Samantha Zajac '21 MHA, who will be recognized as part of the University’s Spring Commencement ceremony, is beginning her new role as the University’s campus dietitian, and she is looking forward to helping enrich and expand the University’s dining program.
April 8, 2021
Samantha Zajac ’21 MHA, RDN, CDN, is finishing her time as a student at the University of New Haven this semester, but she won’t be going far. She was recently named the University’s new campus dietitian.
A registered dietitian, Zajac is part of the Sodexo Dining Services team, and her role enables her to serve as a resource for students, faculty, and staff and to provide Charger Nation with guidance and advice on health and nutrition.
“I am excited to be able to collaborate with the dining team on campus to help elevate students’ dining experience,” said Zajac, who earned her bachelor’s degree in culinary nutrition clinical dietetics from Johnson & Wales University. “My goal is to help grow the dining program at the University while sharing my knowledge and gaining more experience as a young dietetics professional. I plan to work toward achieving my board certification in sports dietetics in the coming years.”
'I am excited to see where the role takes me'
Zajac is looking forward to helping her fellow Chargers with general health and wellness guidance, as well as more specific concerns, such as food allergies and special diets. She will be available to meet with students one-on-one – in person or virtually – to discuss anything from healthy eating to dietary accommodations.
Grateful for the experiences she had in the University’s Master of Health Administration program, Zajac says she feels prepared for her new role. She developed many important abilities, including management skills, and gained hands-on and networking experience through opportunities such as attending the Food and Nutrition Conference & Expo in Philadelphia, which enabled her to take part in seminars featuring dietitians presenting new research in various dietetics practice areas.
Zajac says her dietetic internship, which included experiences with St. Vincent’s Medical Center, United Methodist Homes, ShopRite, the West Haven School District, and Sodexo at the University, was particularly meaningful.
"It was a wonderful immersion into many different areas of dietetics," said Zajac, who is also a member of the University’s chapter of the Upsilon Phi Delta National Honor Society. “The dietetic internship program's concentration on community nutrition and wellness helped to truly define the area of dietetics I wanted to work in. The preceptors and training sites that Georgia Chavent aligned for the internship were amazing, and they touched on the many different areas of dietetics to give students a well-rounded perspective.”
This summer, Zajac will be working with the University’s dining team to develop new programs and plans for the academic year. She’s looking forward to sharing her passion for health and nutrition with students and the entire University community, as well as the local community.
“I am excited to see where the role takes me,” she said. “While I am the campus dietitian for the University of New Haven, I am also supporting other Sodexo University dining accounts in the surrounding area, and I am excited about opportunities for future growth, partnerships, and connections.”