Ashley Galloway Thomas Receives South Carolina Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ Young Dietitian of the Year Award

By  //  May 2, 2017

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dedicated to teaching people how to cook, eat and live healthy

Registered dietician and Brevard native Ashley Galloway Thomas (above left) accepts the South Carolina Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (SCAND) Young Dietitian of the Year Award last week at the SCAND annual conference in Columbia, SC. (Image for Space Coast Daily)

Indialantic native Ashley Galloway Thomas recently received the South Carolina Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (SCAND) Young Dietitian of the Year Award for both her district and the state.

SCAND is South Carolina’s premiere nutrition and dietetics professional association, promoting optimal nutrition and empowering its members to be the nation’s food and nutrition leaders by providing the tools and resources needed by its members to grow and develop in the many different roles dieticians play in our health and wellbeing.

Ashley, who graduated from Holy Trinity Academy and received her Master’s degree in Nutrition from Florida State University, has since worked as a clinical dietitian in a variety of settings and applied her expertise in a combination of roles, all of which exhibit her concern for nutrition education and health promotion.

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The SCAND Young Dietitian of the Year Award recognizes members who have demonstrated concern for the promotion of optimal health and nutritional status of the population, and leadership through legislation, research, education, management, or employment.

Ashley’s strong overall “body of work” earned her the award.

She voluntarily serves as the Public Policy Partners Coordinator of SCAND, a role in which she recruits dietitians in the state of South Carolina and mobilizes them to build relationships with their legislators so that legislators understand who SCAND is, what they do and what kind of positive impact the organization has on the health care system.

Ashley Galloway Thomas (second from the right), who has served as the Public Policy Partners Coordinator of SCAND for the past two years, cuts up here with her colleagues in their booth at the SCAND Annual Meeting last week.

“Serving as SCAND’s Public Policy Partners Coordinator for the past two years has given me the opportunity to meet so many intelligent and innovative dietitians who make this organization worth being part of,” said Ashley.

Her “day job” involves serving as the Southeast District Dietitian for Aramark, which provides an industry-leading health and wellness platform through customized, comprehensive food service solutions that promote healthy living. Ashley provides nutrition services for students and staff at four universities along the coast of SC, and serves as a National Menu Labeling co-lead for the Southeast region, assisting universities in maintaining compliance with the new FDA National Menu Labeling law.

She is also Nutrition Instructor for a graduate dental program at the Medical University of South Carolina, and serves as a mentor and preceptor for dietetic interns.

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A very strong attribute that certainly turned the heads of the SCAND awards selection committee was Ashley’s impressive media presence. She hosts a very popular site called TheFreshBeet, which is a space she uses to share healthy recipes and nutrition information and is dedicated to teaching people how to cook, eat and live healthy.

She has been a frequent guest columnist for both Space Coast Daily online and SpaceCoastDaily.com magazine. The video below is a sample of her video series, “The Grocery Guide,” in which she provides invaluable information to her viewers to help sort out the often-confusing claims of food marketers and assist consumers at making the most nutritious choices when shopping at the grocery store.

Reflecting on juggling several different professional roles and very effective programs, Ashley said, “When I look back on the past year and consider the work it took to fulfill these roles, it exhausts me! But, having my hands in several different projects is what keeps me motivated.”

She admits to being a workaholic and believes it’s in the genes.

“I’m always keeping myself busy and blame my parents, Bob and Bev Galloway for setting the tone for constructive ‘business.’ My mother especially is the queen of keeping busy. But my husband and I enjoy life like this and wouldn’t have it any other way.”

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Ashley’s husband, David Thomas, is an Exercise Physiologist at the College of Charleston in the Department of Health & Human Performance, where he teaches exercise science and serves as the lab manager for department research.

“David is extremely supportive in all that I do and I’m not sure that I could have juggled everything I did this year without him,” she said. “He understands and respects my career goals, is patient when I work on projects at home, encourages me on days I feel like giving up, and reminds me to take time out for myself.”

Ashley and husband David Thomas: “David is extremely supportive in all that I do and I’m not sure that I could have juggled everything I did this year without him,” she said. “He understands and respects my career goals, is patient when I work on projects at home, encourages me on days I feel like giving up, and reminds me to take time out for myself.”

Staying busy and being ambitious go hand-in-hand for Ashley. She describes herself as an ambitious person by nature that sometimes finds it hard to turn that off. “I am so grateful to have found a life partner who helps me flip that switch so I don’t forget to enjoy other aspects of life.”

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