Southeast Region Director

Sarah Ryan, MS, RDN, LD

Area of Residence: The Woodlands, TX

Twitter – @SarahRyanRD



Sarah Ryan is a foodie fascinated by the way food connects with each of us personally. She earned a Bachelor of Science in food, nutrition and dietetics as well as a Master of Science in human sciences from Stephen F. Austin State University – she’s also certified in food allergy training by the Commission on Dietetic Registration. Sarah is a Health and Wellness Program Coordinator for Dairy MAX. Previously, Sarah worked as District Dietitian at the University of Houston System & Victoria College for Aramark.

Sarah is a Media Representative for the Texas Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics and serves as the Director for the Southeast Region of the Texas Academy. Sarah is the recent recipient of the Recognized Young Dietitian of the Year Award (2018) and was previously awarded the Media Award (2017) from the Texas Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics. Sarah resides in Houston.

Sarah’s Favorite Quote– “Context and memory play powerful roles in all the truly great meals in one’s life.”— Anthony Bourdain

Southeast Region Director-Elect

Julia Jarrell, RDN, LD

Area of Residence: Houston, TX


Julia Jarrell, RDN is the nutrition education dietitian overseeing food literacy for Houston ISD. She is passionate about teaching nutrition in ways that involve gardening, cooking demonstrations, Farm to My Plate, and encouraging children to understand local fresh foods. Julia has served on the Southeast Region’s Leadership Team as Networking coordinator and Area Liaison Coordinator over the past two years and she is excited to continue serving the region as the Director-elect!

Julia’s Favorite Quote- “Big slices, that’s how you cut the cake.” – Lil Wayne



Southeast Region Legislative


Kayla Cueva, RDN

Area of Residence: Houston, TX



Kayla Cueva recently completed her Dietetic Internship through the University of Houston. She is excited to be the Legislative Coordinator for the Texas Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics-Southeast Region and is looking forward to this year. In her spare time, you can find her experimenting in the kitchen, searching for Houston’s best coffee shops and restaurants or at the gym chasing dreams of being an athlete.

Kayla’s Favorite Quote – ” PROCAFFEINATING: (n) the tendency to not start anything until you’ve had a cup of coffee.”


Southeast Region Networking


Jill Roberts, MCN, RDN, LD

Area of Residence: The Woodlands, TX





Jill is a registered dietitian nutritionist (MCN, RDN, LD) and culinary enthusiast. She enjoys spending time in the kitchen and creating healthy and delicious meals for her family. Her second love is being outdoors, she grew up on a farm and still loves growing a garden and staying active by running, biking and taking sunset walks with her husband in the evening. Her passion is to help families develop healthy habits and lifestyles that support their health and wellness at any age. She owns LivingUp Wellness, a private practice in The Woodlands, TX that specializes in family nutrition with a wellness focus. She sees a variety of patients which include pre-natal to post-natal care and infants through adults. She helps them achieving lasting change through my programs where I meet with them regularly to develop their mindset, provide individualized strategies and keep clients accountable to their health goals.

Jill’s Favorite Quote – “If you really want to make a friend, go to someone’s house and eat with him…the people who give you their food give you their heart.” Cesar Chavez


Southeast Region Awards &

Scholarships Coordinator

Marie Whelan, MS, RDN, LD

Area of Residence: Houston, TX


Marie Whelen, MS, RDN, LD has a passion for teaching and coaching focused on improving food safety, sanitation, and nutrition. By explaining the reasons behind regulations and recommendations, she empowers clients to produce lasting changes. Marie teaches nutrition at The Art Institute of Houston and consults on menu planning, sanitation, and health promotion. She has been a food safety specialist for more than 20 years and holds degrees from Louisiana State University and the MGH Institute of Health Professions, with an internship at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Marie’s Favorite Quote– “Seafood/fish, because I’m originally from south Louisiana, but choosing favorites is like asking a mother which child is her favorite.”



Southeast Region Seminar


Tara Taylor, MS, RD, LD

Area of Residence: Bryan, TX



Tara Taylor is an Aggie grad and completed a BS in 2004 in Nutrition Sciences and a MS in 2006 in Clinical Exercise Physiology.  She has been working at St. Joseph Regional Health Center in Bryan as the Clinical Nutrition Manager for the past 5-6 years.  She has a passion for trauma and critical care.  This will be her 3rd year serving as the Area Liaison for the Bryan/College Station area and her first year coordinating the three regional conferences.  In her spare time, she has two boys that keep her very busy.  She also enjoys running and has ran several half marathons in the past year with the hope of completing a full marathon within the next year.  She also enjoys playing ultimate Frisbee and baking.

Tara’s Favorite Quote – “Will run for cupcakes or wine.”





Southeast Region Area Liaison


Helen Yuan, MS, RD, LD

Area of Residence: Houston, TX






Helen Yuan has been working as an outpatient clinical dietitian for Harris Health System over the past year, after completing her dietetic internship program at the Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center and a Masters degree in Nutritional Science at Texas Woman’s University. She enjoys swing dancing and live music, and believes sourdough bread is the greatest gift that has ever been bestowed upon humanity.

Helen’s Favorite Quote – “It is not accidental that all phenomena of human life are dominated by the search for daily bread – the oldest link connecting all living things, man included, with the surrounding nature.” -Ivan Pavlov

Southeast Region Academy Delegate Karen Beathard