduate Program in Dietetics. My graduate classes will start in May, shortly after graduation, and I will move to Wisconsin in July to begin the internship portion of the program while continuing to take online classes. I plan to take the RD exam and look for my first clinical dietitian position after completing this program, hopefully somewhere in Colorado!

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