Beaver alum Stasi Kasianchuk has worked her way up the “food chain” within Oregon State University’s College of Public Health and Human Sciences after receiving her master’s in Exercise and Sport Science with a minor in Nutrition Science and Dietetics at Oregon State in 2010. Since her experience as a dietetic intern in 2010-2011, Stasi has held positions as a Lifetime Fitness for Health Program Lead Instructor, Faculty Staff Fitness group exercise instructor, a registered dietitian volunteer with OSU Athletics and an online course instructor for Ecampus. She continues to teach circuit weight training classes within FSF, currently works alongside Erin Driver as the Lifetime Fitness for Health Program co-director, and has recently been hired as a part-time team sports dietitian with OSU Athletics.
What made you decide to get into this field? Is there one specific moment that inspired your career path?
“I grew up being active and my mom was a Culinary Arts teacher, so I was always surrounded by cooking and good food. Almost innately I learned the synergistic relationship between food and physical activity. Further understanding of the capabilities of the human body through my own athletic competition and spectating of others motivated me to learn more.”
Why did you choose to work at Oregon State?
“After I completed my dietetic internship I found myself really missing the university environment that had provided so much for me in the nine years prior. There is a certain level of energy that this environment cultivates among students, faculty and staff that I did not observe anywhere else. I also enjoy the emphasis on learning, research and evidence-based practice in both fields of exercise and nutrition science.”
What is your favorite part about teaching in the CPHHS?
“My colleagues, especially Erin Driver – the other co-director of the Lifetime Fitness for Health program – our team of graduate teaching assistants and the students I interact with on a daily basis. Additionally, being a part of the CPHHS has facilitated many collaborations with other areas on campus including Student Health Services, MU Food Retail, University Housing and Dining, Dixon Recreation Center, Counseling and Psychological Services, and Athletics. Through these collaborative efforts I have been able to work with amazing individuals whose innovative ideas make work so much more fun. These collaborations have also allowed for new opportunities, including my new position in Athletics as the team sports dietitian.”
What do you believe is your greatest accomplishment in the field of nutrition?
“I do not in any way mean this as a cop-out, but honestly it is way too early in my career to be able to declare this. I have a lot of work to do before I can fully respond to this question. I will have to followup once I have made more progress.”
How are you going to change people’s lives with your work?
“One vegetable at a time. Just kidding! Through positive interactions with individuals I want to empower them to positively change behaviors related to nutrition and exercise as it relates to their own personal goals. For some, this may be as simple as “one vegetable at a time.”
What is the best advice you ever received, and who gave it?
“My grandparents were always huge proponents of education. Specifically, my grandmother always reminded me, ‘Your education is one of the only things in life no one can ever take away.’”
What advice would you like to give to students and recent alums?
“This is your time to play! Go out and explore and gain as much experience as possible. You have absolutely nothing to lose. Take advantage of ALL that OSU and the college experience have to offer. Do not be afraid to venture into new and unknown territory as you explore what it is you want to do and who you want to be when you grow up. Be opened-minded to new opportunities and recognize every day as another opportunity to network – you never know who you will meet. Embrace the unknown as opportunity, not uncertainty. Hopefully, by taking full advantage of your time at OSU you will find a passion through play that will never really feel like work.”
What is one surprising thing about you that not many people know?
“When I was a graduate student I would run with a fellow graduate student on a regular basis. Often it was the mere fact that I had to meet her at a certain time that got me out of bed in the morning. Eventually, we both graduated and she moved away. At first we were faced with the dilemma of maintaining our ‘running relationship.’ However, we managed to remedy this by talking to each other on our cell phones while we run using a hands-free headset. We may actually run together more often now than we did before. The joys of technology!”
What are your favorite activities to do outside of work?
“Run, bike, swim, cook, watch sporting events, go to the Farmer’s Market, spend time with friends, ‘recreationally’ participate in triathlons and road races, work on decreasing my carbon footprint and enjoy all of the wonderful food, wine and beer the Pacific Northwest has to offer.”