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

Industry News & Opinion

The Virginia Department of Health said it has traced a “cluster” of hepatitis A cases to frozen Egyptian strawberries used by Virginia units of a smoothie chain.

Tropical Smoothie Cafe voluntarily trashed the strawberries and switched to supplies from a different source immediately after being notified of the connection, the health department said in a statement issued Friday.

The department noted that it had traced earlier outbreaks of hepatitis A to strawberries imported from Egypt. But it warned that supplies may still be in the freezers of other foodservice operations...

Managing Your Business
business man smash computer

Foodservice directors spend a lot of time taking care of other people, whether it’s K-12 students who aren’t always eating enough at home, malnourished patients back for return visits or employees squabbling among themselves. That kind of pressure can weigh heavily—and come home from work. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America finds that 83% of men and 72% of women say stress at work carries over into their personal lives, and 50% call staff management their main culprit for workplace stress.

“Stress is very difficult in our world, and work-life balance is very much a...

Industry News & Opinion

Students at an Arkansas high school may have to take creative measures to get a meal, thanks to a school policy that prevents parents from dropping off lunches left at home.

The Catholic High School for Boys in Little Rock, Ark., last week posted a picture on Facebook of a sign that reads, “Stop. If you are dropping off your son’s forgotten lunch, books, homework, equipment, etc., please turn around and exit the building. Your son will learn to problem-solve in your absence.”

While social media opinions on the school’s rule were mixed, some commenters expressed concern that...

Industry News & Opinion

Novato Unified School District in Novato, Calif., has created a new vegetarian grab-and-go item as part of the district’s Meatless Monday initiative, marinij.com reports .

The Fiesta Rice and Bean Shaker, which is served in disposable cups, contains rice, corn, black beans, taco seasoning, corn tortilla chips and romaine lettuce topped with an optional salsa and ranch dressing. It’s also customizable, as students are able to select which ingredients they’d like to include.

The vegetarian shaker is made using produce from a nearby organic garden. Sofie Garcia, an employee in...

FSD Resources