2020-2021 DDA Governing Board
Jordan has been a Dietitian for 9 years and started her professional journey in community nutrition working for the City of Dallas WIC Program and completed her Dietetic Internship through the Texas Department of Health and Human Services. After 6 years she transitioned to clinical, practicing at Methodist Dallas Medical Center in the Neuro Critical Care Unit. She now works in Sales and Marketing for an infusion specialty company. She is the 2021-2022 President of Dallas Dietetic Alliance has been in the Board for 7 years. Jordan has a passion for fitness and attends fitness classes like pilates, boot camp, HIIT, and boxing. She loves to relax in the evenings with the 2 dogs and England born husband. She also enjoys spending time with family and friends at local chill spots in Dallas.
Jennifer Piazza, RDN, CNSC, LDN is Business Development Manager at Real food blends, Dallas, TX. She completed her bachelors in dietetics from Kansas University. Completed her internship at Presbytarian hospital Dallas. Involved with DDA since 2018 and served as sponsorship chair and as Secretary since past two years. She is nominated as President elect and her goals are to Collaborate with fellow Dallas Dietetic Alliance board and committee members to offer dietetic professionals and students continuing education, networking, and community engagement opportunities to advance the dietetic profession. Also, ensure the continued development and management of a professional and efficient organization that will enable the Dallas Dietetic Alliance to achieve its long- and short-term goals and objectives. And, provide an inclusive environment for dietetic professionals and students to develop personal and professional relationships among their peers.
Sapna Punjabi Gupta, MS, RDN, LD is a Culinary Wellness Expert, Registered Dietitian, Ayurvedic Practitioner and the creative force of beSPICED (www.bespiced.com). Her work has been featured in both national and international print media. Sapna's wellness workshops and cooking classes, now offered online, are hugely popular along with her vibrant YouTube channel that celebrates food, life and all things spice. Sapna’s one of a kind energy, her strong eastern roots and western dietetics expertise enables her to connect to her audience both in person and through a growing organic following on multiple social platforms. Sapna has more than a decade of experience as a Clinical Dietitian with a focus in the areas of neonatal nutrition and women’s health. She is actively involved with the Academy and part of several dietetic practice groups. She has been the Texas state coordinator for VNDPG for 3 years and involved with other local dietetic networking groups. Sapna was born in India and is a first-generation immigrant. Her deep connection to her Indian roots has shaped her work and social activism. She is passionate about education and is an active board member at her kids local and district Parent Teacher Association. She and her husband with their two kids are proud Texans and have called Dallas their home for the last two decades. Her best way to relax is to cheer for both her kids on the tennis court or at home creating new recipes or products.
Florence Dontoh, MPH, RD, LD is a Clinical Dietitian, Hill Regional Hospital at Hillsboro. She completed her Nutrition in Dietetics degree from Texas Woman's University and Masters in Public health from Oklahoma State University. She has served DDA since 2020 and currently membership chair. Florence is nominated as Secretary for executive board position for year 2021-2022. Her goals for the position are to keep the minutes of official business and proceedings of the membership, Executive Committee, and Governing Board meetings posted to Yahoo Groups.
Kirsten Granberry is a community registered dietitian nutritionist specializing in diabetes care and education. She has worked with the Baylor Scott & White Health and Wellness Center at Juanita Craft Recreation Center providing diabetes education for the last 3 years. Previously, she has worked with children and families as a WIC nutritionist and as a Head Start nutrition specialist. Her passion is hunger alleviation, especially in South Dallas (#SouthDallasLove), and is actively involved in the Dallas Coalition for Hunger Solutions. She has over 12 years of experience in the field of nutrition and is currently completing her Master’s Degree in Clinical Nutrition at Abilene Christian University. She has three teenage children and enjoys supporting local farmer’s markets, gardening at Bonton Farms on any day of the week, taking walks in nature and meeting new people.
Yolanda Perez Cepak, MS, RDN, LD received her Master of Science in Nutrition from Texas Woman’s University and her Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Foods from Texas State University. She completed her Dietetic Internship through the Texas Department of State Health Services in Austin, TX. Yolanda’s career passion has been to provide community nutrition. She has worked 20+ years for the City of Dallas Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Program, where she provided nutrition education, group classes, and individual counseling. Additionally, she served as the WIC Wellness Coordinator and the Obesity Prevention Mini Grant Coordinator. She recently retired from the City of Dallas, but awaits her next nutrition adventure! Yolanda is a member of the Dallas Dietetic Alliance (DDA), the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND), and the Texas Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (TAND). Yolanda has served DDA as Legislative Chair, Legislative Co-Chair, and Member of the Month Chair. She received the DDA Lifetime Achievement Award in 2018 and the DDA Outstanding Board Member Award in 2014. She resides in the DFW metroplex with her husband. They enjoy traveling and spending time with family and friends. Additionally, she likes walking and trying out new recipes.
Brittney Gross has been a dietitian for about 1 year. She currently works as a consulting dietitian at several local hospitals. During her time as an intern at Baylor University Medical Center, she completed a research project looking at different modes of tube feeds and the effects on insulin utilization. This has led her to become more interested in the research side of things. While she is open to any new career opportunity, she is currently looking to gain experience in the research, food science, or sustainability areas. In her free time, she likes to try new foods, bake, and travel. She has been to 11 countries and hopes to increase that number soon.
ANNUAL CONFERENCE COORDINATOR
Dawn Ash, MS, RDN, LD, CHC working in multiple positions as PRN at Healthcare Services Group, Baylor Scott and White, Dallas College and Fitness connection. She has a masters degree in Human nutrition and Foods from Texas woman's University, Houston. She is nominated as annual conference chair for 2021-2022 executive board and her goals are to actively volunteer through a leadership position and give back to the profession.
ANNUAL CONFERENCE CO-CHAIR
Roxana Wroblewski MBA, RDN, is a bilingual second career registered dietitian nutritionist. As a former runner and certified personal trainer, her passion to support clients on their fitness improvement and weight loss journey motivated her to become a registered dietitian. Roxana completed her dietetic internship at Texas Woman’s University, with clinical rotation at UTSouthwestern. She currently works at City Hospital at While Rock Lake where she provides medical nutrition therapy to inpatients, and also at Texas Health Resources bariatric clinic, where she educates pre-operative patients about lifestyle changes. Roxana has been a DDA member for five years, and was nominated as Annual Conference co-chair for the DDA 2021-2022 executive board. Roxana’s goal for this position is to support DDA members’ continuing education and professional development by engaging recognized speakers to deliver science based content and emerging trends in nutrition.
Camilla Johnson is a Registered Dietitian from Fort Worth, Tx. She attended Texas Woman’s University in Denton where she received her B.S. in Dietetics and M.S. in Nutrition. Her experience includes the older adult population in the community and inpatient rehabilitation settings. She is passionate about addressing food insecurity with access to safe and nutritious foods. In addition to her role as a dietitian, Camilla is also employed in the local craft beer industry. During her free time, she enjoys volunteering, kayaking, caring for her plants, and quality time with her cat, Luna.
Dixya Bhattarai, MS, RD/LD is a Culinary Dietitian behind Food, Pleasure, and Health (www.foodpleasureandhealth.com) and co-owns a retail market & culinary studio called The Table in Fort Worth (www.thetablemarket.com). She has several years of experience in clinical dietetics but her ultimate passion lies in the culinary world developing recipes, teaching cooking classes & culinary workshops. Dixya also teaches at Tarrant County Community College as an adjunct instructor.
Joanna Li is a registered dietitian and a public health graduate student at the UNT Health Science Center in Fort Worth, Texas. She received her Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics from New York University and completed her dietetic internship at Massachusetts General Hospital. She spent most of her career in community nutrition, as a registered dietitian for the WIC program, providing nutrition counseling to pregnant women, their infants, and children, and for a state health department as a public health nutritionist. During her free time, you can find Joanna taking a group fitness class (yoga, barre or spin), testing out new recipes in the kitchen, or playing with her two cats!
NOMINATING COMMITTEE CHAIR
Dottie Brashear is a Registered Dietitian working as an Engagement Consultant at Cigna. She completed her Masters coordinated program from UT Southwestern Medical Center. She has served DDA for multiple years in the past in different positions including President. Dottie is excited to join the executive board for the year 2021-2022 and is nominated as nominating committee chair. Her goals are to promote DDA to a wide range of eligible candidates to further strengthen the board and Dallas Dietetic Alliance.
My name is Vie Rivera, and I was born and raised in Carolina, Puerto Rico. In 2003, I moved to Texas, and I have been living here since then. I have worked as a pharmacy technician for almost 15 years, and I am currently a dietetic intern at Medical City Healthcare. I graduated from Texas State University in 2019 with a BS in Food and Nutrition. I am currently completing an MS in Nutrition Science at Texas Women’s University. As a future registered dietician, my goal is to become a nutrition educator among minority communities and help address food insecurity.
Irma Carolina Rodriguez
I am Irma Carolina Rodriguez, people call me after my middle name, Carolina. I am from Brownsville, TX-Matamoros MX border. I finished my undergrad in Lamar University and matched to Abilene Christian University for the M.S in Nutrition/Dietetic Internship the summer of 2020. I will be graduating in the summer of 2022. I am happy to be a member of the Dallas Dietetic Alliance and I plan to learn the most from the dietitians.
Emily Weeks, RDN, LD is a Recipe Developer, Food Photographer at Zen and Spice Nutrition, LLC. She has also worked as a school consultant at Dairy max and as an outpatient dietitian at Baylor Scott and White Heart hospital, Plano. Emily completed her Bachelor in dietetics from Texas Woman's University and dietetic internship from Baylor University medical center. She has served DDA since 2013 in different roles. Emily is nominated as communications co-chair for 2021-2022 executive board of DDA. My goal for this position would be to grow our social media following, help DDA get more members, and effectively more people at our meetings and events.
My name is Claire Collins and I am currently a Dietetic Intern. I completed my undergrad and received my Bachelors of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics at Texas Woman's University. I am currently completing a didactic internship through Medical City Healthcare and am hoping to graduate and take my exam to become an RDN by the Summer of 2022. I live in Addison with one of my best friends and we love getting to explore the town. In my free time, I also love to keep active by either rollerskating, fitness classes, or walking and running outside!
My name is Laci Baker and I am currently a first-year Dietetic Intern and Masters of Clinical Nutrition student at UT Southwestern Medical Center here in Dallas, TX. I recently graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor's degree in Kinesiology and Health Education and a minor in Sociology. My main goal in this field is to make nutritious foods and nutrition knowledge more accessible to everyone within our communities. In my free time, I like to explore the city, play volleyball, and spend time with family.
I am a dietetic intern at Baylor University Medical Center and will complete the program in June. I am originally from New Braunfels, TX and earned my B.S in Nutrition from Texas Woman's University in Denton, TX. I decided to become a student liaison for the DDA because I wanted to become more involved in the DFW area learn how organizations function from the inside out. Once I become a registered dietitian, I am hoping to work with pregnant women to help with their nutrition to have a healthy pregnancy. Other areas of dietetics I am interested in are outpatient and home infusion. The main project I will be working on with DDA is the annual conference.
MEETING COORDINATOR CO-CHAIR
Parul Sharma, PhD, RDN, LD, CNSC is an Assistant Professor in the Clinical Nutrition department at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas. She completed her PhD in Medicinal Chemistry in 2013. Completed her dietetic internship from Baylor University Medical center in 2015 and since then practiced as a Clinical Dietitian at Baylor Scott and White until Jan 2021. Joined DDA as student Liaison in 2014. Also served the board as awards chair and nominating committee chair. Currently nominated as Meeting coordinator for 2021-2022 executive board for DDA. Her goals are to be involved in the local dietitian community and support dietetic professionals and students with some educational and network opportunities. Her goals for this position are to plan and arrange all activities for general membership meetings, maintain documentation of continuing education offerings of DDA according to policies and procedures outlined in the Standing Rules.
My name is MacAllister and I am one of the student liaisons for DDA. I graduated from the University of Iowa with a bachelor’s degree in Health & Human Physiology in 2019. I then moved to Waco to attend Baylor University where I graduated with a Master's degree in Nutrition Sciences in the spring of 2021. I am currently a dietetic intern at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas.
Brandon Kelley is a philosophically-curious student currently enrolled in UT Southwestern's Master of Clinical Nutrition Coordinated Program. In May of 2021, he earned his Bachelor of Science in Nutrition with a Minor in Political Science from Texas Woman's University. He is passionate about food policy and the gut microbiome. His ultimate career goal is to work with the Food and Drug Administration as a Congressional Affairs Specialist. Brandon has two publications: "Pilot Study: Survey of Nutrition Counseling and Dietitian Referral Practices of Pediatricians” published in the Pediatric Nutrition Practice Group’s September 2021 Newsletter and “Legislative History: The Regulation of Tobacco and Food Companies to Address Public Health” published in the Volume 13, 2020 edition of TWU’s Ibid Student History Journal.