Alyssa Fernandes, MS, RD, elected in 2020, serves on the Board of Directors of NHAND in the position of Professional Development Chair-Elect assisting the Committee Chair in planning educational programs for members. In addition, Alyssa serves as Miss New Hampshire USA 2020, a preliminary title within the Miss Universe Organization. The Miss Universe organization is an international organization that empowers women to realize their goals through experiences that build self-confidence and create opportunities for success.
Alyssa was raised in Merrimack, New Hampshire and grew up dancing for as long as she can remember. “As a dancer, I spent a lot of time in front of a mirror which drove me to become critical of my body at a young age.” Alyssa recalls, “I was 15 years old when I decided I needed to lose weight, so I started to exercise excessively and gathered nutrition advice from beauty magazines and Google searches. At the time, I thought nutrition was my passion, but it was my obsession and I was sabotaging my health.” Alyssa went on to earn her bachelor’s degree in Dietetics and Nutrition from Florida International University and earned her master’s degree in Dietetics and Nutrition from the University of North Florida as part of their Master of Science/Dietetic Internship (MS/DI) program. She claims her journey to becoming a Registered Dietitian helped her understand how she was struggling as a teenager and inspires her work every day.
Alyssa currently serves as an Onsite Wellness Coordinator and Health Coach at Wellness Workdays, a corporate wellness company based out of Hingham, Massachusetts. She shares her time between MilliporeSigma in Jaffrey, New Hampshire and Worthen Industries in Nashua, New Hampshire to facilitate each company’s employee wellness program, which includes creating promotional wellness materials, presenting educational seminars, providing one-on-one health coaching, and more. She also served (remotely) as the Campus Dietitian at Plymouth State University throughout the pandemic, assisting students as they adapt to living and eating away from home.
As Miss New Hampshire USA, Alyssa uses her platform to advocate for evidence-based nutrition education to protect others from misinformation and eradicate diet culture. Throughout her reign, she has collaborated with the New Hampshire Science Cafe, the Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains, the New Hampshire Heart Association, the United Way, and more.