Sunitha Zechariah, MS, RD, LD, CNSC, FAND
Doctorate Status: Candidate
Concentration: Health Outcomes
Advisor: Dr. Leigh Lehman
Sunitha is Director of the Dietetic Internship Program at Morrison Healthcare
University of Wollongong, New South Wales.
I earned my undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in nutrition, food service management,
and dietetics in India. In 1996, I was awarded a scholarship by the Australian government
to pursue my master's degree through research in food and nutrition at the
I am registered dietitian with Morrison Healthcare (MHC) for the last 11 years, currently
serving as the Director of Dietetic Internship. Previously, I worked as the Division
Clinical Director overseeing the largest clinical division in MHC. Prior to that,
I was the Clinical Nutrition Manager at University Hospital, Augusta, GA and Regional
CNM overseeing facilities in GA and SC. Prior to moving to USA in 2004, I was a nutrition
faculty at a technical university in Singapore. I received one of the five Model Science Teachers award.
I also serve as a Reviewer for Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and
Dietetic (ACEND) and as the Professional Development Chair for the Georgia Academy
of Nutrition and Dietetics (GAND). I have also served in numerous capacities in the
local Augusta District Dietetic Association (ADDA).
I earned my Bachelors and Masters in Nutrition & Dietetics in India. I was awarded
a full scholarship from the Australian government for a three-year research based
MS Honors program which I completed at the University of Wollongong, NSW, Australia.
I also completed course requirements at the University of Alabama.
I have extensive multinational experience working in countries including India, Australia
and Singapore in varied food & nutrition related positions, before moving to USA in
As the new education model for registered dietitians is moving toward competency based
education, my goal is to become an expert in the development and validation of competency
based assessment tools to facilitate demonstration of mastery in dietitian competencies
and performances. The PhD program in Applied Health Sciences would greatly benefit
me in achieving this goal.
I was awarded the 2018 Outstanding Dietitian of the Year for Georgia by the Georgia
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The Outstanding Dietitian of the Year award recognizes
members who have made distinguished contributions to advancing the profession and
have demonstrated outstanding leadership and service in the state of Georgia.