LAND Conference Virtual Webinars

LAND is proud to be able to bring some of our conference speakers to you virtually. Sessions are $10 for LAND members, and $15 for non-members. Students may attend free – please email for registration link from your school email address.

Once you pay for your session you will be taken to the webinar registration page. Please be sure to register for the webinar in order to receive the link to join via email. If you have any issues, please reach out to for help resolving them.

April 27, 12pm: Empowering the Weight Loss Patient for Success

Speaker: Emily Thevis is a native of Louisiana and graduate of Louisiana State University. She is a Registered Dietitian, Certified Specialist in Obesity and Weight Management, and Certified Diabetes Educator. She is a Bariatric Coordinators at Memorial Hermann Memorial City in Houston, TX. She has previously worked in direct patient care in bariatrics and diabetes, has served as Director of Education for a Diabetes and Obesity practice, and is trained as a Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Clinical Reviewer. Emily is a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and was the Excellence in Emerging Practice award winner in 2019 for the Weight Management Dietetic Practice Group. She is also a member of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric surgery and serves on the Integrated Health Communications Committee. 

Description: Emily will discuss what patient engagement is and the role is plays in today’s healthcare, as well as how it effects patient outcomes. We will identify barriers to patient engagement and ways to overcome this.

May 4, 12:30pm: Protecting the Public and Your Practice

Speakers: Martina Musmeci Salles, MPH, RDN, LDN, FAND is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Self-Employed as a Consultant, Nutrition Expert, Health Educator, Health Coach, and Sports Dietitian/Nutritionist.  She is the Nutritionist for NFL Players Association New Orleans Chapter for Former Players and serves as a member of the scholarship committee. Ms. Salles has served as chair of the Louisiana Board of Examiners in Dietetics and Nutrition (LBEDN) since 2014 and as a board member since 2013.  Ms. Salles is a Fellow of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (FAND), member of the Delta Omega National Honorary Society in Public Health, and an Emeritus Member of the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine Alumni Board. 


Monica Pierson-McDaniels, MS, RDN, LDN graduated from Southern University and A&M College with an undergraduate degree in Food and Nutritional Sciences in 1996. Upon completion of college, she entered the work force seeking more practical experience. After working for about 1 ½ years, Monica completed her dietetic internship at North Oaks Health System in 1998. Monica also earned her Masters of Science in Clinical Nutrition in 2006 from Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science. Monica has worked in a variety of dietetic/nutrition settings, including hospital, public health, university, and geriatrics. Description: Attend this session and find out more about Louisiana Board of Examiners in Dietetics and Nutrition (LBEDN).  Learn the details about Dietetics/Nutrition Practice Act and the board’s role in protecting the health, safety, and welfare of the public.  This session will explain the complaint process, discuss cases, and actions taken. As Nutrition and Dietetic Practitioners, we have an obligation to report statute violations and uphold the standards of our profession.

May 7th, 12pm: Do Our Genes Determine What We Eat?

Speaker: Dr. Ahmed El-Sohemy is a Full Professor at the University of Toronto and held a Canada Research Chair in Nutrigenomics. He earned his PhD in Nutritional Sciences from the University of Toronto and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard. The goal of his research is to understand how genetics can explain why some people respond differently from others to the same foods, beverages and supplements they consume on health and performance. Dr. El-Sohemy has published over 150 peer-reviewed articles and has given over 200 invited talks. He is on the editorial board of 10 scientific and medical journals and served as an expert reviewer for more than 30 other journals and 12 granting agencies. Dr. El-Sohemy has served on Health Canada’s Scientific Advisory Board and several international expert advisory panels. He received the Centrum Foundation New Scientist Award for Outstanding Research by the Canadian Nutrition Society and both the Mark Bieber Professional Award and Stanley Wallach Award by the American College of Nutrition. He is the founder of Nutrigenomix Inc. and Chair’s the company’s International Science Advisory Board. Description: There is increasing awareness among researchers, educators, healthcare professionals and consumers that the one-size-fits-all, population-based approach to nutritional guidance is inefficient and sometimes ineffective. Numerous studies have now shown that variations in certain genes can explain why some individuals respond differently from others to the same foods, beverages and supplements they consume for health. Randomized controlled trials of genetic information on personalized nutrition also showed that giving DNA-based dietary advice is superior to population-based recommendations for improving compliance. A number of consumer genetic testing services for health and wellness are available, but their clinical utility and validity remains controversial. With increasing consumer demand, there is a need for dietitians to have sufficient knowledge to understand the science behind these tests, determine their benefits and limitations and learn which ones provide clinically actionable information.

May 14, 12pm: Community Nutrition Strategies

Speaker: Judith Myhand, MS is the Senior Instructor/Foods and Nutrition, School of Human Ecology, Louisiana State University. She received her BS Human Nutrition and Food in and Masters in Human Nutrition and Food: MS in Human Ecology from Louisiana State University. She will be talking about Community Nutrition program called Ingredients for Hope that provides LSU dietetics and nutrition students to volunteer in the community to teach nutrition, meal planning, culinary skills, food preparation. This program is coordinated with the Mayor’s programs.

Description: I’m hoping to engage LAND webinar participants in a conversation about what I have identified as the ingredients for hope for reducing health disparity in the community.  Here are some of those ingredients:  Dietetics students are a crucial part of the Ingredients for Hope team; future health professionals committed to improving and maintaining good health to the community.  Students get hands on experience working in a team to plan, organize and implement effective programs that will alleviate the health disparity (and I contend, hopelessness) caused by a poor diet. I teach the perfect set of classes for planting the seeds for budding activists in this struggle: Food Theory and Skills (AKA Food Lab), Lifecycle Nutrition and Food and Culture. My goal is to bring sustainable, strong, nutrition based, comprehensive and culturally appropriate cooking and food distribution programs to the community to meet the needs of those who need it the most. That takes a village and commitment to the goals that I will list (and encourage those participating in the webinar to add to) and describe.  The commitment part is crucial because this can be a messy endeavor. As part of this endeavor, Ingredients for Hope, the hands-on cooking class that teaches many skills and provides ingredient distribution, has blossomed.  I will talk about this wonderful program and what we’ve done with it up to now and what we hope to do in the future.  In this webinar I will share my experiences, goals for the future and open up the conversation on how to move forward from here.

You can access the recording at 


May 15 – 12pm: The Winner’s Edge: How Nutrition Builds Champions

Speaker: Zach Bennett serves as the Director of Football Nutrition for the LSU Tigers football program. Bennett’s focus is to provide comprehensive nutrition services for the LSU football team in conjunction with the staff of the newly-opened Performance Nutrition Center. Bennett came to LSU following two seasons as an assistant sports dietitian at the University of Texas where he worked with the football, men’s and women’s basketball, and track & field teams. Bennett earned his bachelor’s degree in Dietetics from the University of Georgia in 2013 and his master’s in exercise science from Florida State University in 2015. He spent his first year post-master’s with Georgia’s Performance Nutrition department as a Sports Nutrition Assistant for the men’s basketball, men’s and women’s golf, and women’s tennis teams. Bennett followed that experience with a Performance Nutrition Fellowship at the University of Michigan where he worked with the women’s basketball, field hockey, wrestling, men’s and women’s tennis, men’s and women’s golf, and water polo teams. Bennett is an active member of the Collegiate and Professional Sports Dietitians Association (CPSDA). His is a board-certified specialist in sports dietetics (CSSD) and a certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS).

Description: This session will describe the details of an elite collegiate nutrition program for football athletes. It will cover the performance dietitian’s role in the off-season, preseason, and in-season while covering details including enhancing strength & conditioning, optimizing body composition, injury prevention, reduction in recovery time, performance fueling, & peaking at the right time.