Graduating student spotlight: Tyler Boatright

Tyler Boatright will receive his bachelor’s degree in Nutrition – Dietetics on June 16. He is graduating with summa cum laude honors and has been accepted into the University of Maryland’s dietetic internship program.

Why did you choose your major?

“I’ve had a deep interest in health and nutrition since I was in high school and I’m continually blown away by the capacity of food to positively and negatively affect health outcomes. In the future I want to use my knowledge of nutrition to help people live longer and happier lives.”

Did you face any significant challenges while pursuing your degree?

“The biggest challenge I’ve faced during my college career has been overcoming a non-traditional high school experience, involving poor mental health and a shaky attendance record, in order to graduate from OSU with summa cum laude honors. The path between those two points was arduous and I would not have been able to overcome my struggles without the love and support of my loved ones, strong mentors and an internal drive to better myself.

“During this process, I have built self-confidence and learned that I’m highly motivated, intelligent and creative with a passion for continual learning. I’ve discovered that I enjoy pushing myself to find my limits and that I am capable of accomplishing incredible things if I make them a priority. I have also learned how extraordinarily important it is to have an effective and formidable support system around you. I am the product of two incredible parents, a few remarkable mentors and a wonderful significant other.”

What is your proudest accomplishment while at OSU?

“I’m most proud of the personal and professional growth I’ve been able to achieve during my time at Oregon State. I’ve developed as a professional, becoming a strong communicator, getting comfortable taking initiative and learning how to present myself as a professional. I have also blossomed personally, dramatically improving my self-confidence and exhibiting good mental and physical health habits.”

What’s next for Tyler?

“The next step on my path toward becoming a registered dietitian is attending the University of Maryland Dietetic Internship in College Park, Maryland. I specifically chose this yearlong internship due to the emphasis in nutrition informatics and technology closely lining up with my previous experiences and future goals.

“I strongly believe dietitians must continue to innovate, adapt and meet people on their preferred modes of media; whether that be the internet, texting, apps or a technology yet to be invented. My long-term professional goals are shaped by this belief and my passion for creatively solving nutrition-related problems.

“I want to merge technology and nutrition policy to create tools that guide people toward healthier dietary choices and reduce the number of people experiencing food insecurity. During my time at UMD I hope to continue polishing my skills and develop the skills necessary to become a skilled registered dietitian.”

How has being in the College of Public Health and Human Sciences prepared you for what’s next?

“Being a member of the College of Public Health and Human Sciences has allowed me to apply for and receive the June E. & G. Truxton Ringe Scholarship two years in a row, which has made an incredible impact on my ability to prioritize my educational experience and maximize my prospects for personal and professional growth during my time at Oregon State.

“I’ve also met professors through the CPHHS who turned out to be powerful professional mentors, such as Stephanie Grutzmacher and Neilann Horner. Without this college, I would not have made these connections and wouldn’t have been able to grow and develop this much over the last four years.”

What advice do you have for current students?

“Practice good sleep hygiene. Eat your vegetables. Floss once a day. Call your parents. Bring a phone charger. Say yes more often than you say no.”

Any final thoughts about your time at OSU?

“I want to thank the Department of Recreational Sports for building my capacity as a professional and shaping me into a leader. I also want to extend my appreciation for to Stephanie, who gave me the opportunity to work as an Undergraduate Research Assistant and who acted as a strong professional mentor.

“I’m so grateful for every opportunity I’ve had during my time here, and I want to thank everyone who’s given me those opportunities. Also, I’m going to Omaha to watch the College World Series after graduation, so let’s go Beaver Baseball!”