Interested in Becoming a Member?
Lubna Qureshi, MDS, RDN, LD
Greetings Everyone! I am Lubna (pronounced as Luna with a b in the middle). I started my Dietetics career in the clinical settings and switched to academia after my husband’s retirement from the US Air Force and our relocation to the Austin area. Currently, I teach Nutrition Sciences to undergraduate students at two private universities and culinary students at a local college.
In addition, I volunteer at a local clinic to provide nutritional counselling to underprivileged patients. I also volunteer with the women’s auxiliary at my local mosque to provide training and education to women. My husband and I live in the suburbs of Austin with our youngest of four children as well as 11 chickens and one rooster. I like exploring hiking trails in Austin and surrounding areas.
Growing up, it was my dream to become a pilot and fly an airplane. That dream was partially fulfilled when a friend offered to give me the controls of his single engine airplane flying from Anchorage, over the Knik glacier. He gave me a briefing both times we flew together. Though I didn’t become a pilot, I can say that I flew an airplane without crashing it.
Director of Member Engagement (ED-Elect)
Originally from Pittsburgh, PA, I am a Registered Dietitian who is passionate about my work. After graduating from West Virginia University, I completed my dietetic internship through Adagio Health, an agency providing WIC for outlying areas of Pittsburgh. Once I passed my RD exam, I worked at a skilled nursing facility in Naples, FL and an acute care hospital in Arlington, VA. After meeting my husband, I moved to Austin in 2013 and have been working with ESRD patients at CVS Satellite ever since. In my spare time I enjoy traveling, working out, baking, and playing with my dog.
Fun Fact: I rowed for my high school crew team and had a college scholarship for it!
Director of Continuing Education
As a veteran dietitian (literally, a 20-year military career) and currently, as a consultant dietitian, I’ve had decades of experience holding a variety of positions within dietetics. What’s enabled these opportunities? Continuing education, training, and mentoring! Whether you’re a seasoned dietitian or just starting out, I would love to help you receive outstanding continuing education opportunities to explore, grow, and keep abreast of the ever-changing field of nutrition and dietetics. To build knowledge, increase skills and help launch or advance your career.
Throughout my career, I’ve held positions including Certified Nutrition Support Dietitian, Certified Diabetes Educator, Diabetes Disease Manager, Health Promotion Nutrition Manager, Patient Tray Services Director, Nutrition Services Director, Air Force Consultant Dietitian and currently, a self-employed consultant dietitian helping organizations build healthy food environments. I was the former President of the Austin Dietetic Association from 2012-2013 and Continuing Education Director from 2011-2012.
In my spare time, I’m proud parent of 2 teens, an avid mountain biker (look me up on Strava!), active in my church, and finally, just started taking Salsa dance lessons!
Vanessa Beltran, RD, LD
Director of Diversity & Inclusion
The pursuit of food justice, defined as the basic human right to fresh, safe, affordable, and culturally-appropriate foods in ALL communities, is one of my life’s passions. As a dietitian, it is my privilege to hold stories of self, culture, and want for the communities I serve. No two patients are the same, which makes every encounter a creative and dynamic space. Eating, and making meaning of what we eat, is a profoundly human act and where the adaptive challenge to improve population health through our dietary patterns lies. I love being a dietitian because I get a front row seat to daily transformations in people’s lives, which inspires me to advocate for food justice and systems-level change.
I would like to mobilize our community around the need for inclusion, and equitable representation of, underrepresented minorities in dietetics. Efforts in recruitment, membership, and DCTX programming through Diversity and Inclusion will be aimed at making DCTX a welcoming and life-giving space for all.
I have two small dogs, Lilly and Scooby. If you knew nothing else about me, that would be enough – they are my heart.
Angela Finn, MS, RD
Director of Communications
I’m a dietitian who fills 1/2 my plate with veggies (always), and the rest with foods like bacon, pizza, wings, tacos and garlic bread. I like to challenge myself with a long bike ride, and also cheers with a glass of craft beer. I nerd out getting into science, and also goof out cracking some witty food puns. As a professional in health & wellness, not the food police, I enjoy providing support with developing healthy relationships with food — after all, we are not robots and food is meant to be enjoyed. As Director of Communications, I am berry excited to turnip the beet with exploring effective and interactive channels of communication in order to involve all members and guests of DCTX. I look forward to ketching-up with y’all soon!
Fun Fact: I’m a Latina who loves sauce, but can’t handle hot sauce (not even Sriracha).
Marcie Kissko, RDN
Director of Administration
I love being an eating disorder dietitian because I get to help my clients get out of diet culture, build a healthy relationship with food and their body, and support them in living a full life, free of their eating disorder. I proudly practice from Intuitive Eating and Health at Every Size paradigm. I love being a dietitian because the field of nutrition and health is so dynamic, that there is always more to learn and improve upon within my practice.
As director of administration, my goals are to keep everything organized and running smoothly behind the scenes of this great organization, and to make all RDNs/students feel welcome and find their foodie home away from home. I am excited to take on this new role!
I will be getting married in a couple months! I’m one of the many people who had to change their wedding plans because of COVID-19, and my fiance and I will go to the courthouse in a couple months to tie the knot. We’ve had to grieve the loss of our dream wedding, but we are so excited to get married! (and then to celebrate with friends and family once it’s safe.)
Erin Echternach, RD, LD
Director of Finance
I am passionate about all things food-growing, cooking, eating, etc.-so nutrition has been the perfect fit for me! I feel grateful to work in school nutrition because implementing early intervention through nutrition education and daily exposure while combating hunger in our community is incredibly rewarding. Being a part of DCTX has also been inspiring and has contributed to my development as a registered dietitian. This year I hope to continue to contribute to the development of this awesome community as the Director of Finance by exploring ways to provide as much value as possible to our members through high quality guest speakers, scholarship opportunities, and more. On a lighter note, I am an avid true crime enthusiast and I will happily spend hours discussing cold cases and theories with anyone who is game.
Caroline Patrick, MS, RD, LD
I love working as a dietitian because we hold such a unique position to walk alongside people as they seek their own version of health. It’s challenging, but important work to help people heal or develop positive relationships with food and their bodies. In doing so, we provide people with more freedom to fully engage in their relationships, their careers, and their passions.
As Executive Director of this amazing community, I aspire to work with our dedicated board members to continue to provide programming that meets the needs of our members and their professional pursuits. I also aim to increase the diversity within our current and future community, amplifying the voices that we don’t often see within our field. Through education, discussion, and outreach, I believe we can start working towards an even more inclusive and diverse field of nutrition professionals in Austin.
Fun fact: I majored in Film & Television for 2 years with the intention of creating documentaries and/or editing films prior to switching to study Nutrition.
Marissa Albers, MPH, RD
Board Advisor of Continuing Education
I love being a registered dietitian because it transcends so many different fields! With a background in nutrition, horticulture, and public health, I absolutely love working as a school food service dietitian. I am always seeking opportunities to reduce waste, create farm-to-school educational opportunities for students, and leverage the district’s buying power to make food purchases that support a sustainable, resilient food system.
I believe CEUs are an opportunity to spark curiosity, inspire self-learning, and reignite passion within the field. As Advisor to the Director of Continuing Education, I look forward to guiding the CEU process to ensure learning opportunities resonate with our members’ interests and inspire current and future registered dietitians.
Fun Fact: My perfect morning is sipping a cup of coffee and gardening in my backyard! I fell in love with small-scale farming and food systems while studying horticulture at Texas A&M University where I ran the student farm on campus, the Howdy Farm. It was there that I realized my passion for connecting people to their food source and learned that healthy food starts with healthy soil!
Sarah Winkler, MS, RD, LD
I love being a dietitian because I work with both food and people; I get to provide nutritious meals to school aged children. I plan to collaborate with other DCTX board members to keep the DCTX website as up to date and informative as possible. A fun fact about me is I love to bake! Before I knew I would to be an RD, I wanted to open up a dog treat bakery.
I will be serving as the Newsletter Editor this year and am excited to help keep our membership connected with upcoming events and news. I am currently a human nutrition graduate student at Texas State University as well as a group fitness instructor. I love studying dietetics because of how unifying and personal food is to all of us. I look forward to helping people enhance their health and quality of life as a counselor, educator, and advocate.
Fun fact: I am a standup comedy fanatic and love the art of storytelling. I often drag my boyfriend to open mics to support local comics in the area! One of my life goals is to attend the Just for Laughs festival in Montreal, which is the largest comedy festival in the world.
My name is Lauren Sartin. I go to the University of Texas at Austin and I am a nutrition major. My dream is to become a registered dietitian and specialize in eating disorders. A fun fact about me is I have been attacked by an iguana.
Wellness Symposium Co-chair
I am very happy to serve as the Wellness Symposium Chair! I am a senior Nutritional Science Major and I am also in the CPD program at UT. In my free time I enjoy shopping at Trader Joe’s and making yummy plant-based meals with friends. I have no idea what direction I want to go at in dietetics, but I look forward to all of the wonderful experiences this next year has to offer!
Ashley Haley, RD
Wellness Symposium Co-chair
I love food! It is my passion to share delicious, nutritious foods with all. I have spent the past 13 years working in child nutrition in our nation’s K-12 school food industry. It is such a joy to create menus and recipes to share with our future generations. I am originally from San Antonio, TX. I completed my Dietetic Internship at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. There, I met my husband and we moved to Austin in 2008. I love spending time with him and our son, especially outdoors.
As this year’s wellness symposium co-chair for DCTX, I plan to make each year’s event a huge success. I thoroughly enjoy collaborating, organizing, planning, and executing events and am excited to take on this change during such challenging times.
Fun fact: my favorite food is anything TexMex, especially tacos! Whether I am eating out or cooking at home, you can never go wrong with TexMex!
I am a Registered Dietitian with overall more than ten years of experience performing nutritional care in Renal facilities, long term care facilities, corporate client nutrition education services, sub-acute as well as acute care facilities in the state of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, and California. Fairly recently, we relocated to the Austin, TX area. Currently I am working at St. David’s Hospital and also attached to the population with IDD.
Other than my professional life I enjoy music, especially dancing and beading. Last but not least, I do spend a lot of my time with my husband and two daughters.
I love learning about a topic that matters to me and is truly interesting to me. It’s applicable in my day to day, personal life and will of course be applicable in my career. I’ve been reading and learning about nutrition on my own for years so to be able to learn about it in an academic setting and alongside others who are just as interested in it, it’s really a special experience.
I hope to bring in more members from UT and UT alum. In addition, I hope to help out with any current obstacles that we are facing with the pandemic!
I have a degree from the University of Texas at Austin in Communication Studies but after three years of working, I decided that I really wanted to pursue a passion of mine and that was becoming a dietician.
Liz Brown is a licensed and registered dietitian. She works full time in private practice helping people heal their relationships with food. Liz moved to Austin from Nebraska, where she completed most of her schooling, and has enjoyed the warmer weather. In her free time, Liz loves to walk or hike with her dog, garden, and cook.
Hi, my name is Rachel Knight, the new Texas State Liaison. I am an upcoming junior and have a major in Nutrition, with a concentration in Dietetics. A few things about me are that I love to be active. Whether I am hiking or going for a run, being outside is the best. I am also very into geology. I have been collecting rocks since I was three, and my favorites are minerals and fossils. I am very close with my family and friends. I am the type of person who can have a good time by just staying in, but I am never opposed to going out. I joined this board to help build connections in the nutrition world. My style is staying ahead of the pack so I can make the right decisions. As a kid, I spent my weekends cooking and baking, which cultivated my love for Nutrition; it was one of the hobbies I shared with my grandma. The idea of experimenting and exploring the details behind foods piqued my interest. When I am not outside or cooking, you can find me reading a good book, listening to music, or watching sitcoms. I do believe that laughter is the best emotional medicine. Now that I am a part of this organization, I hope to contribute great things. Hopefully, this gives you more of a clue as to who I am.
Haylie Hadjiev is a junior Dietetics major and future RD studying at the University of Texas. A girl with too many passions to name, Haylie is especially fond of all things health and fitness related, as well as traveling, sustainability, and recreating elaborate baked goods. In her journey to becoming an RD, she plans to bring awareness to the fact that healthy living is both attainable and enjoyable, while also working to spread kindness in the community. Haylie hopes that her role as this year’s University Student Liaison gives her the opportunity to begin meeting these goals and gain valuable experience in the field.
My name is Camryn, and I am a junior studying nutrition on a dietetics track at the University of Texas at Austin. I’ve been passionate about nutrition ever since I can remember, and I am so excited to have this position and be able to promote a healthy lifestyle to my peers. A fun fact about me is that I am left-handed!
Deciding to be part of the dietetics program at my school has changed my perspective and broadened my horizons on so many things. Educating the importance of cultural humility, diversifying the field through culture and people, and bridging the gap between dietetics and medicine are just a few of the things I’ve learned.
Being a liaison is important to me because I want myself and my peers to succeed. I want to help other students recognize opportunities out in the world that will help them in their future careers because I believe that being a well-rounded person will improve our work as future dieticians. I think it’s also important that students gain experience and knowledge from known professionals, such as those at Dietitians of Central Texas.
Not only do I love nutrition, but I also love rock climbing outdoors and my golden retriever, Macaroni. I am also applying to medical school after becoming a registered dietitian!