Mridul Datta and Kristi Baldwin have joined the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition. Datta is the new director of the Dietetic Internship program, and Baldwin is the new online course designer. Contributed photos.

Datta, Baldwin join FSHN Department

Earlier this month, two new individuals joined the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition - Mridul Datta and Kristi Baldwin. Datta is the new director of the Dietetic Internship program, while Baldwin is the new online course designer.

Datta takes lead of Dietetic Internship program

Datta holds a bachelor’s degree in community nutrition from the University of Delhi in India, as well as a master’s degree in clinical nutrition from East Tennessee State University. Her doctorate degree is from the University of North Carolina-Greensboro, in the area of human/clinical nutrition.

She comes to Iowa State from Purdue University, where she was the director of the undergraduate coordinated program in dietetics. Datta said what drew her to the position at Iowa State was the ability to focus on a larger dietetics program while responding to the changing needs of dietetics education.

Beginning Jan. 1, 2024, all registered dietitians must have a master’s degree in order to sit for the registration exam for dietitian nutritionists. Iowa State is taking a proactive approach to that national requirement by offering the Professional Practice in Dietetics (MPP-D) program, beginning in the fall 2018 semester. Datta is looking forward to working with clinicians and faculty in the department to develop and grow the dietetic internship and new master’s degree program.

A newcomer to Iowa, Datta also is looking forward to breaking out her camera to capture various images as she explores and familiarizes herself with the state.

Baldwin looking forward to combining technology, education work

As the new online course designer, Baldwin will provide assistance to department faculty with their online courses, especially for the new Master’s of Professional Practice in Dietetics program, which will launch this fall.

Baldwin comes to Iowa State with experience in teaching online courses for a K-12 program and serving as an instructional designer for Great Falls College Montana State University. While at the community college, she worked to create a flexible learning environment classroom that served as a model for updating other classrooms on campus.

She said what drew her to the online course designer position at Iowa State was the ability to combine technology and education work.

“I love technology and I love working in education. I knew that this opportunity would be an exciting way to bring the two together in designing online courses for the department,” Baldwin said.

As she begins her new position, she is looking forward to working with faculty to come up with innovative strategies to engage students with online content.

“I think technology is providing us with so many new opportunities for communicating and demonstrating understanding that we can utilize to help our online environments feel more personal; it’s just a matter of ensuring that the tools utilized for doing this are made to be as user-friendly as possible,” she said.

Baldwin and her family have been in Ames for the past year. They moved here after her husband, John, accepted a position as an ROTC instructor for the Air Force at Iowa State. The couple has two sons, Nathan, 11, and Joshua, 9, as well as a 3-year-old chocolate lab named Duke.

In her spare time, Baldwin enjoys reading and shopping.