Kimberly's Experience at AADE19 as a CDN NextGen Leader

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Kimberly Sauers, Kent State University
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AADE was an incredible experience for me and I wish I could go back and relive it all the time. It was so much fun getting to know all the other CDN NextGen Leaders, as well as the professionals at the conference. AADE made me even more motivated than I was before to go into a diabetes-specialized area of healthcare. One person who made a great impact on me and reassured me that I am in the right major and headed in the right direction, was my NCBDE mentor, Becky Sulik. Becky is a very well-respected Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator, as well as a person with diabetes herself! It was awesome for me to be able to meet with her one-on-one and ask an abundance of questions about the field and the nerve-wracking process of becoming a dietitian. Before AADE we were able to facetime for about 30 minutes just to get to know each other and see what my professional goals are as well as what she does on the daily at work. Facetiming was a great way to start things off because she was able to tell me a little more about what to expect at the conference as well as some of the sessions that were supposed to be more focused on nutrition than others. Throughout the weekend Becky introduced me to so many great people that I would otherwise never have had the chance to meet! Having Becky as my mentor at AADE was amazing and I cannot wait to continue having a relationship with her that helps guide me throughout my undergraduate career and beyond!

 

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The entire weekend was packed with sessions back-to-back and I wish I could have attended them all. Since I only had time to attend a limited amount, I chose to go to the more nutrition-focused ones, as that is my career of interest. As many of you I’m sure are aware, the ketogenic diet is growing in popularity throughout the diabetes atmosphere and that was the focus of many of the sessions I attended as I find it very fascinating. I thought it was so interesting hearing different dietitians state their various opinions on the diet and whether they thought it was a safe and helpful approach to diabetes management or not. It really depended on who was speaking at each session, because some people are ‘all in keto,’ while others are strongly against it. I enjoyed hearing both sides so that at the end of the weekend I could look at my notes and decide how I felt about the diet. My favorite session of the weekend was Adam Brown’s, where he discussed the details of his book, “Bright Spots and Landmines,” which I am currently in the process of reading. Adam was so relatable when he spoke and everything he said I found myself thinking, “How different would my diabetes management be if I had read this book when I was first diagnosed?”. He seemed to have a lot of good ideas and was able to explain them in nonmedical terms, which I thought was very cool as more people will be able to understand and relate to it! Overall, I cannot say I attended a session that I didn’t like or didn’t find interesting. I am forever grateful for this experience that CDN provided me with and I cannot wait to see what other opportunities CDN will pave the way for in my future!

Editor's note: the CDN NextGen program is possible through the support of NCBDE, Lexicon Pharmaceuticals, and Sanofi.

Read the rest of the NextGen Leader experiences at AADE and other conferences here!

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kimberly
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Kimberly Sauers
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Kimberly is a nutrition student at Kent State University. She has had type 1 diabetes for almost ten years and loves to learn about how different foods impact the body. Her professional goals include pursuing a masters degree in nutrition and dietetics and eventually becoming a registered dietitian working with kids with T1D. She also hopes to one day become a certified diabetes educator (CDE) and to make a difference in the diabetes community by changing the way people view food.