SDSU education prepared alum

Heather Mangan

Heather Mangan

Family Consumer Science Dean Laurie Nichols said she is the most famous FCS grad there is.

Ellyn Satter, a 1963 graduate, is a nutritionist, dietitian, lecturer and South Dakota State University alum.

She has a diploma in clinical social work and a private psychotherapy practice.

Satter specializes is psychodynamic psychotherapy and eating disorder management.

Satter likes to take her knowledge of nutrition and put it into written format.

She is the author of many publications including three books, “Child Of Mine: Feeding with Love” and “Good Sense, How To Get Your Child To Eat … But Not Too Much,” and “Secrets Of Feeding A Healthy Family.”

“I like writing and thinking and manipulating things into words,” she said.

Her current residency is in Madison Wis., where she received two master’s degrees.

She got her master’s in nutrition and social work from the University of Wisconsin.

Originally from Springfield S.D., Satter came to SDSU because it was the only school near by that had a home economic major. She was influenced by a high school home economics teacher to go into home economics.

“I liked her and it so much. I wanted to become a home-ec teacher,” she said. “But my plans to be a home-ec teacher didn’t last long.”

However, she was still interested in the family and consumer science department. She majored in foods and nutrition. Satter believed the program gave her the skills to go out into the workforce confidently.

“I always thought that the education at SDSU always prepared me to do what I wanted,” she said.

While at State, Satter kept busy.

She was involved in the home economics club, the Luthern student association, and the women’s branch of Gideon. She was involved in the Dakota Club, a group of cheerleaders.

She also enjoyed being a counselor while at SDSU.

Like many students today, Satter despised chemistry.

“I hated my semester of chemistry,” she said. “I studied until I drove myself crazy.”

Ironically, she enjoyed organic chemistry.

“I just found that interesting. I know my friends didn’t find it that interesting,”Satter said.

She enjoyed attending a school where the class sizes were relatively small.

Satter also enjoyed the friends she made and the bonds she formed with instructors.

“I always thought teachers took an interest in me,” she said.

Of all the lessons Satter learned while in college, independence was one of the most important.

“I learned that I could make my own way. I could choose where I wanted to go and what I wanted to do. Live a different sort of life than my parents,” she said.

There are many memories that Satter has of State, but one stands out as being the most humorous.

She remembers waking up one morning and walking outside. There was an enormous monster-like truck just sitting on the front of her residence hall. She said someone had driven it there as a joke. She found it funny.

Satter comes back to Brooking every three or four years. Last year she was back for her 40th reunion. Even though that shows how long Satter has been in her career, she isn’t ready to end it.

“I’m not ready to retire yet.”