Heartiest congratulations to the IMU Nutrition and Dietetics staff and students for bagging 4 podium-finishing awards and 1 outstanding award at the 28th Malaysian Dietitians’ Association Hybrid Conference 2023 held at the Connexion Conference & Event Centre (CCEC)!
This conference is an annual gathering organised by the Malaysian Dietitians’ Association for dietitians in different fields to gain new insights and inspiration to take back to their practices. It is also a homecoming event for most dietetic graduates across the nation.
There were a variety of workshops and panel discussions lined up to cater for the needs of those in their early as well as mid of their career progression. Tailoring to the theme of “Empowering Leaders in Dietetics”, there were also platforms for the dietetic students and practicing dietitians to share case studies encountered in their practices and research findings! Let’s take a moment to applaud all the IMU staff and students for shining brightly during the conference presentation.
Vivi Ann Thu Pui Ka from the cohort of DN120 and her research team won the 3rd prize for the best student poster research presentation for her research titled “Food Preference and Food Fussiness Among Malaysian Chinese Children Aged 7 to 12 Years: A Cross-Sectional Survey”, unravelling the importance of nutrition among school children.
“This marks my first time joining the MDA Conference, and I am beyond grateful for this small milestone that my team and I have achieved. It is a testament to the countless hours of hard work, dedication and collaboration! I couldn’t have achieved this without the invaluable guidance of my supervisor, Dr Yang Wai Yew. Super happy to be part of this fulfilling experience and to have had learning opportunities throughout the research process!” says Vivi Ann Thu Pui Ka (DN120).
In addition to that, two final year Dietetics with Nutrition students from the cohort of DN119, Connie Ung and Nathaniel Keshan Rajah won the 2nd prize for the best student oral research presentation and the 3rd prize for the best student oral case study presentation, respectively, marking a remarkable end to their pursuit of a dietetic degree in IMU.
“At first, I did not expect to be nominated for the research oral presentation. I was worried because I am not a confident public speaker. I am grateful that I have a team of supportive supervisors and friends who have been constantly giving me assurance throughout the process. I would like to encourage everyone who is like me, to be proud on your study and take it as a chance to let others know about it.” says Connie Ung Kee Lee (DN119)
“Having never presented at a conference before, the initial preparation felt like quite a daunting task. I was really touched and extremely grateful to my supervisor and clinical educators for the constructive feedback and moral support I received during the preparation to help me improve and calm my nerves. That gave me the extra peace of mind to present confidently during the actual event. Hence, I would also like to take this chance to express my gratitude towards all my lecturers and clinical instructors for going the extra mile to guide me during the whole process,” says Nathaneil Keshan Rajah (DN119).
Moving from undergraduate to postgraduate studies, Dr Wong Ting Xuan from the PhD in Medical and Health Sciences, who is currently a lecturer in IMU Nutrition and Dietetics Department, bagged the 2nd prize for the best postgraduate PhD thesis award as a recognition for her dedication to research in dietetic field.
“The journey of doing research is about working on something a little bit every day and it will end up with something massive one day. My postgraduate journey started with excitement and later filled with twists and turns, including the pandemic. Through the storms, my supervisors chased my dark clouds away and my journey ended beautifully with a rainbow. I am forever grateful to them and IMU for believing in me and making my distant dream come true,” says Dr Wong Ting Xuan, N&D, IMU.
Keeping the flame alight for those who to imparting skills and knowledge to the next generation, Alina Ita Azhar received the outstanding clinical instructor award of the year for her great dedication in upholding the quality of the dietetic graduates from IMU. This award also signifies an educator’s heart of gold who has walked the extra miles in shaping future dietitians who are competent not only in knowledge and skills, but also attitudes.
“Being an educator lies in the attitude of teaching. Undeniably there are times when you receive harsh criticisms. Don’t allow that to demotivate you. Allow yourself to get validation from those who know your work best, that what you do every day is good – and good enough. For that, I’d like to thank my CI team (every person who has come and gone) for keeping me grounded and to my Head of Division, past and present, for the assurance when I felt uncertain,” says Alina Ita Azhar, N&D, IMU
IMU N&D has come far with the unwavering support from all the faculty members in nurturing young minds. In addition to that, the team continues to believe in upskilling within themselves to uphold the legacy of the leading private medical and health sciences university in the country. Heartiest congratulations to the N&D department for achieving greater height from one year to another!
Winners at the 28th Malaysian Dietitians’ Association Hybrid Conference 2023
Best Student Research Poster Presentation (3rd Prize): Vivi Ann Thu Pui Ka
Food Preference and Food Fussiness Among Malaysian Chinese Children Aged 7 to 12 Years: A Cross-Sectional Survey
Dr Yang Wai Yew
Vanessa Shannon Fernanda, Dr Ong Shu Hwa, Dr Nenad Naumovski, Dr Rati Jani
Best Student Oral Research Presentation (2nd Prize) : Connie Ung Kee Lee
Maternal Feeding Practices, Household Food Security, and Child Picky Eating Among Malaysian Mothers During COVID-19 Pandemic
Dr Yang Wai Yew
Ong Yi Xuan, Dr Kanimolli A/P Arasu
Best Student Oral Case Study Presentation (3rd Prize): Nathaniel Keshan Rajah
Nutritional Conundra of a Special Needs Toddler with Burn Injury
Alina Ita Azhar, Puan Noor Zarirah
Best Postgraduate PhD Thesis (2nd Prize): Dr Wong Ting Xuan
A Randomised Controlled Trial of Perioperative Oral Nutrition Supplementation in Patients Undergoing Elective Surgery for Breast and Colorectal Cancer
Prof Dr Winnie Chee Siew Swee
Dr Chen Seong Ting, Dr Ong Shu Hwa
Outstanding Clinical Instructor Award: Alina Ita Azhar
Written by Dr Wong Ting Xuan