October 27, 2021 — On a brisk Tuesday morning, the South Side Lions Senior Center in San Antonio was bustling with activity. Groups gathered for art classes, bingo, workout sessions, and a cooking demo with a special presentation from a UTSA student.
As part of her community service practicum for the Coordinated Program in Dietetics, Hope Martinez put together a presentation about bone and joint health. She discussed the various foods that can aid in positive joint health, as well as some fun ways to prepare them.
The practicum involves shadowing the Registered Dietitian for the City of San Antonio’s senior centers, Ms. Pam Rodriguez. “We collaborated on a nutrition education survey designed to help us tailor a nutrition education curriculum for the 10 comprehensive senior sites,” Martinez said. “This survey is currently being distributed to all the senior sites, which we hope will allow us to provide accurate and cultural nutritional knowledge to the senior population.”
As events arise, Martinez and Rodriguez create and present nutrition educational topics to the senior citizen population.
Martinez has wanted to become a registered dietitian for quite some time – and it was one of the reasons why she chose to come to UTSA.
“I wanted to be a part of a competitive program to become an RD,” she said. “This program challenges us by emphasizing the ‘see one, do one, teach one’ teaching technique, ensuring that we are prepared for real life scenarios.”
Martinez’s experience with the program has been so positive that she is already thinking of giving back. Her current preceptor is a graduate of the first cohort of the dietetics program at UTSA, and Martinez hopes that one day she will also be able to serve as a preceptor for a UTSA students. “I would love to pave the way for future dietitians,” she said.