Maricopa Emergency Management System Alert

FALL 2022 CLASSES ARE OPEN!  Enroll for Fall 2022 | Learning Options | Online Services  |  Student Relief Grant Information Updated - August 12, 2022
All PVCC employees, students and visitors are encouraged to wear face coverings while on campus. How to report Coronavirus (Covid19)

PVCC Dietician Student Joins Student Life Staff to Help Peers Excel

PVCC Dietician Student Joins Student Life Staff to Help Peers Excel

What do you get when you combine a business degree, marketing communications and sales experience with an emphasis in health and wellness as well as coaching? Tara Staley, Paradise Valley Community College dietician student and Student Life employee.

Staley’s life has literally come full circle in the past 25 years. Always maintaining her physical health through athletics and nutrition, Staley’s mental health was beginning to suffer working long hours in a job that paid the bills but didn’t necessarily feed her soul.

“I was burned out and it was time for me to do something for myself; something I enjoy,” Staley explained. “Nutrition has always been in my space and I’ve always enjoyed it and learned about it. I felt like pursuing my interest in nutrition was an unturned stone in my life.”

In 2017, Staley began pursuing a degree as a registered dietician (RD), a four-year degree that requires 1200 hours of interning. As often happens, life got in the way and it wasn’t until Spring 2021, Staley took a different approach to following her dreams and focused on a Nutrition and Dietetic Technician, Registered (NDTR) degree at PVCC, the only program of its kind offered in the Maricopa County Community College District.

While the RD requires a four-year bachelor’s program, the NDTR is a two-year associated program aimed at giving students the opportunity to test the waters and make sure it’s right for them before investing more time and money. In addition to the curriculum, the program integrates 400 hours of supervised, hands-on practice and internships that create opportunities for employment.

While pursuing her degree at PVCC, Staley has become an integral part of the Puma Community, frequently helping out at various events including Student Life’s monthly food distributions, where she met Mike Ho, Student Services director.

“Mike and I have had so many engaging conversations about our community and enhancing the lives of our students, not just through fun events and activities, but real career development, leadership opportunities and professional advancement that led to my current position,” Staley said.

As PVCC, along with the rest of the MCCCD system, strengthens its initiative on the Eight Dimensions of Wellness, PVCC’s Student Life has brought on Staley as Student Services Senior Specialist who ­­will work directly with students to raise awareness of the multitude of opportunities available through Student Life.

“I’m here to help people own their journey in their experience,” she said. “There is so much opportunity, practicality, and self-discovery at the community college level that you just aren’t exposed to in a four-year university setting. I’m here to make sure students take advantage of all PVCC has to offer them; not just the energy and fun, but the services as well.”

As new leadership comes aboard, Student Life is evolving as well, with a greater emphasis on the big picture. “We want to create an environment on campus where students feel they belong,” said Ho. “This means finding the right club, the right leadership opportunities and the right service project to help them be successful at PVCC.”

For more information about Student Life and PVCC’s clubs, visit the website or join us at Club Rush, 9a.m to 5 p.m., September 6-8 on PVCC’s Union Hills campus, KSC Student Union, 18401 N. 32nd St. Phoenix.

Share this article