Rachel Harmon

Intern spotlight OG image
Rachel Harmon hiking with her dog

Rachel Harmon

Internship course
Nutrition - Professional dietetics, MS
Intern site name
Dietetic internship rotations

What inspired or interested you about your field of study? And why did you choose OSU/the college?  

I have always found joy and fulfillment in helping others and have a passion for nutrition and disease prevention. When I learned about the field of nutrition and dietetics I knew that I wanted to pursue this as my career as I could help others by doing something I am passionate about.

I applied to OSU's MS-PD program as it was a program that stood out to me for its major focus on public health. I also love the location of the college. Having grown up in the PNW I knew I wanted to remain in this location and Oregon is somewhere I have always wanted to live.

Where are you completing your dietetic internships?

I have completed my primary rotation at Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic (YVFWC) in Woodburn and my first clinical rotation at Samaritan Health Services Hospital in Albany.

I am currently in my second clinical rotation at the McKenzie-Willamette Medical Center in Springfield.

I have my community rotation at the YVFWC WIC center in Salem, my food service rotation, and staff relief at Samaritan Health Services Hospital in Albany.

What are you doing in your internship locations and/or what is your main project?

During my internship rotations, I am learning about the different roles of RD's in their respective fields, how to have effective patient interaction and build rapport, and how to best provide education/therapies/motivational interviewing techniques to help patients/clients.

For my capstone project, I am working with Stephanie Grutzmacher on the impact of the Double Up Food Bucks Program. My topic is specifically on barriers that participants face.

I hope to bring to light the various barriers that inhibit participants from being able to take full advantage of what the program has to offer in the hopes that changes and improvements are made to the program for the betterment of the participant's health, food security and financial status.

What do you see as the greatest value of your internship?

The greatest value of my internship is the invaluable knowledge I have acquired through hands-on learning. Moreover, it has allowed me to cultivate more confidence in my abilities as a health care professional.

What do you think of your experience at OSU so far?

I feel really fortunate to have been matched with OSU. I have had an amazing experience with my program as well as the learning experiences through the capstone project, internship and didactic days. The faculty has been amazing and very supportive.

What are your post-college dreams/plans?

My dream is to work as an RDN in the clinical setting for a few years to gain experience in a variety of different areas as well as a medical nutrition therapy experience.

I hope to then move into working for a non-profit or other community setting where I can be more involved and invested in clients long-term.

I also have a goal to become a lactation consultant and work for WIC as I find that RDNs in this role have a very important job.