Meet the 2023 - 2024 Administrative Council
Kelitha T. Anderson, MS, RDN, LDN is a wellness dietitian/nutritionist who feels everyone deserves to live well.
As a workshop facilitator, Kelitha has provided wellness workshops for government employees which promoted mindful eating habits, physical activity, and disease prevention. Kelitha has also worked with non-profit organizations to create nutrition programs, “peer-to-peer” wellness workshops, and facilitate group nutrition courses.
Serving wellness on a platter is dear to Kelitha’s heart. She believes in providing the tools needed for individuals to renew their eating patterns and reset their routines to make movement count.
Kelitha holds a Master of Science degree in dietetics and nutrition from Florida International University. As a Miami-based registered dietitian nutritionist and weight management specialist, she ultimately teaches how to live the "wholistic" life.
DIANA MESA, RD/LDN, CDCES
GABRIELA P ELIA
SOFIA ARRAUT, BS
Gabriella is passionate about community health through nutrition and wellness education. She is originally from Brazil and earned her Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration at Florida International University. After working in real estate development in Miami, she decided to pursue her interest in food and nutrition.
Gabriella first established her own specialty dessert catering business and later relocated to New York to work for a Michelin-starred chef.
She is currently pursuing a graduate degree in dietetics and nutrition at FIU and is excited to serve on the SFAND Board as Treasurer.
Gabriela Elia is currently pursuing a career as a registered dietitian at Florida International University (FIU). Originally from Brazil, Gabriela moved to the United States when she was 18 years old to study English and seek new experiences.
Gabriela's ultimate goal is to help people achieve a healthier lifestyle through proper nutrition and education. She is a firm believer in the power of food to heal and nourish the body and mind.
In her free time, Gabriela enjoys cooking and experimenting with new recipes, as well as staying active through physical activities. With her knowledge and passion, Gabriela is determined to make a positive impact on the lives of those she encounters.
TANIA RIVERA, PhD, MS, RD, LDN
Dr. Tania Rivera joined the Department of Dietetics and Nutrition in 2007. She is the director of the coordinated program and an assistant clinical professor.
Dr. Rivera teaches courses in medical nutrition therapy and clinical nutrition drawing from her experience as a dietitian at Baptist Hospital prior to joining the Florida International University family.
She has been awarded Outstanding Dietetic Educator of the Year from the Academy of Dietetics and Nutrition and Greater Miami Dietitian from the Miami Dietetic Association.
Legislation and Advocacy Chair
Natalie Castro is the Nutrition and Wellness Manager at Baptist Health South Florida. She oversees the food and nutrition policy for the organization, ensuring a healthier food environment for employees, patients and the community.
Ms. Castro earned a bachelor’s degree in nutrition and dietetics from Florida International University and a master’s degree in nutrition and exercise science with an emphasis on cognitive behavioral therapy, from State University of New York at Buffalo.
She is certified in adult weight management by the Academy of Nutrition. She counsels patients with digestive disorders through her private practice and runs the local support group, Gluten Free South Florida for individuals and families managing Celiac Disease.
Whether as a patient advocate or wanting to change a process, Ms. Castro is determined to take action and make her voice heard. Over the years, her work has been published in several peer-reviewed medical journals. She was born and raised in Miami.
She enjoys running outdoors and spending quality time with her husband and daughter.
PAULA H. MENDELSON, MPH, RDN/LDN, CCN
Functional medicine nutrition, auto-immune/inflammatory conditions, blood sugar management, metabolic syndrome and insulin resistance, cholesterol and triglyceride management, blood pressure, overweight, sports nutrition, pregnancy, lactation and infertility, osteoporosis, menopausal related issues, digestive disorders, gluten sensitivity, food allergies and food sensitivity testing, professional quality supplement recommendations
Community Action Chair
Registered Dietitian and Florida licensed Dietitian/Nutritionist passionate about the community's health and well-being. Well-versed in lactation education and maternal-child health and nutrition counseling.
Ability to share evidence-based research and recommendations while using knowledge and experience of health and nutrition to educate the community.
HANNAH CALHOUN, MSDN, Dietetic Intern
Social Media Chair
Hannah earned her Master of Science in Dietetics and Nutrition from Florida International University in May of 2023 and is now completing the dietetic internship.
Hannah has two years of experience working with eating disorders in the residential level of care as well as post-hospitalization and intensive outpatient levels of care. Outside of work and school, she enjoys posting uplifting, evidence-based information on her nutrition Instagram account @every.body.nutrition.
SU-NUI ESCOBAR, DCN, RDN, FAND
Dr. Su-Nui Escobar is a doctor in clinical nutrition, registered dietitian-nutritionist, menopause expert, and spokesperson for over 15 years. Su-Nui is a former Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics spokesperson and former SFAND president.
Su-Nui is a blogger who specializes in menopause and weight loss. With her blog attracting over 40,000 monthly visitors, she is a trusted source of information in this domain.