It is a delight and an honor to recognize the many accomplishments of PVCC’s 2021 Outstanding Alumni honoree, Lisa Thompson as well as highlight her continued engagement with PVCC as a Proud Puma Alumna.
In Fall 2016, although Lisa had an MBA and experience in the business world, she decided to follow her passion and began pursuing an Associate in Applied Science degree in Dietetic Technology (DT). Lisa was a stellar student, exceeding expectations in the classroom and at her practicum sites. She was a team player and provided leadership to peers in both her classroom projects and through her exceptional work ethic and professionalism.
While a student in the DT program, Lisa was placed at Mayo Clinic Hospital for her Medical Nutrition Therapy (MNT) practicum experience. Before she graduated in May 2018, or had earned her Dietetic Technician, Registered (DTR) credential, Lisa was hired part-time by Mayo as a Clinical Dietetic Technician. Soon after, she received her DTR, and now works for Mayo as a full-time Clinical DTR. At Mayo, she helped elevate the DTR profession through her exceptional knowledge, skills and abilities in patient education, screening, assessment and care. She is an excellent teacher and presents at their community events and classes, such as their “Live It” Culinary Program for patients, as well as other weight management and healthy eating initiatives. These include a “Healthy Eating on a Budget Workshop” for Maricopa County Department of Health Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Program, a partnership with Mayo Clinic Dietitians to provide Culinary classes to their patients, and a Food Demonstration Training for community health/food educators that participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) educational program. Lisa’s involvement has been participating in, as well as assisting in the recruitment and supervision of current Dietetic Techs, general nutrition and health science students. In addition, she is now giving back to PVCC by serving as a preceptor at Mayo for current DT student interns.
While working as a Clinical DTR, Lisa continued to stay involved with PVCC’s Dietetic Technology program, initially as a Lab Assistant, then as PVCC’s Lab Tech Coordinator.
Whenever the PVCC Health Sciences Department had a community event, Lisa always eagerly assisted. She worked with the Fitness Center to present a variety of Wellness Breakout Sessions, she traveled to middle and high schools promoting Healthy Eating and Lifestyles, as well as Careers in the Health Sciences, presented at the Puma Explorers Middle School event on campus, YMCA Heart Healthy events, PVCC’s STEAMtastic and was instrumental in representing the Health Sciences at the Healthy Aging Expo in Cave Creek. Lisa is a role model and representative for our Health and Exercise Science Division.
When PVCC’s Integrated Health Science Center (IHSC) opened in February 2019, Lisa became a key player and used both her strong culinary and leadership skills to help implement multiple community IHSC events. These included the Grand Opening Event, “Cooking on a Healthy Budget Workshop” for the Palomino Promise Neighborhood moms and their children, live cooking demonstrations, and Lisa was involved with several other events that are currently on hold due to COVID.
In Spring 2020, Lisa became an Adjunct Faculty Member in PVCC’s Food and Nutrition (FON) department and began teaching the Nutrition Assessment Lab at the Black Mountain Campus. When approached later that semester to develop a Sustainable Cooking class for the department, Lisa enthusiastically accepted the challenge. She not only developed the course, but also wrote a grant and developed Open Educational Resources for it! Then when COVID hit, she converted the class into an online format.
Lisa’s goals are to continue to serve her patients and community, as well as expand on her role as an educator and mentor for students.
It is with great pleasure that we recognize PVCC Graduate, Lab Coordinator, Faculty, Preceptor and Community Leader, Lisa Thompson, MBA DTR, for the 2021 Paradise Valley Community College Outstanding Alumni of the Year Award.