Jean Ragalie Carr
Thursday, May 2, 2013
Jean Ragalie-Carr remembers one particularly influential course she took as an undergraduate at UIC: a class on ethnic food. In the course, students were expected to prepare and share dishes, something that she cites as a foundation for what would be her future career in nutrition. “The class made the teaching real life, not just theoretical,” she said.
Ragalie-Carr is the president of the National Dairy Council and treasurer/secretary for Action for Healthy Kids. In 30 years of working in the areas of nutrition, health, and wellness, she has worked in agencies, associations, corporations and health care settings. She has worked for the National Dairy Council and dairy farm families since 1996. In partnership with the National Football League, Ragalie-Carr helped create and lead Fuel Up to Play 60, one of the nation’s largest proven school health and wellness programs, making a difference in more than 73,000 schools and in children’s lives.
With the Academy and Feeding America, her current work revolves around educating people about a healthy, sustainable food supply to feed the world. One of the four principal architects of Action for Healthy Kids, Ragalie-Carr has served on its board of directors since 2002. She has worked with organizations including the White House’s Let’s Move! program and in partnerships with the School Nutrition Association; President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition; and World Wildlife Fund.
Ragalie-Carr described three components of her time at UIC that contributed to her success. “First, it provided me a rock-solid, top-tier education,” she says. “Second, it gave me exposure to a variety of ways in which I could use that education in the workforce. And third, I got the experience I needed through internships and experiential courses.”
While reflecting on her career thus far, Ragalie-Carr has some advice for dietitians new to the field: “Be open to many diverse experiences. UIC is a great credential, and it can open many doors for you. When I graduated, I had no idea I’d be able to do all this in 30 years. There is so much more to come for you.”