Alum combats unhealthy lifestyles for students as certified dietician

by SHELBY MORGAN//Staff Writer

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[Editor’s note: This story is part of an ongoing project in conjunction with the South Plains College Alumni Association. The project highlights former SPC students and their achievements.]

Mindy Diller has found her calling helping students with their dietary and nutritional needs at Texas Tech University.

Diller graduated from South Plains College with an Associate of Science degree and then transferred to Texas Tech University to finish her degree in Dietetics and Nutrition. She is now the registered dietician for Hospitality Services at Texas Tech. She is in charge of 21 dining locations on the Texas Tech campus, including restaurant franchises and campus dining halls, all with unique food choices. She collaborates with the executive chef to support menu options with location managers.

 Miller is working to combat the unhealthy lifestyle that surrounds college students, whether out of convenience or knowledge of their dietary needs. Texas Tech has a Smart Choices Program that encompasses healthy opportunities campus-wide with suggestions on foods in dining locations that are lower in fat and calories. Menu options are available for students who have specific dietary needs, such as gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian, or food allergies.

She also serves as a resource for residence halls. She coordinates with the Residence Hall Association and creates presentations for students to build campus partnerships and relationships. She also writes weekly blogs with nutritional information for students.

“I work with the Recreation Center pretty often,” Diller said. “We find areas supporting the rec sports or intramural sports to be a resource with them with handouts and healthy eating on campus, no matter what age and stage you’re in. I also enjoy working with our ROTC, so I got to do a sports nutrition program for them. I get to counsel cadets and support them in their nutritional needs. I think it’s so incredibly important to support our future soldiers. If that’s something that I can do here, then I feel like I’m doing something.”

Aside from working full-time at Texas Tech, Diller also works as an outpatient dietician twice a week at an outpatient facility in Lubbock. In her spare time, she enjoys watching her son play varsity tennis, family time, watercolor painting, and participating in a book club.

“I play sports with my family,” she said. “We like golf and tennis, and then my family are big gamers. So when they’re gaming, I have an opportunity to do whatever I want.”

Diller says that she will never forget the impact of her instructors and her journey through SPC that taught her important life lessons. She encourages anyone considering furthering their education to get out there and do it. There are people and resources in place to help you get through it.

“Take your school work seriously,” Diller said. “But if you can learn to relax in the body you’ve got and trust yourself to make good, educated decisions, and part of that starts with going to class.” “Instructors have such a great impact,” she added. “I had several great instructors at South Plains College, and one of them taught me how to study, and I was so grateful for that.”

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