Graduate student Bernice Sem receives $5,000 scholarship

Bernice Sem, a graduate student in Western Carolina University’s Dietetic Internship Program, recently was awarded a $5,000 Commission on Dietetic Registration Diversity Scholarship from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Foundation.

Bernice Sem

Bernice Sem

The scholarship selection was based on a variety of components, including GPA, community service, leadership skills, awards and honors, and letters of recommendations. The Charlotte resident completed her undergraduate nutrition and dietetics degree at WCU with a GPA of 3.925. Her 2014 internship as a Carolinas HealthCare System Summer Research Scholar, working as part of a multidisciplinary diabetes research group, was one of the achievements that set her above other applicants, according to Sherry Robison, dietetic internship program director.

“Her professional goals are parallel with high needs in the field and include conducting research in the fight against obesity or working as a food scientist to develop delicious nutrient-dense and low-calorie foods,” Robison said.

Sem plans to finish her internship next Ma, and graduate with the master’s degree in health sciences in December 2016. “My career ambition is to work as a registered dietitian either in the clinical setting, as a researcher in the fight against obesity, or to travel to Ghana, West Africa, my original hometown, to volunteer my services in villages to treat nutrition-related diseases such as malnutrition and kwashiorkor – a form of severe protein-energy malnutrition,” she said.

Sem is currently serving in a clinical rotation at the Charles George Veterans Administration Medical Center in Asheville.