A career change meant pursuing a new degree and discovering his life’s work

health hero OG image
Tyler Chase

A career change meant pursuing a new degree and discovering his life’s work

OpenGraph title
Meet Health Hero Tyler Chase, ’18

Long before he became a clinical dietitian at Oregon Health and Science University or enrolled at Oregon State, Tyler Chase worked in a lumber mill.  

Knowing he wanted to change careers, he initially explored the field of sports nutrition and performance, but soon realized he would need another degree to achieve his goal.

He also discovered what it means to be a registered dietitian and knew it was the right path forward.

Tell us about your time at Oregon State and in the dietetics option.

My experience while attending Oregon State University was amazing. The campus was always inspiring to be on and the four years I was there went by extremely fast. Two people in particular played a key role in my success, Emily Ho and Neilann Horner.  

Emily granted me the privilege of working as a lab technician while I was attending school. This gave me valuable experience in the field of research and research publication, which absolutely set me up for success in both being selected for my combined dietetic internship/graduate program, as well as with my thesis.  

Neilann was instrumental in honing my professionalism as she expected perfection and hard work from her students. This is something I carried with me into my internship at Oregon Health and Science University following graduation.

What challenges did you overcome along your academic journey?

When I enrolled at Oregon State, I was in my late 20s and had a wife and two young boys. Balancing school while being a dad and husband was not an easy task, but I am extremely fortunate to have an amazing wife! Without her, there is no way I would have been successful.

Tyler Chase with sons

She worked graveyard the entire time I was attending OSU and would get off in the morning to then take over as mom while I was in class. She is the toughest woman I know and definitely my better half!  

Finances can also be an extremely challenging hurdle to overcome while in college, especially when you have a young family. I also need to thank my mom for all the support she provided. Thanks to her, the financial stress of college was manageable, and it allowed me to focus on my course work and finding success.

Were you involved in any organizations or clubs when on campus?

I was involved in the Nutrition and Dietetics Club while on campus. I served as a member for two years and then as club president my senior year.

Can you tell us about your dietetics career progression?

Currently, I am working as a clinical dietitian for Oregon Health and Science University. I am an outpatient dietitian and cover general nutrition as well as organ transplant.  

Following graduation from OSU, I was accepted into OHSU’s combined MS/DI program, and upon graduating, I was fortunate enough to be offered the position of relief dietitian at OHSU.

After working in that capacity for a little over a year, I was fortunate enough to move into my current full-time outpatient position. I love working with the public because I enjoy meeting and speaking to new people every day.

If you could deliver a message to future students, what would you say?

Although college can seem stressful, try to realize you are actually experiencing some of the best years of your life – and it goes by quickly.