Brittany Hawkins is a registered dietitian in her hometown of Shreveport. She made decision to pursue a career in nutrition and dietetics when she was in high school. Since birth, registered dietitians have played a significant role in her life because she born with an inherited metabolic disorder known as Phenylketonuria, or PKU, which requires her to be on a lifelong protein-restricted diet.
“Each stage of life came with its own challenges, whether it was learning what foods to pack for school lunches, how to accurately track my protein intake, low-protein food options available for meals, dealing with food temptations from peers during social events, and the list goes on,” Hawkins said. “Dietitians do far more than just teach you what to eat, but also how to handle life’s difficulties associated with being on a restrictive diet.
“Helping and serving others through my profession, similar to my own personal experience, is what initially piqued my interest and how I found myself pursuing nutrition and dietetics for my career path.”
Once Hawkins became a registered dietitian, she worked in both inpatient and outpatient settings for over three years, dealing with various disease states. She enjoyed learning more about the different conditions and learning how to provide individualized education for each patient population.
“I then transitioned to food service systems management, which was an experience I greatly appreciated,” Hawkins said. “The year I spent learning the ins and outs was something I needed to better myself as a more well-rounded dietitian.”
Hawkins currently serves as an administrative officer for the nutrition and food service department at Overton Brooks VA Medical Center, which allows her to work in both clinical and food service components of dietetics.
“Louisiana Tech has always been a very special place to me, with memories that will last a lifetime,” Hawkins said. “The experience the School of Human Ecology has to offer to students is irreplaceable. During the time I was pursuing my bachelor and master’s degree, the faculty were always extremely supportive and had your best interest in mind. I became a registered dietitian in 2017, feeling more than prepared to start a profession I have dreamt of since high school.”