Adventures Lead to Distinction

Monday, October 8, 2012 1:30:00 AM

By Sara Woelfel

When she talks, her breathless words and racing sentences hint at her high energy and active lifestyle. Julie Ann Lickteig, a Stritch faculty member since 1971, is a climber, backpacker, world traveler, educator, researcher, and, most important to her, dietitian.

For her work and research, Lickteig has traveled to six continents, climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, conducted field research in Nepal at a Mount Everest base camp (18,000-foot elevation), worked at the 1984 Summer Olympics and the 1987 Pan-American Games, and become an international expert regarding the effects of high altitudes on nutrition. Her most challenging work was directing the food planning for the 1992-93 American Trans-Antarctic Women’s Expedition to the South Pole.

Her accomplishments as a registered dietitian now have led to her certification as a fellow of the American Dietetic Association (ADA), a status achieved by less than one percent of the association’s 70,000 members.

“This is good for my profession, not just for me personally,” Lickteig said. “I’m always pushing dietetics, because I believe it is a forgotten field. Other medical disciplines have similar high distinctions. It’s nice that our profession now has an opportunity for an equivalent status.”

To become a fellow, Lickteig prepared an extensive portfolio containing information about her education, work experience, professional achievements, and approach to practice. Her diverse experiences, foreign travels and unique research niche surpassed the minimum requirements for the certification.

Lickteig’s relationship with Stritch began in the former dietetics department and evolved to a position in Stritch’s College of Business and Management (CBM). In the early 1970s, when she joined the faculty and later became the director of the dietetic technician associate’s program, all business courses at Stritch were offered through her department. While that fact may seem surprising, Lickteig saw the dietetics department as a natural place for business courses.

“The food business is one of the largest industries in the world, from production to consumption,” she said. “In addition to controlling a large staff and sizable budgets, directors of large food services purchase millions of dollars of food and equipment. Some people think of dieticians in white uniforms dashing around in hospitals. That image has been replaced by clinical and administrative specialists. There are those professionals, including myself, who always desired to direct large food services.”

Lickteig continues to offer her management and human resources expertise as a CBM adjunct faculty member. She draws on her experiences to offer practical advice about international business, human resources, organizational structure, and communications.

“The simple fact is she’s good at what she does at Stritch,” said Dr. Peter Jonas, an associate professor of education and former Region I associate dean for CBM. “She can teach theory from a textbook. But the students like it best when she goes on a tangent. Julie Ann never tells her stories as a way of bragging or drawing attention to her accomplishments. She always returns back to the theory.”

In addition to teaching, researching, lecturing, and consulting, Lickteig has published many articles in specialty magazines and chapters for books. In the future, she plans to continue her adventures, and she dreams of expanding her horizons even further.

“Someday, I want to set foot on the seventh continent, Antarctica.”