2013 LAHIDAN Awards

2013 LAHIDAN Distinguished Trinko Service Award

Gail Frank, PhD, MPH, RD, CHES

Dr. Frank has worked in the field of nutrition and dietetics for more than 40 years, and you can tell that she loves to teach. Dr. Frank is a professor of nutrition and a dietetic internship director in the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences at California State University Long Beach. Her areas of expertise are children’s nutrition, weight management, research about caffeine and chocolate, prevention of chronic diseases, and health promotion in the Latino community. She has mentored and graduated more than 250 registered dietitians and chaired more than 40 master’s theses.

Dr. Frank has been a member of LAHIDAN since its early stages and has collaborated on several articles for the LAHIDAN newsletter. She has more than 80 scientific publications. One part of her work has been as an investigator for several Latino studies with publications spanning over 15 years!


2013 Student FNCE® Scholarship Recipient

Hector Vasquez

He wrote the following after attending FNCE®: My pursuit of nutrition and dietetics stems directly from my travels both near and far, including Albuquerque, Avignon, and Arequipa. Sampling foods and smelling spices have afforded me the opportunity not only to interact with distant cultures but has directed me into discovering a passion for nutrition and dietetics. I was born and raised in Los Angeles to Mexican parents who wanted my brother and me to succeed academically. The greatest times we shared were at the dinner table as they told stories from home and inspired us to go after something  more than they had in their lifetimes. After finishing high school, I knew I wanted to experience a new life and, thus, enrolled at university of California, Davis, where I earned a bachelor’s degree in biological anthropology. After a couple of years of working in numerous laboratory settings, I enrolled as a graduate student at the California State university at Long Beach (CSuLB) to pursue a degree in nutritional science and am now a dietetic intern. This fall I had the privilege of attending the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo in Houston thanks to a scholarship from the Latinos and Hispanics in Dietetics and Nutrition (LAHIDAN). The conference offered a rewarding and unique experience that has added to my professional development. One of the many highlights was the opportunity to network with professionals in the field and discuss shared interests. I was also able to meet many wonderful members of LAHIDAN during the reception. Additionally, I attended several educational sessions throughout the day with interesting topics. Of course, the experience would not be complete without stepping into the exposition and partaking of the immense amount of free samples for attendees. The presentation “Supermarkets in Diverse Communities: putting Healthy Food Choices in the Showcase (Culture Symposium)” provided a wealth of information about Latinos and grocery shopping behaviors. The speaker shared tips on how to modify traditional Mexican dishes to make them healthier by altering only a couple of ingredients. The speaker also explained that the ability to make changes in grocery shopping behaviors requires understanding community shopping patterns and building relationships with supermarkets. All of this information will not only help me as I continue to draft my thesis but should further my career as a dietitian.