Dr. Sharonda Wallace, Dietetic Internship Program Director, is this month’s featured faculty member.
From what college did you graduate? Undergrad: UCLA
Master’s in Public Health, Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine
Doctorate: Penn State University, Department of Nutrition.
How long have you been teaching at Cal Poly? I started September 2007.
Who is your role model or mentor, either past or present, and why? Past Mentor, Dr. Madeline Sigman-Grant, my former Doctoral thesis advisor (I call her my second mom). She recruited me to go to Penn State because of my interest in childhood obesity. Her favorite saying was “Perfection is the enemy of the good”; what she was trying to convey in that statement was if we hold on to items and fixated until they are “perfect” then we will never get anything done…. Don’t fixate on perfection but do make sure the work you turn in is good. This really helped me to get through my doctoral dissertation.
What is your favorite food: Dessert (any kind will do!)
How can students impress you? Or rather, what makes a good student? I tend to be very impressed with students who are focused and well organized. This actually helps make by job easier when a student comes to your office hours well prepared with a list of questions in hand and the appropriate documentation. That usually gets my attention.
What do you think is the most important part of succeeding at Cal Poly (meaning to graduate, get an internship, land a job, etc.)? Great question! Planning and flexibility! The students who are able to plan but is also able to be flexible and not stress when plans fall apart tend to be the most successful because they are clever enough to always figure out a Plan B or Plan C. Life happens, but the person who is prepared to readjust accordingly will do quite well at Cal Poly and beyond.
Best place to eat on/near campus: Subway
Any additional comments you would like included: I think that all students 1) need a mentor regardless of what stage they are in their education; 2) need to form study groups especially in our department; 3) need to volunteer!!!! Either on campus or off, this is huge in dietetics and very important civic duty for all students.