Rendell “Trey” Smith, a graduate of Keiser University’s Lakeland Campus, recently returned to connect with former Professor of Dietetics and Nutrition Dr. Deborah Hix and to share insights with her Nutrition in Health and Exercise class students.

While recalling details relating to his early life in Montgomery, Alabama, his lifelong interest in sports, and other motivations to earn his Bachelor of Science degree in Dietetics and Nutrition, Smith shared that he now enjoys serving civilians and fellow Veterans.

After being deployed to Afghanistan in 2014 for seven months and stationed at Bagram Air Base, Smith, an Airforce Technical Sergeant at the time, began to roadmap his course to pursue his degree and certification as a Registered Dietetics and Nutritionist (RDN).  After enrolling in Keiser University online classes in 2016 to complete prerequisite courses, he joined the Lakeland campus as a full-time student in 2017 but again received notice that he would be deployed midway through the term, this time to Ahmad Al-Jaber Airbase, in Kuwait. “Keiser worked with me during my military training obligations throughout the entire degree program,” he said while sharing that it was the university’s flexible schedules designed to accommodate working adults that made it possible to earn his degree while also serving his country. Following a transition to a part-time Air Force Reserve status position, he further pursued his goal of becoming an RDN.  “It was one of the best decisions that I could have made,” said Smith who now enjoys embracing the health and fitness industry along with his wife Atenea Lara, the owner of Inspiring Fitness.

Now the owner-operator of Alpha Omega Athletics, a Christian health and wellness lifestyle brand, Smith’s Advanced Nutrition Enterprise (SANE) practice is up and running. He continues to reside in Lakeland, Florida and also serves fellow Veterans as a Performance Dietitian at the Veteran’s Affairs/Department of Defense Post Deployment Rehabilitation and Evaluation Program (PREP), and part-time in the Air Force Reserves as a Human Performance Optimization Dietitian, currently at the rank of 1st Lieutenant. In addition to eventually earning his doctoral degree in the field, Smith hopes to conduct research in the human performance optimization setting and to produce peer-reviewed research literature in this particular modality. He currently holds certifications as a Board-Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics (CSSD) and Exercise Specialist through the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM). He also sits on the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics exam research and development committee for the CSSD exam.

Keiser University’s Bachelor of Science degree in Dietetics and Nutrition combines clinical evaluation, community concerns, and food service management into a profession long valued for its service to individuals and the community at large and focused on optimal nutrition and the prevention of chronic diseases. The Coordinated Program in Dietetics is unique since the didactic instruction is integrated with the supervised practice.  Following graduation, students are eligible to take the Registered Dietitian/Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RD/RDN) examination.  Upon successful completion of this exam, the RD/RDN is eligible for licensure in Florida or any other state that licenses dietitians/nutritionists.

Keiser University is a private, independent, non-profit university serving nearly 20,000 students at 21 Florida campuses, online, and two international sites. Co-founded in 1977 by Chancellor Arthur Keiser, Ph.D., and Evelyn Keiser, the university now offers over 100 degree programs, ranging from associate to doctoral levels. As a designated Hispanic-serving institution, Keiser University is a member of the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities. In 2024, it was ranked 21st in the U.S. for Social Mobility by U.S. News and World Report.

Lakeland Dietetics And Nutrition Alumnus Trey Smith Lower Res 2 24 - Keiser Alumnus Embraces Career In Dietetics And Nutrition, Gives Back To Fellow Veterans - Graduate Spotlight

Trey Smith, Keiser University Lakeland Campus Alumnus

Ku Lakeland Campus Professor Carla Savinon Rendell 039 Trey 039 Smith Emily Marrero Huertas Rawan Abulijabbar Dannya Doria Dr Susan Dethman And Sophia Mejia - Keiser Alumnus Embraces Career In Dietetics And Nutrition, Gives Back To Fellow Veterans - Graduate Spotlight

KU Lakeland Campus Professor Carla Savinon, Rendell ‘Trey’ Smith, Emily Marrero-Huertas, Rawan Abulijabbar, Dannya Doria, Dr. Susan Dethman and Sophia Mejia