Nutrition In yoU: Getting involved with sports nutrition

NIU’s Nutrition and Dietetics M.S. Candidate/Dietetic Interns are ambitious. This week we’re getting a look into NIU’s new Nutrition Center and the ambitious role second year M.S. Candidate/DI and Graduate Assistant, Madisyn Rozner plays in its creation and continued development.

Madisyn Rozner, Nutrition and Dietetics M.S. Candidate 2020/Dietetic Intern

Madisyn graduated from NIU with a B.S. in Nutrition and Dietetics in 2018 and is a former member or the Nutrition Team within Campus Dining Services. She is passionate about Sports Nutrition and is driven to make positive changes within sports programs while she is at NIU.

What is the Nutrition Center?

The Nutrition Center is part of the Northwestern Medicine Performance Center located at Yorden Center on NIU’s campus. The Nutrition Center opened at the end of last spring. It was created as a fueling station for the NIU athletes to grab pre and post-workout snacks.

What services does it offer?

In addition to providing bananas, apples, milk, and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to NIU’s athletes, the Nutrition Center also provides nutrition education. Our nutrition education ranges from signage, to handouts, and social media. We also offer specialized presentations for individual teams. We’re working to add Campus Dining Services and grocery store tours in the near future.

How are you involved with The Nutrition Center?

I am one of the two nutrition graduate assistants for the new Nutrition Center. We report to the Associate Athletic Director of Sports Performance, Zach Cahill. In order to make sure our nutrition education is credible, we are also in contact with Meg Burnham, the Registered Dietitian for Campus Dining Services and Recreation and Wellness.

What do your responsibilities as a Graduate Assistant at the Center include?

As the Nutrition Center just opened, I am continually creating the outline for what the nutrition education component of the Nutrition Center should look like. I spend hours each week in the Nutrition Center getting to know the athletes and creating content. Additionally, we have eight undergraduate interns who report to another GA and me. I also developed their training guide. This included general sports nutrition education so they can have evidence-based discussions with the athletes. My undergraduate interns create projects and initiatives for the Nutrition Center as well as spend a few hours a week working in the Nutrition Center.

What does the future of the Nutrition Center look like?

As we are new this year, not everyone knows what we can do for them so we’re also focused on promoting our services. I would love to see more of NIU Athletics utilize the services we offer at the Nutrition Center.

What we offer is going to change so much over the next few months and even more within the next few years. My team and I are working hard to increase nutrition promotion and education for the NIU athletes. We would also like to increase the resources we provide for the athletes by partnering with other groups on campus. Something we are all looking forward to is adding new food items. We are exploring feasible options for our space that are within our budget.

I am proud that the nutrition education for the Nutrition Center has been developed from an intuitive perspective. It was important to me that the athletes as well as the undergraduate interns learn about fueling and performance with the knowledge that every athlete’s needs are different. My team has been doing a great job and I’m grateful for an opportunity to help build a program that will continue and grow well beyond my time at NIU.

Even before the Nutrition Center was built, Madisyn saw an opportunity for a Nutrition and Dietetic Graduate Assistant at the Sports Performance Center. She proposed the idea to include our department as a resource to athletes. As a result of her ambition and hard work, the Nutrition Center provides opportunities to two Graduate Assistants and eight undergraduate interns. Additionally, the center is able to offer an internship rotation location to fellow DI’s who are interested in Sports Nutrition. Needless to say, Madisyn is a go-getter. We can’t wait to hear about the great things coming from the Nutrition Center and to follow Madisyn’s success within the field of Sports Nutrition.

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