Southern (S-AZAND)

 “As the President of SAZAND for the 2018-2019 membership year, I look forward to supporting the dietetics community including students, interns and professionals during the upcoming year. The 2018-2019 SAZAND Board has worked hard to develop an exciting and diverse calendar of events which will emphasize professional and community service, networking and professional development. Additionally, we look forward to increasing our engagement with members in the upcoming year through our new monthly newsletter (open to all) and Yahoo Group (for current members only). Please take a moment to learn about your board and be sure to join us this year. Thank you for your membership and welcome to all members new and returning.” 

Ashlee Linares-Gaffer, MS, RDN

President, 2018-2019

Southern Arizona Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics


Join the Southern District! Click here to become a member.

Stay connected! Subscribe to our S-AZAND Monlthy Newsletter. Please click here


Meet the Board:

Ashlee Linares-Gaffer, MS, RDN: President

Ashlee Linares-Gaffer is Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and an Assistant Professor of Practice in the Department of Nutritional Sciences at the University of Arizona. She teaches two courses each semester and in addition to formal instruction, Ashlee is a coordinator of the Department’s dietetic internship program known as the Individualized Supervised Practice Pathway. This pathway provides direct training and supervision of 9+ dietetic interns each year, who upon completion of the program, will be eligible to sit for the exam to earn the Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Credential. The ISPP Program at UA integrates agricultural education and experiential learning activities in addition to the standard dietetic training areas in order to promote food and agricultural literacy among future nutrition professionals. Ashlee is also a coordinator for SNAC, the academic advising center which serves 650+ undergraduates majoring in nutrition at UA. Under her leadership, the center leads departmental recruitment initiatives, provides numerous academic support services, and facilitates peer networking.

Ashlee is highly active in promoting increased food and agricultural literacy among dietetics students and professionals, as well as in promoting diversity in the profession of dietetics. In addition to serving as the President for the Southern Arizona District of the Arizona Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics 2018-2019 membership year, Ashlee also serves as the Diversity Liaison to the Arizona Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AZAND) and the Academy’s Member Interest Group, Cultures of Gender and Age (COGA).  



Veronica (Ronnie) Mullins, MS, RDN, CSCS: President-Elect

Ronnie Mullins is an Assistant Professor of Practice in the Department of Nutritional Sciences at the University of Arizona where she teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in sports nutrition and food systems. She is passionate about teaching future Dietitians and was awarded the 2017 Bart Cardon Early Faculty Teaching Award, recognizing and honoring unusual dedication and outstanding performance by a member of the teaching faculty who is within their first 5 years of teaching at the university. 

Ronnie has spent her career working with athletes and active individuals. She worked as a sports nutrition specialist at Canyon Ranch Resort Spa in Tucson, Arizona; as the team nutritionist in the National Football League for the Arizona Cardinals; and as a member of the Nutrition Division of the Combined Event Athlete Development Project working with male and female U.S.A. Olympic track and field athletes. After earning her certification as a Strength and Conditioning Specialist from the National Strength and Conditioning Association in 2004, Ronnie worked privately with athletes and active individuals as a personal trainer and nutrition coach. In addition to her work with athletes, Ronnie has written many publications and workshops on nutrition and body composition including co-authoring, Winning Sports Nutrition 2nd Edition, a continuing education course for sports and nutrition professionals published in 2013. 

Additionally, Ronnie has a keen interest in food and nutrition issues related to the food system including food culture, food policy, and food insecurity. She is currently teaching an undergraduate course which she developed in sustainable nutrition and food systems. Ronnie is the acting State Policy Representative for the Arizona Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AZ-AND) and the President Elect for the Southern Arizona Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (S-AZAND).



Dr. Maria Plant: Past President  

Dr. Plant has worked as a clinical dietitian for over 15 years in acute care. As a clinical dietitian she provided coverage for many units including Critical Care, Medical, Pediatrics, Oncology, and Surgical units.  Her past work experience also has included management of Clinical Nutrition and Diabetes Education. During her time as a clinical dietitian and manager, she had the opportunity to oversee and mentor dietetic interns, nutrition staff and volunteers.  Her interest in nutrition and higher education led her to her most current position as Assistant Professor of Practice at the University of Arizona Nutritional Sciences Program starting Fall of 2016.  She currently also works with the clinical team at Banner University's Adult Cystic Fibrosis Clinic.  Dr. Plant obtained her Bachelor of Science degree from Rutgers University and a Master’s degree and Doctoral Degree in Clinical Nutrition from Rutgers, School of Health Professions.



Megan Bosworth: Secretary 

Megan grew up in Fort Worth, Texas before moving to East Texas to attend Stephen F. Austin State University. There, she earned her Bachelor's in dietetics and Master's in human sciences. She also completed her dietetic internship through SFASU in 2016. She has worked in food service and retail nutrition and is now employed as clinical dietitian for St. Joseph's hospital in Tucson. Megan enjoys trying new restaurants, seeing movies, and serving the Tucson/Davis Monthan community through multiple organizations.



Whitney Wischki: Treasurer 

Whitney Wischki is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and has served on the Southern District board for several years. Whitney currently works with members of U.S. Air Force at Davis Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson, AZ. In addition to serving as the SAZAND treasurer, Whitney is active in AZAND public policy initiatives and advocacy for the profession of dietetics.



Ashley Klewer: Membership Chair

Ashley Klewer, RDN, is a newly registered dietitian in Tucson. Ashley received her bachelor’s degree in Nutritional Sciences from the University of Arizona. She completed the ISPP internship with the University of Arizona in 2017 and now works with WIC at El Rio Health. Ashley is excited to be more involved with SAZAND as the membership chair and looks forward to supporting its members and promoting the growth of our district chapter.



Eliza Short: Communications Chair

Eliza Short, RD, is currently a master’s student in the Nutritional Sciences Graduate Program at the University of Arizona. She is originally from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and received her BS in Community-Medical Nutrition and Dietetics from Viterbo University in 2016. She worked one year as a clinical dietitian in the acute care setting until continuing her education at the UA. In her free time, she loves to run, mountain bike, and cook. Eliza is looking forward to becoming more involved in the nutrition professional community in southern Arizona. 



Rachel Reid: Nominating Committee Co-Chair

Rachel Reid, RD, CEDRD is a registered dietitian and eating disorder specialist. Rachel has a passion for helping people develop a healthy relationship with food and guiding individuals to understand the emotional connection behind their eating choices. Rachel received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Arizona, majoring in Nutritional Science. She then completed her dietetic internship at Banner University Medical Center in 2016. Rachel is currently employed at Sierra Tucson Treatment Center and also works in the private practice setting specializing in eating disorders. Rachel is the co-chair of the nominating committee of the Southern Arizona chapter of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. She looks forward to continuing to promote growth and development within the chapter and board.



Caitlyn Schull: Nominating Committee Co-Chair 

Caitlyn Schull, RDN, MEd, is a Tucson native and proud Wildcat. Her education includes a Nutritional Sciences degree as well as a Master’s in Education from the University of Arizona. Caitlyn completed the ISPP Dietetic Internship in 2014. She has had experience as a personal trainer, and as a dietitian in multiple hospital, rehab, fitness, and private settings. Caitlyn is enthusiastic about her opportunity to work for Sierra Tucson and continues to meet with patients in her out-patient practice at El Con Health and Wellness.  She is excited to bring her extroverted personality to SAZAND to help recruit new members and leaders on the nominating committee!





Alexandra Mouw: Nominating Committee Co-Chair 

Alexandra Mouw graduated from the University of Arizona in 2012 and completed the Maricopa County WIC Track Dietetic Internship in 2015. She will graduate from ASU in December 2018 with her Master of Science in Family and Human Development. Currently, Alexandra works as the senior RD for the Arizona WIC Program in Marana. She is the Southern AZ media liaison for the WIC Program and she is leading her agency’s pilot WIC Online program bringing virtual nutrition classes to rural and low-income communities. Alexandra volunteers her time as a preceptor for the UA ISSP Dietetic Internship and the Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara with the hopes of sharing her passion for counseling and maternal/child nutrition. She is also the Nominating Committee Co-Chair for the Southern Arizona Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Outside of building her dream career, Alexandra enjoys camping and hiking with her fiancé and their three dogs, petting sting rays at the Sonoran Desert Museum, and working on her vintage Ford Bronco. She is also learning Czech and has plans to obtain her private pilot’s license in 2019.