Meet Our Students

DessaRae Erickson
Duluth, Minnesota

DessaRae EricksonI chose the master’s program at UW-Stout because of its great reputation in preparing students for a career in the field of dietetics. The best part about studying at UW-Stout is the staff! It is apparent that each faculty member is dedicated to the field and to preparing students for their future in dietetics. As far as research, I am particularly interested in food additives and their impact on appetite and obesity. Currently, I am completing my thesis on the diet quality and fitness capabilities of military personnel, as I am a member of the Air National Guard. After graduating from UW-Stout, I plan to become a registered dietitian and gain experience working in clinical dietetics. In the future, I would like to further my education and earn additional credentials in some area of specialty.


Kim Kowieski
Marathon, Wisconsin


Kim KowieskiAfter working in the food industry after my undergraduate degree, I decided to come to UW-Stout because the graduate program promised to provide me with full-time, face-to-face instruction, research opportunities, and the ability to get a master’s degree in only three semesters.  Because of the diverse food science faculty, I’ve been able to take courses such as Advanced Sensory, Food Preservation, and Flavor Chemistry. The Food Science Club offers great opportunities including career preparation, professional networking through the Institute of Food Technologists, community involvement, and a product development team. Although the campus may be small, the resources at UW-Stout are endless! Currently, I have research interests in food microbiology, food safety, and research & development. My research project involves formulating an edible film for fresh cheese curds that will give them a longer shelf-life and ensure that they stay fresh and “squeaky”. After completing my graduate degree at UW-Stout, I plan to return to the food industry and work in research and development where I want to make food products better and maybe even create some new products, too!


Kelsey McLimans
McFarland, Wisconsin


Kelsey McLimansAfter talking with the program director, Dr. Carol Seaborn, I really felt that this program would do an excellent job preparing me to become a registered dietitian. The best part about studying at UW-Stout is that the professors really care about their students. They have been so helpful in answering questions and giving advice. Furthermore, UW-Stout’s professors have impressive backgrounds and experience, so I am very appreciative of their time and the words of wisdom they have provided me. Since I am only in my first semester at UW-Stout, my research interests are very broad. That being said, I do have interests in maternal and geriatric nutrition, as well as inborn errors of metabolism. After graduating from UW-Stout, I plan to become a registered dietitian and work in the clinical setting. 


Dipak Pokhrel

Dipak PokhrelI chose UW-Stout because it is known for quality education and providing its students with all of the tools and skills necessary to successfully enter the competitive professional world. I also chose UW-Stout because it is situated in the small, beautiful town of Menomonie and is only an hour away from the Twin Cities. One of the best parts of studying at UW-Stout is that the class sizes are small, so it’s easy to get to know everyone and make new friends. Another great thing about UW-Stout is that its graduate students have many opportunities to receive graduate assistantships, scholarships, and funding for their research projects.  My current research interests fall within the areas of food packing, food microbiology, and sensory evaluation. I am currently working on my research project, “The effectiveness of glucosinolate against common cheese related pathogens under vacuum and modified atmosphere packaging”. After I graduate from UW-Stout, I hope to work as a product development scientist.


Darby Simpson
Altoona, Wisconsin


Darby SimpsonI chose the UW-Stout master’s program in nutrition because I wanted to change my career to one that highlighted my passions. Even though I had worked in the health care field after receiving a bachelor’s degree in a business concentration, I was still able to complete the required dietetics courses and receive a master’s degree in two and a half years. When researching the master’s program, the UW-Stout’s website provided detailed information and after meeting with the program director, Dr. Carol Seaborn, to talk about my interests and goals, I knew that this was the right graduate school for me. The best part about studying at UW-Stout is its abundance of resources. The professors, who get to know you by name, are always willing to meet and answer your questions. The library also provides excellent research resources, which has helped me while writing my thesis. My current research interests include weight loss, eating behaviors and bariatric surgery. After receiving my master’s degree, I plan on completing the dietetic internship to become a registered dietitian. Eventually, I would like to work in the clinical setting and continue to benefit peoples’ lives by using the nutrition knowledge that I have gained at UW-Stout.


Melissa Panchyshyn
Champlin, Minnesota


Melissa PanchyshynI chose the master’s program at UW-Stout for several reasons. I really liked the location and atmosphere at UW-Stout, plus it was more affordable than other schools I had looked into. Since coming to UW-Stout, I’ve learned that the university has a lot to offer! One of the best parts about studying at UW-Stout is the support provided by the staff and other students. UW-Stout also provides lots of opportunities to get involved. Currently, I have a research interest in diabetes. In fact, I’ve had the opportunity to gain experience working with diabetes, which has further increased my interest. With my degree, I plan to become a registered dietitian. To start, I would like to work in a clinic or hospital setting to gain experience and then expand from there and see where my degree takes me.


Emily Klimmek
New Ulm, Minnesota


Emily KlimmekI chose UW-Stout’s graduate nutrition program because it allowed me to simultaneously pursue a master’s degree while completing the competencies required in becoming a registered dietitian. The program is affordable and has a great reputation! I think the best part about studying at UW-Stout is all of the practical, hands-on opportunities the university provides like learning how to measure hemoglobin, body fat percentage, and bone density in Nutritional Assessment, writing a grant in Advanced Nutrition, or developing and presenting a nutrition education lesson in Nutrition Education. My current research interests include pediatric nutrition, school food service, food allergies/intolerances, and gastrointestinal health. After graduating from UW-Stout, I plan to fulfill the requirements to become a registered dietitian. Eventually, I would like to work in school food service, pediatric nutrition, or specialize in nutrition related to gastrointestinal disorders.


Abhinav Reddy Ananthreddigari
Hyderabad, India

Abhinav Reddy AnanthreddigariI chose to pursue a master’s degree in food and nutritional sciences at UW-Stout because of its attractive course curriculum offered at an affordable rate. One of the best parts of studying at UW-Stout is the Discovery Center and its plethora of resources. Through this center, I have made good industrial contacts; some of which have even offered to fund a research project in product development. Currently, my research interests are focused around the food engineering and food packaging sectors. Fortunately, UW-Stout offers one of the best packaging programs and therefore has all of the necessary equipment for my research work. After completing my master’s degree, I would like to work in the food-processing sector to apply my technical skills and gain practical knowledge. Eventually, I would like to work in a co-packing company, one that both packs food and distributes it, or work in quality assurance, as it is one of the most important positions for food technologists.