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Alumni Success

Miami alumna eager to begin role as president-elect of Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

Deanne Brandstetter ’78 discovered her career path during blizzard

Deanne Brandstetter
Alumni Success

Miami alumna eager to begin role as president-elect of Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

Ohio’s blizzard of 1978 closed schools, roads, businesses, and more across the state.

But, it also opened a window into the future for Deanne Brandstetter. The 1978 Miami University alumna was in her final year on the Oxford campus and working as a student dining manager for Scott Hall when the famed winter storm hit in late January.

Brandstetter left her room in Tallawanda Hall and waded through 5-foot snow drifts to make it to work in the dining hall. Deliveries were halted because of the storm, so Brandstetter and a university cook emptied the freezer, refrigerator, and storage room to make impromptu dishes to feed Miami students.

“We cooked and cooked and served the food and cooked and served some more for a couple of days until things started to open up,” said Brandstetter, who is now the vice president of nutrition and wellness for the Compass Group, a leading foodservice and support services company. “That was what really started me down my particular path in the field of nutrition and dietetics.”

Recently voted as president-elect of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Brandstetter will assume the role of president for the world’s largest organization of food and nutrition professionals in June 2025.

Until then, she is eager to learn the ropes and support an academy that represents more than 112,000 credentialed nutrition and dietetics practitioners.

The vast number of diverse careers and options is one of the things that most excites Brandstetter as she prepares for her new role.

“From the time I was at Miami until today, the number of different career paths has expanded exponentially,” Brandstetter said. “Today you have nutritionists working in sustainability, agriculture, corporate well-being, as social media influencers, and all kinds of novel roles with food companies and in food safety.

“I’m looking forward to connecting with these different practitioners and figuring out how we can better communicate all of the opportunities.”

Connection is one thing Brandstetter keeps with her alma mater. A member of the College of Education, Health, and Society’s Advisory Council, Brandstetter is passionate about bringing her industry expertise back to help and inform current Miami students.

She’s also part of a group that is in the process of establishing a scholarship in the name of Susan Rudge, a Miami professor who served as a mentor for Brandstetter and many others.

It is exciting to have Deanne Brandstetter, a Miami University nutrition and dietetic program alumna, class of ’78, and current EHS Advisory Council member, become president of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics,” said Gretchen Brademan, director of Miami’s Didactic Program in Dietetics. “She will be an outstanding leader of an organization that represents over 100,000 experts in the field of nutrition throughout the nation.”

Earning the president position through a nomination process and then an election by her peers was gratifying for Brandstetter, who previously served on the academy’s board of directors as treasurer.

“It’s just a tremendous honor to be considered by the nominating committee, let alone being elected by the many members,” Brandstetter said.

Brandstetter will serve as academy president from June 1, 2025, to May 31, 2026, before spending a year as past-president.

She still has the Miami Student newspaper clipping from 1978, when she kept Scott Hall’s dining services going, despite numerous obstacles.

“It was a lot of hard work, but it was very exciting to be able to do that kind of thing on the fly,” Brandstetter said. “I realized then that if I went in the direction of food service, my life would never be boring. People need to be fed.”