Outstanding grad Sydney Coons looks forward to an integrated graduate program in dietetics

A group of students harvests fresh vegetables in a garden
Sydney Coons, front right, harvests fresh produce with fellow students

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 Sydney’s CSU experience.

What obstacles have you overcome during your time at CSU?

I was a transfer student and switched my major to nutrition during my first year of college so at the beginning of my sophomore year, I felt behind in making connections with other students and faculty on campus and in my community. I overcame these challenges by seeking out as many opportunities as possible, volunteering at several community locations in Fort Collins, and joining the Food and Nutrition (FAN) Club to meet more students and faculty.

How have your academic experiences here and your professors, mentors, and advisers helped you overcome these obstacles and/or be successful in your major?

My professors have always made themselves available during class to answer questions and outside of class in office hours. I utilized office hours frequently to get my questions answered, which enhanced my understanding in classes and ensured I had the resources I needed to be successful in my academics.

What activities have you been most involved in?

I have been involved in the FAN Club as a member during my sophomore year and as an officer during my junior and senior year. My experience in the FAN Club at CSU helped connect me to faculty and local dietitians. I was able to intern for a local dietitian through a connection I made during a FAN Club meeting, which gave me valuable experience in the private practice setting. Through my involvement with the FAN Club, I was also able to make a meaningful impact on my community by supporting local efforts to improve food security. I volunteered at several Food Banks, the FoCo Café, Well Fed Farmstead and Vindeket.

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

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

During my time at CSU, I am proud of becoming an officer for the FAN Club because it gave me valuable leadership experience and helped me make connections with like-minded students, faculty and local professionals in my field of interest. I am also proud of completing my senior seminar research project and having the opportunity to present my findings at Celebrate Undergraduate Research and Creativity (CURC).

What will you miss most about CSU?

I will miss the sense of community at CSU, particularly among those in the Food Science and Human Nutrition Department. My classmates and professors have been so supportive of my education and future career aspirations. I will also miss all of the outdoor activities I have engaged in during my time at CSU like biking around campus, hammocking and eating lunch at the Oval.

What are your plans after graduating? 

I will begin taking graduate courses in clinical nutrition and complete a dietetic internship through the University of Wisconsin Integrated Graduate Program in Nutrition and Dietetics after I graduate. I then plan to get my RD credential and pursue a job as a clinical dietitian before choosing an area of clinical dietetics to specialize in.

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