Spotlight on: Acacia Puddester, RD
Global Organization of EPA and DHA Omega-3 (GOED) and University Course Instructor
Having moved to Toronto to pursue a Master of Health Science in Nutrition Communications, Acacia has brought back an expertise in knowledge translation and nutrition media to her work in Nova Scotia. She has 'dipped her toes' in various work and volunteer experiences since graduating in 2018, including community nutrition, cooking classes, media coverage, adult education, program planning, research assisting, advocacy, and communications and graphic design. She loves the diversity of opportunities in the dietetic field and is eager to learn and explore.
Currently, Acacia is working with the Global Organization of EPA and DHA Omega-3 (GOED) to help create a database that will house all of the research worldwide on omega-3. This first-of-its-kind database will help healthcare professionals make more informed decisions on omega-3s and to stay up to date on this ever-changing research area.
Acacia has also returned to Acadia University since graduating to teach. She is now teaching her fourth course there and has been absolutely loving developing relationships with students, working alongside the faculty as a colleague, and building a strong skillset in adult education.
Where is your favourite place to be in Nova Scotia?
Anywhere alongside the water! In the summer you can find me on one of the beaches, and otherwise, walking along the Dartmouth waterfront. The ocean just feels good for the soul. Growing up in Newfoundland might have something to do with that.
What skill or talent would you most like to have?
I would love to be able to sing! My partner and I go out to see live music all the time – we’ve made good friends with fellow regulars, and he, my sister, and two close friends are incredibly musical too. It feels like I’m surrounded by musicians and I admire them so much.
What do you look forward to each day in your job?
The little moments that fill you up. They’ve come in many forms even just over the little time I’ve been a dietitian. My first was near the end of my internship; I met the sweetest man who’d had diabetes for many years and felt he wasn’t in a place to “tackle it”. He came in that day ready for change. After a great conversation he shook my hand and said he has never felt so heard and supported before.
My most recent was during class presentations when students reflected on their submissions to the NSIS Student Science Writing Challenge. One student shared that they learned to be more confident in their talents – participating in a challenge like this isn’t something they thought they could do before. They later learned that their paper was so strong that it moved onto the final round of judging. I teared up.