Denee Bex was looking for a way to combine her love of food with a desire to give back to her community when she decided to study nutrition.
She initially thought about becoming a chef but found the necessary training was “crazy expensive.” A partial scholarship to Arizona State University helped solidify her plans.
“I was like, this (scholarship) is a sign I should go to ASU because I didn’t want to put that financial pressure on my family,” Bex said. “I grew up on the (Navajo) reservation and my parents didn’t make a lot of money, so I didn’t want to put that stress on them.”
Bex earned her bachelor’s degree in nutrition in 2011 and that was just the start of her journey toward becoming a registered dietitian.
Her perseverance paid off.
She earned that credential in 2018, currently works as a clinical outpatient dietitian at Fort Defiance Indian Hospital, and started her own business along the way.
Her company, Tumbleweed Nutrition, is dedicated to providing evidence-based and culturally relevant nutrition education for tribal organizations.
Bex has been named Outstanding Alumnus of the College of Health Solutions for 2022 and will be honored at the inaugural Celebration of Health event Oct. 19 at El Chorro in Paradise Valley, Arizona.
Celebrating 10 years of advancing community health
In addition to recognizing individuals and organizations with awards, the Celebration of Health event features what promises to be a dynamic keynote address by six-time Olympic gold medalist and Arizona resident Amy Van Dyken, along with inspiring stories from students and alumni.
“We are living in an age of unprecedented health challenges,” College of Health Solutions Dean Deborah Helitzer said. “As we continue to develop the health leaders of the future, we are focused on realizing the ASU Charter by assuming fundamental responsibility for the health of our communities, preparing and improving the health workforce of the future and building and strengthening strategic partnerships.”
The awards ceremony will recognize health leaders from across the Valley for their impact in the community. An interactive showcase will include exhibits and entertainment, giving guests the opportunity to experience the latest in health research and discovery.
Funds raised through sponsorships and ticket sales will directly support the next generation of health professionals through student scholarships. Visit chs.asu.edu/celebration or email CHSevents@asu.edu for more information.
Inaugural Celebration of Health Awards honorees
Community Impact Award: Circle the City
The Community Impact Award recognizes an organization or individual who has made significant efforts to address the challenges facing people and communities to stay healthy. The recipient of this award has built relationships and forged connections that have led to healthier communities.
Health Equity Award: Arizona Burn Center - Valleywise Health
The Health Equity Award is presented to an organization or individual who maximizes opportunities for underrepresented or marginalized groups. The recipient has advanced the principles of justice, diversity, equity and inclusion, removed barriers to better health, addressed health disparities and improved access to health care.
Health Innovation Award: Terros Health Cafe 27 Youth Center
The Health Innovation Award honors an organization or individual who embodies the Sun Devil spirit of forging new frontiers. Through the use of innovative methods or technology, they have creatively imagined how to make better health happen and are leading the way to discover what it means to create a healthier world.
Outstanding Alumnus Award: Denee Bex, Tumbleweed Nutrition
The Outstanding Alumnus Award is presented to a graduate of the College of Health Solutions who advances its vision to reimagine health and has created a better future for people and communities on a local and global scale.
The College of Health Solutions will recognize the award recipients at Celebration of Health on Wednesday, Oct. 19, at El Chorro in Paradise Valley, Arizona. Sponsorships and tickets are available and directly support students through the college’s Student Scholarship Fund.
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