Durham Chapel Hill District

If you would like to join the Durham Chapel Hill Dietetic Association, click here

If you would like to be listed as a dietitian in our directory, click here and fill out the information!

Read our newsletters: 

Fall 2017

Fall 2018

Winter 2018

Spring 2019







Melissa Walter, MPH, RD, LDN
Melissa has a background in psychology and sustainable design; however, she chose to explore a long-time passion for nutrition and recently completed nutrition degrees at North Carolina Central University and the University of North Carolina, while studying and volunteering in oncology and integrative medicine. Melissa most recently developed a corner store food access initiative for the NC Department of Agriculture. She is now working on nutrition projects within the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health, and is involved in community outreach for the School, teaching primarily on brain health and aging. In her spare time, you'll find Melissa and her her pup, Birdie, working to become a therapy team--and using this as an excuse to sit outdoors at LOTS of local restaurants and sample foods from LOTS of local farms!


Raina Goldstein Bunnag, MPH, RD, LDN
Past President
Raina is an elementary school nutritionist at the Durham County Department of Public Health. In this role she teaches nutrition and partners with school and community groups to create healthier school environments.  She thinks she has the coolest job in the world! Raina is passionate about helping to create policy, systems and environmental changes to help make the healthy choice the easy choice where people live, work, learn and play. Raina was on the board of DCHDA as President, President-elect, and the Legislative Chair.


Jasmine Burroughs, MS, RD, LDN
Jasmine is the owner of Food That Fits U, a nutrition counseling practice in Durham, and she also works as a research dietitian at the Duke University Digital Health Science Center. Jasmine earned her master's from North Carolina Central University and began her own private practice aimed at promoting healthy eating practices in communities of color. While at Duke she has been working on various behavioral intervention trials that focus on weight and chronic disease management in medically vulnerable populations. Jasmine is also involved with various community groups supporting healthy eating, food access, and food security. Outside of work Jasmine enjoys hosting a monthly, plant-based community cooking series called Family Dinner as well as spending time with her son, gardening, and hiking. 


Braedyn Mallard, BS
Braedyn was born in Georgia but considers NC home. Many years ago he earned a bachelor's degree in History from NC State University and subsequently worked in the grocery industry for almost a decade, learning so much about food and the food system along the way. He recently returned to school to earn a second bachelor's degree in Nutrition at NC Central University, where he also completed his dietetic internship and will be earning a Master's of Science in Nutrition in December 2019. Braedyn is the Donation Station and Food Ambassador Programs at Farmer Foodshare in Durham, NC. He lives in a little blue house in Durham with his partner, their coonhound Finnegan, Maggie the cat, and a very large (and ever expanding) vegetable garden.


Christine Tenekjian, MPH, RD, LDN
Communications Chair 
Christine is a clinical dietitian at the Duke University Diet and Fitness Center, a residential style, multidisciplinary obesity treatment facility. She received her undergraduate degree in Biology at the University of Virginia and completed her Master of Public Health and Dietetic Internship at UNC Chapel Hill. She holds a Certificate of Training in Adult Weight Management from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and is a Certified Personal Trainer with the National Academy of Sports Medicine. Christine became a dietitian because she wanted to help people learn how to eat for a healthy and energized life. She works with clients for weight management, lipid modification, blood sugar and diabetes control, gastrointestinal issues, sports nutrition, sustainable eating, and general wellness. She loves to empower and educate individuals and groups to create practical solutions for better eating in the context of their busy livesOutside of work Christine enjoys singing, cooking, and staying active with gardening, hiking/camping, jogging, and yoga. Her mantra: Enjoy what you want, in moderation and mindfulness, and always consider the resources it cost to get the food to your plate.


Julie Ives, BS, RD, LDN 
Newsletter/Email Communications 
Julie has a BA in Biology from UNC Asheville, and in spring of 2018 completed her BS in Family and Consumer Science with a concentration in Food and Nutrition from NCCU. She is currently a Dietetic Intern at Duke University Hospital. This will be Julie’s second year as the Student Liaison for the DCHDA! She has enjoyed working at Duke University Hospital as a Dietetic Technician for Pediatric and Infant Nutrition, as well as in the fields of early childhood education in the Durham community and primatology at the Duke Lemur Center. Julie began her pursuit in dietetics to learn more about nutrition and its impact on health and disease after she and her daughter were diagnosed with celiac disease. She hopes to merge her passions for science, nutrition, and education with the goal of becoming a dietitian to improve nutrition therapy, nutrition education, and food access for children and families.


Laura Niederer, RDN, LDN
Social Media Communications
Laura is a Clinical Dietitian at Duke University Hospital and a Clinical Research Coordinator for the Duke School of Medicine. She received her B.S. in Nutrition and Dietetics from Marywood University in 2018 and is a recent graduate of Duke University Hospital's Dietetic Internship program. Laura is on DCHDA's social media team and enjoys engaging with members through colorful graphics and photos. In her free time, Laura enjoys serving at her local church, kayaking on Jordan Lake, hiking throughout the Triangle, and cheering on the Philadelphia Eagles. Laura aspires to continue building a career in research while maintaining a strong foundation in clinical dietetics. 


Olivia Dong, PhD, MPH, RD, LDN
Web Communications 
Olivia is a postdoctoral fellow at the Duke Center for Applied Genomics and Precision Medicine where her research is focused on evaluating precision medicine initiatives in the VA health system. Olivia has worked at the UNC Nutrition Research Institute as a research dietitian and interned with Nutrition in Medicine, an international online education initiative at UNC that creates pertinent nutrition instruction for medical professionals. Olivia is looking forward to another great year with DCHDA! 


Judy Lester, MS, RDN, CSG, LDN
Nominating Chair
A native of North Carolina, Judy graduated from Auburn University, completed her dietetic internship at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and obtained a Master's degree in Nutrition from Meredith College. Judy is an outpatient dietitian at UNC Health Care working with renal patients in pre- and post-transplant as well as in the nephrology clinic. Judy has served as NCDA Treasurer, Co-chair of the 2011 Annual Meeting, Webmaster, chair of several presidential appointed committees, was awarded in 2011 the Just Do 2. Judy has held various positions on the DCHDA board, including President, Nominating Chair, Treasurer, Career Guidance Chair, and Food Security Chair. When not at work, you can find Judy busy with her family, happily cooking, gardening, playing bridge, reading, needle pointing, knitting or attending Auburn football games. 


Jessica Soldavini, MPH, RD, LDN
Membership Chair
Jessica is a doctoral student in the Department of Nutrition at UNC-Chapel Hill and works with No Kid Hungry NC at the UNC Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention. Her work focuses on food insecurity, federal nutrition programs, and cooking/nutrition education. She is also adjunct faculty with the [email protected] program and teaches nutrition policy. She completed a BS in nutritional sciences – dietetics from UC Berkeley, MPH from UCLA, and dietetic internship through the VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System. Prior to coming to UNC-Chapel Hill, Jessica worked for a local health department on a nutrition education and obesity prevention program and breastfeeding promotion project.



Lauren Fiabane, MPH/RD student
Student Liaison 
Lauren is completing the MPH-RD program at UNC Gillings School of Public Health. She has a background in design and business development. Lauren is devoted to finding creative solutions to empower the world to heal itself through a mindful approach to public health and nutrition.



DCHDA Ballot 2020