Registered dietician nourishes student potential

Lehigh’s Registered Dietitian uses the position’s freedom to expand Lehigh Dining’s efforts to educate students about the importance of nutrition and expand dining opportunities on campus.

Keri Lasky, who joined the Lehigh Dining team in March 2022, said she has big goals for the program.

“I’ve seen a lot of really great growth opportunities here,” Lasky said. “In my interview here, there was a lot of support for creative minds in terms of building the program, which I really liked.”

Lasky says one of her biggest goals in developing the program at Lehigh is to establish distinctive nutritional branding across campus under the motto “Nourish Your Potential,” the slogan for her expansion efforts.

According to the Lehigh Dining website, The Nourish Your Potential program is Lehigh Dining’s commitment to the health and well-being of its students.

Lasky initiated and developed The Seven Dimensions of Nutritional Wellness for students and staff at Lehigh. These include basic nutrition skills, special dietary needs, healthy cooking, better body composition, brain and energy boost, stress management and active needs.

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Lasky received her bachelor’s degree from Cedar Crest College and her master’s degree from St. Elizabeth University. After graduating, she worked at a local hospital and for a grocery chain as a registered dietitian before coming to Lehigh.

Lasky said one of her most popular events is “Foodie Fridays,” a tasting and nutrition education event held on the last Friday of every month, except for November and December this year. The goal of Foodie Friday is to give Lehigh students a chance to sample possible incoming snacks and dining options at places like Upper Cort and Market X.

“We have so many options (on campus) that things get confusing,” Lasky said. “This takes the time to really highlight some of the products that we offer…it helps students find out what’s available.”

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Lasky said she gave out 90 samples at the first event, and she expects turnout to increase as the year progresses.

She said she considers herself creative and intellectual, and her scientific background allows her to be successful in the role.

“I wear multiple hats,” Lasky said. “It’s management, it’s creating social media, it’s consulting, it’s operations. So there are a lot of different hats I wear and it can be exhausting to switch between them.”

Keri Lasky, Lehigh’s Registered Dietitian, offers nutritional advice and counseling to students during Foodie Friday at the Taylor Gym. Lasky was hired by the university’s food service provider in March 2016. (Chrissy DiBrigida/B&W Contributor)

Lasky offers nutritional counseling appointments at the Taylor Gym on Wednesdays and Fridays at the Health and Wellness Center.

Julia McDougall, ’25, a member of the women’s rowing team, is celiac and met Lasky last spring. McDougall said Lasky helped her find alternative options in the dining rooms as her diet is gluten-free and vegetarian.

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McDougall said she appreciates Lasky’s work and hopes that nutrition education will become a more prominent part of athletic programs.

“It’s really helpful to have them as a resource whether you have dietary restrictions or not,” McDougall said. “It’s really helpful to just make sure you’re eating a balanced diet and getting what your body needs.”

Maria Urban, ’25, a member of the women’s softball team, said Lasky’s presence on campus will be beneficial to the students.

Urban said having Lasky available for advice in the athletic department will be helpful for athletes struggling with nutrition.

“Sometimes it can be very difficult to find the right balance of what to eat,” Urban said. “So I think there’s definitely room for improvement.”

Lasky tells the students to keep an eye on it Lehigh Dining’s social media and website for educational presentations and events coming up this academic year.

“I’m here for support,” Lasky said. “If you need me, my doors are open to you.”

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