The Solmaz Institute is a unique framework for the provision of clinic services, outreach programs and interdisciplinary internship opportunities for students in the College of Health, Exercise, and Sports Science on the Lenoir-Rhyne University Hickory campus. The main emphasis is on addressing the dilemma of obesity in children and adolescents in this region.
The Institute offers a post baccalaureate internship training for those applicants who wish to become licensed as registered dietitians. Interested students should apply through graduate programs (click).
The institute was established in 2011 with a generous gift of $3 million from Gungor and Diana Solmaz of Denver, NC. Mr Solmaz, a native of Turkey, was a businessman who wanted to do something positive in the way of healthy living for his adopted country and local community. Mr and Mrs. Solmaz were very concerned about the health of youth and the prevailing problems of obesity.
“To address the issue of childhood obesity by providing nutritional, exercise, and co-morbidity management/counseling to children and their families in the Hickory, NC community with attention given to persons who are economically disadvantaged, while providing academic and professional opportunities for student learning and service”
Dietetic Intern Kendal Christensen working at Frye Regional Hospital in Hickory, NC as part of her administrative rotation. This on-site activity allows her to enhance her knowledge and skills in healthy meal preparation, food safety, and nutrition education.