CCAC adjunct faculty member receives Outstanding Dietetics Educator Award
PITTSBURGH—Helenkay Smith, MS, RDN, LDN, has been awarded the 2015 Outstanding Dietetics Educator Award by the Nutrition and Dietetic Educators and Preceptors (NDEP) Area Six Regional Practice Group. Smith, an adjunct professor and coordinator for CCAC’s Dietetic Technician Program, received the award during the NDEP regional meeting held in April in State College, Pa.
The purpose of the Outstanding Dietetics Educator Award program is to recognize teaching, mentoring and leadership activities of faculty in dietetics education programs accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics. Smith was nominated by the Pittsburgh Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. She received the award at the state level from the Pennsylvania Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, then went on to win the NDEP Area Six group, which is comprised of Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, North Carolina, Virginia and Washington, D.C.
While working as a clinical nutritionist at Allegheny General Hospital in her early professional years, Smith discovered a passion for teaching and mentoring. Now, as practicum instructor and coordinator for CCAC’s Dietetic Technician Program for more than 10 years, Smith oversees 35 sites for both the clinical/foodservice practicum as well as community nutrition. Her responsibilities include student placement, cultivation and preservation of practicum sites, communication with preceptors and evaluation of practicum skills. In addition, Smith teaches several nutrition courses. Through innovative education-related initiatives, she works to create a robust online experience for distance students in the program. Smith takes pride in a student focus that has always been to bring out the best in every student, helping each one to reach his or her career goals.
In addition to her work at CCAC, Smith spends two days a week as the nutrition specialist at Lutheran SeniorLife Passavant Community, where she develops programming for healthy older adults and supports the wellness initiatives of employees of Lutheran SeniorLife.