Adjunct Faculty, Nutrition
The Art Institute of San Antonio, a branch of The Art Institute of Houston
You only get one body. Take care of it! Meghan Pearson, MS, RD, LD , Adjunct Faculty, Nutrition , The Art Institute of San Antonio, a branch of The Art Institute of Houston
As a dietitian, I’m more of a math and science person, however interacting with aspiring creative professionals in the classroom offers new perspectives on my field and adds a nice balance to my work. I like to think my background in the sciences helps to balance the creative careers of my students as well.
How do you weave your professional background into the classroom experience to provide an industry veteran's sense of the realities / challenges / opportunities of the profession?
Nutrition is a unique course in that it applies to everyone on an individual level. Everybody eats, so everybody can benefit from this class if they choose to. I like to utilize my professional experience to create opportunities for students to learn hands-on by applying what they’re learning to their own lives, in addition to sharing real-life examples to demonstrate key concepts.
Is there a class assignment that exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring? Similarly, how does your approach inspire each student to push themselves beyond their own perceived limits?
I try to balance educating my students on the facts about my field while also encouraging them to form their own opinions about nutrition. Our class discussions probably best exemplify this approach. Opening the floor for students to share their opinions on potentially polarizing topics provides an opportunity for individuals’ beliefs, biases, and opinions to be challenged. Sometimes opinions are changed and sometimes they’re strengthened; but what’s just as important as becoming better informed on these topics is learning how to disagree with peers in a way that is respectful, mature, and constructive. This is a skill that will take them far in any field.
In your opinion, what is the single most important thing you impart to your students to help them succeed in your class and in the real world? Alternatively, what is the most critical advice you would offer any student as he / she embarks on a creative career?
I believe the single most important thing I impart to my students is teaching them to be informed consumers. My class addresses how to interpret nutrition research, making wise choices in the grocery store, restaurants, and safety in over-the-counter supplements. I won’t always be there to answer their questions, so my most important job is teaching them how to find the answers themselves.
The most critical advice I can offer a student embarking on a creative career is to take care of yourself. Care for your body and your health. Your body enables you to pursue your dreams, and your health will directly impact your daily life. You only get one body. Take care of it.