Five Questions with Kate Sayre
For Kate Sayre, food is love.
Name: Kate Sayre
Position: Outreach services coordinator, Practice and Continuing Education (PACE) Division, Department of Nutrition
Years at Gillings: 3.5 (I came here as a student in 2009 and worked for about 2.5 years with the Diet and Physical Activity Core; I returned to UNC about a year ago in my new role.)
What I do at Gillings (and why I love it): I work with the Department of Nutrition’s PACE Division, which has the mission of bridging education with real-world practice. My role within PACE is to coordinate continuing education trainings for registered dietitians from any background and to support the UNC Gillings Master of Public Health/Registered Dietitian (MPH/RD) program. My position was created a year ago, when it became clear that we could do more to support students after graduation to help them continue learning and maintain their accreditation.
One reason I like my job is because I love the perk of biking to campus. I have a Carolina blue bike – you might have noticed me pedaling around! I also love the group I work with. We call ourselves a team and we mean it. I get satisfaction out of supporting the profession that I’m in and teaching MPH/RD students who are excited about the field they are about to join. I also work as a practicing RD, so PACE’s target audience is made up of my peers.
Outside of the Gillings School: I offer nutrition counseling on Saturdays from my office in Durham. I love working directly with clients, so I wanted to continue that practice and keep up my counseling skills even while taking an administrative role at UNC. I specialize in disordered eating and nutrition therapy for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), but I also do a lot of consultations centered on weight management. Something most people don’t realize is how much the State Health Plan supports nutrition counseling. On the 80/20 plan, my services are covered in full, for an unlimited number of visits! You can learn more at www.kathrynsayre.com/.
I’m passionate about food: and one of my favorite things to do is bake. A while back, another UNC Gillings alumna and I took a weeklong baking course with King Arthur Flour. I had always been intimidated by yeast breads, but I learned that they’re just a great parallel to life. All that’s in them is flour, water, salt and yeast. If you mess up, it’s simple enough to look back, figure out what went wrong and try again. I also love to bake sweet things. My husband jokes that I’ll own a bakery one day and go against what typical dietitians represent, but I am a big believer in all things in moderation!
Something most people don’t know about me: is that I guest blog twice a month for Chapel Hill Magazine. My posts range from restaurant reviews to recipe ideas to thoughts on nutrition during pregnancy. (I’m expecting in September.) Something else that’s a bit unique is that my husband and I live in a house built in the 1940s. It’s in the heart of downtown Chapel Hill, and we completely gutted and renovated it. Because cooking is so important to me, we installed a 13-foot kitchen island. It’s not a big place, so literally half the downstairs is the kitchen! My husband is a builder and managed that whole process… I like to say that, between us, we do food and shelter. I love cooking for people and hosting them, because I really do believe that food is love.
If I could have anyone over for dinner, I’d invite: Kennedy Meeks, of the UNC basketball team. After joining the team, he worked hard and lost a significant amount of weight. That’s a great thing, but it feels like the game announcers take every opportunity to mention it. I think they should focus on his playing! I’m a huge Carolina basketball fan, and I’m happy Meeks is coming back for his senior year. So yeah, I’d like to feed that young man!
Kate was nominated by Joy Cox, a social/clinical research assistant with the Department of Nutrition, who said, “Kate has a LOT going on beyond her work with the Gillings School: nutrition knowledge; practicing dietitian; fantastic chef; phenomenal baker and a baby on the way!”