Chelsea Wickson, R.D.

Wickson has made it clear she is an innovator for change.

Why Selected?

Melanie Konarik, director of child nutrition, says: Chelsea has done so much in a short period. She will be a great asset to the program for years, and I can see she will be an innovator for change. We are installing electronic menu boards and Chelsea is responsible for the content. She’s working with the menu board company and she visits the schools to examine the serving lines to ensure she provides accurate information. 

 

 

 

 

 

Details

Dietitian, Spring Independent School District, Houston
Age: 26
Education: B.S. in food and nutrition from Texas State University in San Marcos
Years at organization: 2

Get to know

Q. What has been your proudest accomplishment?

Passing the registered dietitian exam. It was really hard. It was my first defining moment where I had to decide if becoming a dietitian was worth it. It was. 

Q. What would you say you excel at over more seasoned colleagues?

I have an edge with technology. Being from a younger generation I’ve had more exposure to it. 

Q. What's the best career advice you've been given?

My dad told me to be careful when you’re choosing a career to make sure you pick something you absolutely love to do because you have to wake up every morning to it. I’ve done that. I love my career.

Q. What's been the biggest challenge you've had to overcome?

Realizing that it’s OK that I don’t know everything about my field or how exactly I should handle every situation that comes up. I’m constantly learning. 

Q. What's been your most rewarding moment?

Last week I got a thank-you note from a high school student who had interviewed me for a project on childhood obesity. Seeing that I had reached a student and helped educate her about nutrition was pretty amazing.

Q. What would you like to accomplish in your career in the next two years?

I would like to get more involved in the political aspect of the school lunch program. The policy that government officials come up with affect our everyday lives, and I think a lot of times they don’t take into consideration our actual needs and limitations.  

Q. What's been your funniest on-the-job disaster?

One of my first days I was cooking some samples for the directors and I burned some taco meat. I didn’t just burn it; I disintegrated it. It was not edible. The whole kitchen smelled like burnt rubber. It was so embarrassing that I had to laugh at it. 

Q. What can you look back at now and laugh at?

All through high school and college I dreaded growing up and starting a career because I thought the fun would be over. That’s not true at all. I’ve got a career I really enjoy and I have lots of fun every day.

Under 30

More From FoodService Director

Menu Development
frozen raspberries

“As a chef, I pretty much have grown up through the business thinking that fresh was always better—produce, fish and meats, especially,” says Ryan Conklin, executive chef for UNC Rex Healthcare’s culinary and nutrition services. “But the more ‘re-educated’ I get, the more I’m learning that some frozen options may be more appropriate for me to be using on my menus.”

Right now, the perception of frozen foods doesn’t match the reality, especially for high-volume foodservice operators, says Conklin. Often, chefs and operators picture not-great product that’s been sitting in a block of...

Sponsored Content
Roasted Beet Salad Pickled Blueberries
From Blueberry Council.

What’s trending in the culinary world? The basics! According to the NRA, diners today are craving authenticity, simplicity and freshness on menus. But basic ingredients don’t have to lead to boring menu options.

It’s easy to fall into the latest craze to capture consumer attention and drive sales. But we’ve learned it’s not always about novelty. Instilling a feeling of nostalgia and familiarity by using well-known and well-loved ingredients in new, experimental dishes can lead to an increase in adventurous dining decisions, while staying in your customers’...

Managing Your Business
wage feud business

As plans to increase the minimum wage surge ahead in states such as New York and California, operators eventually will feel the reverberations shake up labor costs for more than just hourly workers. As associate wages gain on manager salaries, operators will have to answer a call for reciprocal increases. FSD spoke with operators who advised going gently into the brave new world of heightened labor costs, investing in talent and making cuts elsewhere; however, they did offer three perfectly proactive tactics to make the process as seamless as possible.

1. Keep talking

Even though...

Menu Development
craft beer flight
A draw for happy hour...

San Francisco restaurateur Charles Phan plans to serve beer and wine, and depending on liquor licensing, perhaps cocktails as well. “For faculty and staff on campus, it will be a really wonderful place to come to and have a glass of wine,” Wolch says. “Right now, we have The Faculty Club bar, which is a very historic spot, but this is going to be much more contemporary.”

And for morning coffee...

Phan’s plan for made-to-order coffee is bound to be a boon for both faculty and students. “We’ll have a brand-new espresso machine,” Phan says. Wolch adds, “Most...

FSD Resources