Volunteer Spotlight: Joanne Sycko MS, MBA, RD

March 6, 2014 at 2:39 pm 1 comment

Joanne Sycko

I grew up on a beef cattle farm in northwest Indiana that has been in my family for over 100 years. My father was born there and my brother still lives there.   I was very active in 4-H as a child and teenager, raising cattle and hogs as well as learning to sew.

While study Home Economics at Marygrove College ,  I became interested in Nutrition and Dietetics.  The biochemistry of nutrition and the chemistry of food science interested me.  I went on to earn a MS in Nutrition Science from MSU after completing my undergraduate degree and worked under supervision for the Children and Youth Project at the University of Texas Health Science Center to complete my requirements to be able to take the dietetic registration exam.  Over the years I have raised a family, taught at Marygrove and Madonna, worked in 2 community mental health agencies, three hospitals and earned an MBA degree.

I am the outgoing president of the Southeastern Michigan Dietetic Association.  SEMDA is a local affiliate of the of the Michigan Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and The American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.  SEMDA’s purpose is to promote optimal nutrition and well-being for all, as well as to provide a professional network for registered dietitians/nutritionists in Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Monroe and St. Clair counties and to facilitate collaboration and support.  SEMDA helps to promote programs such as Cooking Matters, provides grants to members for community outreach programs during National Nutrition Month, and provides education programs and a spring conference for members and non-members.  I actually learned about the Cooking Matters Program at a SEMDA meeting.

I think I enjoy teaching Cooking Matters classes because I enjoyed teaching my children to cook and enjoy nutritious food as they grew.    I have taught adult, teen and diabetic classes, and I am currently teaching a family class.  I enjoy seeing children and adults gain knowledge and confidence as they learn food prep skills and try new foods and flavors.  And I have enjoyed learning from the program participants as they share their food traditions with me.

Trying to juggle my current job as clinical nutrition manager at Crittenton Hospital Medical Center in Rochester with visits to children and grandchildren in 5 different states, tends to leave me with little time for my hobbies of sewing and gardening, and my newest hobby of running. But I always try to find time to teach at least one class of Cooking Matters each year.  With National Nutrition Month beginning, I cannot think of anything better than making a resolution to teach at least one Cooking Matters Class annually.

My favorite recipes tend to be foods that can be prepared in advance and put in the “fridge” or the freezer for those “I don’t have time to cook” emergencies (i.e. the days I teach Cooking Matters, or go to the gym, or run).  My freezer has chili and homemade soups.  In the fridge, I like to have prepped fresh veggies for salads, with canned beans, cheese, roasted sunflower seeds or walnuts to sprinkle on top.  My favorite kitchen gadget is my salad spinner, where a rinsed and torn head of Romaine keeps an incredibly long time.  My favorite salads are also made with pasta or cooked grains (brown rice, bulgar, quinoa, barley); vegetables, mushrooms and cooked meats or fish.  I can make these on the weekends and not have to worry that my husband will starve if I have to work late.  I learned this from having five very athletic children who always seemed to be walking in the door starving, at all hours of the day or night after football, soccer, swimming.

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Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Patrice  |  March 22, 2014 at 1:04 pm

    YOU ROCK, MOM!!!!!! I LOVE YOU!!! Love, #4

    Reply

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USDA Statement

This material was partially funded by the State of Michigan with federal funds from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program by way of the Michigan Nutrition Network at the Michigan Fitness Foundation. This work is supported in part by the Michigan Department of Human Services, under contract number ADMIN-10-99011. Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the Michigan Fitness Foundation or the Michigan Department of Human Services. In accordance with Federal law and USDA policy, these institutions are prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, religion, political beliefs or disability. To file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410 or call (800) 795-3272 (voice) or (202) 720- 6382 (TTY). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program provides nutrition assistance to people with low income. It can help you buy nutritious foods for a better diet. To find out more contact the toll free Michigan Food Assistance Program Hotline at (855) ASK-MICH. Space-Limited USDA/DHS/MNN Credit Statement This material was partially funded by the State of Michigan with federal funds from the United States Department of Agriculture Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program by way of the Michigan Nutrition Network at the Michigan Fitness Foundation. These institutions are prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, religion, political beliefs or disability. People who need help buying nutritious food for a better diet call the toll free Michigan Food Assistance Program Hotline: (855) ASK-MICH.

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