Megan Godsey named 2019 Outstanding Senior for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
Megan Godsey, a senior human nutrition, foods, and exercise major in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, developed a love for the sciences in high school and became interested in pursuing a medical-related career. Attending Virginia Tech was an easy decision for the third-generation Hokie, and her major was an obvious choice as well.
“I chose dietetics because I enjoy the complex convergence of culture, science, and psychology the field provides,” Godsey said.
During her junior year, Godsey’s career goals came into clearer focus as in-major courses provided personal exposure to real-world scenarios in dietetics. Additionally, a field study in a local hospital created a passion for patient-centered, compassionate care when she saw firsthand how the complexities of nutrition, the medical world, and health converged. The field study also enhanced Godsey’s critical thinking skills, allowing her to grow professionally and personally.
“I plan to encompass preventative care with nutrition as a cornerstone to overall wellness,” said Godsey, who looks eagerly to her future as a dietitian in the medical arena.
Being part of, and giving back to, the campus community is very important to the Rockingham, Virginia, native. Throughout her time at Virginia Tech, Godsey not only excelled academically, she served the department and university in numerous ways. Helping others gave her insight into the powerful impact of giving.
“Volunteering creates a synergy among people and spaces that results in something really special. My experiences helped form my career goals and pushed me to discover the type of citizen I want to be,” Godsey said.
Godsey’s leadership and community service roles outside of the classroom include serving as a teaching assistant for HNFE, a team captain for Relay for Life, a team leader for the Big Event, and a student tutor for Athlete Academic Support Services. She also worked as a student nutrition counselor for HNFE and was president of Chi Omega Fraternity.
As a summer intern with Virginia’s Family Nutrition Program, Godsey gained more insight into building community partnerships that benefit multiple stakeholders and individuals. Her experience with the Waynesboro Farmers Market focused on community nutrition and included cooking demonstrations, basic nutrition education, outreach, and data collection.
“All of these roles helped me to promote the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program’s benefit doubling program, and I thoroughly enjoyed making close connections with local farmers, nutrition professionals, and other community members,” Godsey said.
Jenna Clarke, manager of the Waynesboro market, has high praise for the senior.
“Megan was outstanding with customers. She engaged with a diverse audience in countless ways, and many returned each week to interact with her because she always went above and beyond to help all those she encountered,” Clarke said.
Heather Cox, who directs HNFE’s Didactic Program in Dietetics, serves as Godsey’s mentor in the department.
“With an overall 4.0 GPA, it is clear Megan is very capable of academic success in our rigorous science-based program," Cox said. "However, what has truly impressed me are Megan’s leadership and interpersonal skills. She is an excellent communicator and demonstrates the ability to encourage the best from others. Her strengths lie in her desire to constantly learn, to reach for more, and to serve, all with a positive attitude. Megan has the innate curiosity, intelligence, empathy, work ethic, and service focus to be successful in anything she desires to do.”
As the personnel advisor for the Sigma Lambda Chapter of Chi Omega Fraternity at Virginia Tech, Megan Atkinson has worked with many students over the years, but she praised Godsey for standing out as a positive agent of change for the Greek community.
“Megan has balanced the well-being of individual members with the best interests of the fraternity as she excelled with a difficult course load and internships, all while managing a significant challenge in her personal life,” Atkinson said.
Godsey’s contributions to the fraternity have also been recognized at the national level. She was one of 24 collegians selected to attend the Nancy Walton Laurie Leadership Institute of Chi Omega at the national headquarters in Memphis.
“As I reflect on my education, I am so grateful that I chose a university that sparked my personal development,” Godsey said. “The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences allowed me to have real-world experiences that have prepared me for my career, and I have gained invaluable problem-solving skills and unshakable resiliency. The university as a whole has encouraged me through Ut Prosim (That I May Serve) to serve others throughout my college years, but also to use my education to better the world we live in.”
Godsey was recently accepted into the University of Virginia Health System dietetic internship program, and upon completion, will sit for the national registered dietitian nutritionist examination with the eventual goal of becoming a health care administrator.
Written by Sherri Songer