Every major within the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences has its own associated registered student organization. While Food, Nutrition, and Dietetics (FND) Club is mainly populated by dietetics majors, it is open to any interested student on campus.

FND President Gabby Haskell says the main focus of the club is to prepare dietetics majors for their individual futures, whether that be through weekly meetings with guest speakers, networking opportunities, or organized volunteer activities.

In the past, members have had the opportunity to work with organizations like Midwest Food Bank to provide food for those in need. The club also has worked with Nutrition Mission at Illinois State, which provides opportunities on nutrition counseling for students, faculty, and staff at the university.

While volunteer opportunities have been slim this year, FND Club has continued to work with Midwest Food Bank, packing food pallets for distribution. Members also volunteered outdoors at a local community garden. Haskell says all volunteer work was practiced safely with physical-distancing practices and temperature checks in place.

“I originally came to ISU as a dietetics major and was overwhelmed with all of the possibilities of clubs that I could join. I fell in love with this club after attending my first meeting as a freshman, where everyone was so nice and welcoming. It’s a pretty tight-knit community of people here, which I love,” said Haskell.

The club has about 35 members still actively engaged this semester, but is working on recruiting more members for upcoming years.

FND member Danielle Grosman feels rewarded in joining the organization. “My major is in FND so I thought that joining the club would teach me a lot about it. Since joining, I’ve had the opportunity to speak to alumni and even learn about various programs that ISU offers to FND majors, like the accelerated master’s program and study abroad. I’m also able to run for an executive board position in the club where I would gain leadership skills and build my resume,” she said.

Haskell has worked on utilizing the alumni database to present club members with opportunities to talk to individuals working in career roles, in graduate school, and in the community. She plans to work on passing down her role as the end of her senior year approaches but looks forward to the club’s future, which hopefully holds more opportunities for volunteer work, social events, and activities for members.

Her greatest challenge this semester was adapting to help the club thrive in the new learning environment, while keeping members engaged with each other.

The club initiated a mentorship program this semester that pairs upperclassmen and underclassmen or transfer students with each other, providing an opportunity to build new friendships, discuss courses, and share information and support. Haskell says that this has been a great way to connect members with each other, and she hopes to continue the program next semester.   

She also notes that the organization waived the charge of dues for the semester and encourages all interested students to join.

“This is a great opportunity to create relationships with like-minded people, volunteer within the community, and network with others in related areas. The members truly are the heart of the club, and I’ve seen some really strong friendships form. I’d encourage anyone interested, even outside of the major, to consider joining,” said Haskell.

Interested in learning more about FND Club? Check out the club’s webpage for more information. Visit the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences for additional information about related majors and programs.