UM Alumna returns as new director of dietetics program


By Reese Colaluca

University of Mississippi

Ellen Ossorio, a University of Mississippi alumnus, returned to campus as the Director of the Dietetics Education Program, working with classroom and professional development students to prepare them for professional careers. Photo by Logan Kirkland / Ole Miss Digital Imaging Services


llen Ossorio, an alumnus of the undergraduate and graduate programs in Dietetics and Nutrition at the University of Mississippi, is back on campus to lead the Dietetics Education Program, where students acquire the necessary knowledge and skills. to enter a coordinated dietetic program and ultimately become registered dietitians.

In his new role, Ossorio also works at the University’s Nutrition Clinic, which provides medical nutrition therapy and nutrition education to a variety of people in the community.

“This clinic is a tremendous asset to our department as we can serve the community of Oxford-Lafayette (county) which also creates opportunities for hands-on learning experiences for our students,” said Ossorio.

Working at the clinic allows Ossorio to continue practicing as a dietitian and to keep abreast of the most up-to-date practices to enable him to teach the latest factual information to students.

Ossorio works with students both in the classroom and in professional development settings, helping them prepare their portfolios for applying to graduate programs or the workforce.

“Ellen was an exceptional undergraduate and graduate student at UM who excelled in and out of the classroom,” said Melinda Valliant, professor and chair of the nutrition and hotel management department. “In addition, she was a graduate sports nutrition assistant who made a positive impression on the athletics staff and student-athletes at UM.

“She brings renewed energy and updated clinical expertise to our program. These are a must-have as we embark on curriculum adjustments to ensure that we meet the knowledge requirements of the Accreditation Council for Nutrition and Dietetics Education 2022, such as skill changes, to prepare. graduate students who are able to become leaders in the dietetic profession.

After Ossorio completed the Coordinated Dietetics Program in 2018, she worked in Memphis at LeBonheur Children’s Hospital as a Hospital Clinical Dietitian. She provided medical nutritional therapy to children who were in the Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit and also worked in an outpatient setting, serving children who received tube feeding at home.

“I look back on my studies and attribute my postdoctoral success to the faculty who have helped me define my strengths and refine my portfolio to be a strong candidate when I apply for jobs,” she said. “I strive to be that helping hand for the students I work with.

“Living in Oxford already and knowing the teachers and staff I would learn from helped me get started from day one. Staying in Oxford for graduate studies was a great decision for me, and I would highly recommend it to anyone considering a graduate program.

Ossorio credits his success to faculty members in the Department of Nutrition and Hotel Management and his hands-on experiences throughout his time at Ole Miss.

“I was able to connect with registered dietitians, which allowed me to explore different areas of the field and hone my skills through experiential learning,” she said.

For more information on the diet program at UM, visit or call 662-915-5172.


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