About Us

The First Coast Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is run and supported by its members. Board officers are elected annually through a member vote. Our 2017-2018 Board and Committee Officers are:

Michelle Lynch, MSH, RD, LD/N

Michelle is an active member of FCA and has served as Treasurer for two years. She served on the FCA board in 2013-2015 and assisted with most of the recent changes in our local association. Michelle understands the future challenges our association will face and the great accomplishments we can achieve together. Michelle graduated from the University of North Florida with her MSH in nutrition in 2008 and has been a Registered Dietitian for 7 years. Since graduation, she has worked as a traveling Renal Dietitian, lived in 3 different states and 6 different cities. From those experiences, she now calls the First Coast her home. Michelle also worked in food-service management, long-term care, clinical nutrition, community nutrition and as an adjunct instructor at UNF. As a Community Pediatric Registered Dietitian working for St. Vincent’s Mobile Health Outreach Ministry, Michelle plays a major role in the prevention of childhood obesity and serves as an advocate for the Doctors, teachers, parents and students across Duval County. Most importantly, Michelle is passionate about mentoring our future generation of dietitians. During her free time, she enjoys running 5Ks and half-marathons, dancing, painting, weight-lifting, cooking, practicing and teaching yoga and enjoying time with friends and family.

Dana Gardner, MS, RDN, LD/N
A Registered Dietitian. A Director of Food Service. A Foodie. An Educator. A Dreamer. A Prayer Warrior. A Kindred Spirit. A Friend. Those words describe only a few of the hats that Dana Gardner wears daily, however, these are the hats that she holds near and dear to her heart. After graduating from University of Florida (B.S. 2002) and Florida State University (M.S. 2005), Dana returned to Jacksonville to begin her career that would take her from a clinical dietitian (2005-2011), to a patient services manager (2011-2015) to now a Director of Food and Nutritional Services (2016-present). Dana has also been able to matriculate into the field of academia as an adjunct faculty member at South University (online) and the University of North Florida guiding future RDs through their academic career. As a former patient services manager and current director, Dana has also become a preceptor to many UNF students and distance learning students seeking an internship. It was through her role as a preceptor and teaching that Dana found her passion to build a bridge between students and current RDs so that they may find mentors to help them explore the ever so vast world of food and nutrition. As President-Elect, she hopes to continue to build a mentorship program, not only for students, but for current RDs seeking other roles in the field of nutrition as well as to continue to build the brand and social media presence of the FCAND. Her professional affiliations include the AND, FAND, FCAND and Alpha Kappa Alpha, Sorority Inc. In her spare time, Dana enjoys cooking (Pinterest is her best friend), teaching dance to young ladies, supporting her nephews at their football games (University of South Alabama and PAL), writing and mentoring.

Treasurer: Lindsey Sowders, RD, LD/N

Lindsey currently works as a registered dietitian for the Florida Department of Health in Duval County with the WIC Program. She has been a dietitian for over 5 years. Her professional interests include working with the community to provide nutrition education services and improve health outcomes. Lindsey’s personal interests include reading novels, and spending time with family and friends. She is excited to become more involved in FCAND. Thank you for your consideration.

Treasurer-Elect: Tyree Williams, MS, RD, LD/N
Tyree is a Senior Public Health Nutritionist at the Pearl WIC & Nutrition Services, Florida Department of Health in Duval County and a Clinical Dietitian at Lake City Medical Center in Lake City, FL. He is also an American Counsel on Exercise (ACE) nationally certified personal trainer and fitness nutrition specialist. Tyree has been a dietitian for 2 and a half years and is husband, a father of 3 and an avid weightlifter. He enjoys meeting new students and professionals and would like to serve on the nominating committee to recognize and show appreciation to his peers who are doing notable things in the field of nutrition and dietetics. 

Secretary: Christie Shubert, MS, RDN, LD/N, CNSC

My name is Christie Shubert and I am a graduate of the University of North Florida’s Nutrition and Dietetics program. I became interested in nutrition while struggling to learn to cook healthy meals for my growing family. When I married my husband, Navy Chaplain Scott Shubert, 20 years ago, I didn’t know how to cook anything except frozen chicken nuggets and boxed macaroni and cheese. Later, I learned to cook and bake by reading cookbooks and watching television cooking shows; for which, I’m sure my family is grateful. I am currently employed as a clinical nutrition manager at St. Vincent’s Medical Center in Clay County and adjunct professor at University of North Florida. I am passionate about helping people discover better health through nutrition. Clinical dietetics is my area of focus. I strive to provide the most up-to-date, evidence-based, compassionate care to all of my patients. I am currently seeking my Doctorate in Health Science with a clinical nutrition focus. I am an avid learner and in my spare time, I enjoy reading nonfiction books and watching historical and medical documentaries. I am adventurous, so I also enjoy traveling to new destinations with my husband. I am hoping to go sky-diving within the next year. I play Scrabble, crossword puzzles, and Sudoku, because I love to think through a challenge. I like volunteering with various organizations and find the experiences very rewarding. Overall, I have a wonderful life with a loving family and a rewarding career.

 Andrea Arikawa, PhD, RDN, LD/N
My name is Andrea Arikawa and I am an assistant professor of Nutrition and Dietetics at the University of North Florida. I have a Master’s degree in Public Health and a PhD in Nutrition. I have been a dietitian for 20 years and most of this time I have been in Academia. My research focuses on lifestyle modification for disease prevention particularly as nutrition and physical activity relate to inflammation and oxidative stress in the body. I am especially interested in prevention of obesity and cancer and in translating my research findings into dietetics practice. I would love to have the opportunity to serve my community by becoming a FCAND board member.

Jamisha Leftwich, MS, RD, LD/N
Jamisha completed her Master's Degree and Dietetic Internship from the University of North Florida in 2012. She currently works as a Senior Public Health Nutritionist at the Florida Department of Health in Clay County WIC program. At Clay County WIC, Jamisha is the lead preceptor for UNF, UF, and Morrison interns. Jamisha finds it very important to teach and mentor future dietitians and help them understand the science behind their recommendations. Jamisha also works as an adjunct instructor at UNF teaching Basic Principles of Human Nutrition, Community Nutrition, and Research Science and Ethics. Jamisha is a contributing author to the Florida Times Union and 200 Surefire Ways to Eat Well and Feel Better. Jamisha is the past Nominating Committee chair and was awarded Recognized Young Dietitian of the Year in 2014. She is excited to see FCAND grow and has many ideas to gain more membership which she hopes to explore as a Member at Large.

Nominating Committee: Corrie Labyak, PhD, RDN, LD/N

Dr. Corinne Labyak completed her PhD at the University of Florida and is currently an Assistant Professor at the University of North Florida in the Department of Nutrition and Dietetics. Her research interests include nutrition education, food neophobia and evaluating anthropometrics that identify children and adults at most risk in the development of cardiometabolic diseases. Her work experience over recent years has been with elementary and preschool children in various nutrition research interventions. She has extensive personal experience leading behavioral weight management groups including teaching families on nutrition topics, increasing physical activity and focusing on behavioral mechanisms i.e. self- monitoring and goal setting. As an Assistant Professor at UNF, she teaches a plethora of undergraduate and graduate courses and mentors students on proper research procedures. She currently serves as President of the First Coast Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (FCAND), is an active member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND), and has been an item writer for the national RD exam review.

Nominating Committee: Claudia Sealey-Potts, PhD, RD, LD/N

Dr. Claudia Sealey-Potts, a graduate of Auburn University, is a very active, dynamic and futuristic leader, researcher and educator in the field of dietetics. Professionally she has functioned in all areas of dietetics including, lead dietitian with responsibility for both clinical nutrition and food service systems and has worked extensively in community settings as a dietitian/nutrition educator. She has international professional practice experience as well as within the United States. She currently functions as the Dietetic Internship Director and Assistant Professor at University of North Florida where she has contributed significantly to obtaining the highest consecutive successful RD first-time pass rate with interns.

Nominating Committee:
 Alireza Jahan-mihan. PhD. RDN.

I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of Nutrition and Dietetics at the University of North Florida. I have more than twenty years’ experience in research, food industry and in clinical practice as a dietitian. My solid academic background is in the field of nutrition. I completed my doctoral degree at the university of Toronto. I worked as a dietitian for more than twelve years in variety of settings including hospital, long-term care and my private nutrition clinic. My primary research focus is on the role of functional foods and their dietary bioactive components in health and diseases. The specific focus of my research is on physiological and nutritional functions of dietary proteins and peptides. Both animal and clinical approaches are applied to reveal underlying mechanisms of functional foods and also to examine the applicability of research outcomes.

Gina Ulery Information Systems: Gina (Ulery) Gunderson, MS, RD, LD/N
Gina is the Director of Operations for Professional Development Resources (PDR), a local non-profit organization that provides online continuing education courses for healthcare professionals. She has worked with PDR since graduating from the University of North Florida's Masters/Internship program in 2003. Gina has also filled various positions on the Board of Directors for the First Coast Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (FCAND) over the years and, since 2006, has managed the FCAND website, emails, online servers and CE Broker reporting. She has also served as Nominating Committee, Co-Chair and on the Public Relations Committee for the Florida Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (FAND). While not working directly as an RD, Gina stays tuned in to nutrition by remaining active with FCAND/FAND and seeking out evidence-based nutrition research for the purpose of developing online CPEU courses for her colleagues (www.pdresources.org).

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Address: PO Box 550905 | Jacksonville, FL 32255-0905

Email: fca@eatrightjax.org

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