FIU Dietetics & Nutrition Ph.D. student selected as FIU Real Triumph Graduate

Priscilla Clayton, a Ph.D. student from the Department of Dietetics & Nutrition, has been selected as a Florida International University Real Triumph Graduate.

In Arlington, Texas, a high school-aged Priscilla was eager to learn about academic opportunities that could help her attend college.

Together with her parents, Priscilla quickly learned she needed extra guidance to help her navigate the world of college admissions and finances. As a first-generation student, Priscilla credits the unwavering support from her teachers and counselors for setting her on the path to success.

With their guidance, Priscilla excelled in high school and was accepted to Abilene Christian University, where she graduated with her B.S. in dietetics and nutrition. After graduation and eager to continue her studies, Priscilla was twice-awarded the prestigious McNair Fellowship, helping fund her master’s and doctoral degrees in dietetics and nutrition at FIU.

As a doctoral student, she joined forces with Dr. Cristina Palacios, who runs the MetA-Bone Trial, a randomized clinical control trial funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) that aims to help children grow strong and healthy bones. Priscilla’s work through the study informed her dissertation, which focused on the hydration status and association of body composition and bone mass in children and adolescents.

Priscilla has served as president of the Association for Graduate Students in Dietetics and Nutrition, presented 17 abstracts at national conferences, trained research assistants and staff on laboratory protocols, and volunteered with the Nicklaus Children’s Hospital.

After graduation, Priscilla will head to Bethesda, Maryland, for a post-doctoral fellowship with the NIH. She hopes to continue to grow as a future investigator and to serve as a mentor for others.

Real Triumph Graduates are a diverse group of graduates in background, nationality, interests and ambitions — shining examples of what makes FIU students so special. They have accomplished extraordinary things during their time at the university and have shown what it means to be truly Real Triumphs.