Klopfleisch says passion, drive is needed for STEM majors


Han Byer

BY HAN BYER | THE DAILY EASTERN NEWS Sports Nutrition Coordinator and graduate student, Camille Klopfleisch, speaks to Eastern football player, Cody Green, about his nutrition journey in her office Monday afternoon. Klopfleisch and Green are going over photos of Green’s meals, and what to work on going forward using nutrition charts on Jan. 23, 2023, on Eastern Illinois University’s campus in Charleston, Ill.

Kate Stevens, Assistant Sports Editor

 Science is an important topic when it comes to sports. More specifically, athletes have become more dependent on the science of nutrition to help them become the healthiest and the best athlete they can be.

Camille Klopfleisch is the sports nutrition coordinator at Eastern. She is new to campus as she began the position in 2022. 

She graduated from Southern Illinois Carbondale’s School of Human Sciences in 2022 with a bachelor’s degree in human nutrition and dietetics.

Klopfleisch said her passion for sports has been around since she was young, and she wanted to find a way to stay around it in her career.

“When I was in high school, I was able to shadow the sports nutritionist at the U of I (University of Illinois),” Klopfleisch said. “After seeing what she did every day, I wanted to do the same. I have always enjoyed helping others, so I knew that sports nutrition was going to be the right path for me.”

Klopfleisch’s job consists of educating teams and athletes on the importance of nutrition. 

She said in an interview in September each athlete has their own specific nutritional needs, and she does anything she can to help them learn how to fuel their bodies in the healthiest way according to their needs.

Each day in the life of a sports nutritionist looks a little different, but that is what makes the job unique.

“A day in the job for me is always different,” Klopfleisch said. “Some days, my days are full of one-on-one nutrition consults back-to-back, and some days I am putting together information for my athletes in preparation for one-on-ones or in preparation for presentation that I am giving to teams. I also spend time researching new information about nutrition and athletic performance so I can give my athletes the newest information that is out there.”

She said her job is rewarding because of the changes that the athletes see and report back to her.

“The most rewarding thing about my job is when my athletes tell me that the nutritional changes I have helped them make are benefiting their athletic performances and they are seeing huge changes,” Klopfleisch said.

Klopfleisch said she sees herself working with college athletes for the rest of her career because she loves what she does.

“I would love my career to stay in sports nutrition,” Klopfleisch said. “Ideally, I would love to stay working with college athletes. There are so many different nutritional needs for each sport. I love the challenge of always having to switch my brain from one sport to another when I am working with my athletes. There is constantly something new and different challenges every day with college athletics. For me, I always need to be challenged and I love that about sports nutrition.”

She said going into this career is all about the passion behind wanting to help others and to be willing to learn new things all the time.

Eastern Sports Nutrition Coordinator and Graduate Student, Camille Klopfleisch, and Eastern football player, Cody Green, are looking at photos of Green’s meals and looking over athletic nutrition charts in her office Monday afternoon on Jan. 23, 2023, on Eastern Illinois University’s campus in Charleston, Ill. (Han Byer)

“The best advice that I can give to somebody going into nutrition is to make sure you are very passionate,” Klopfleisch said. “You will constantly be learning new things about nutrition and researching new topics. I am very passionate about nutrition and love that I can constantly learn new things, which I think has helped me get to where I am in my life with nutrition.”

Klopfleisch is new to Eastern career wise, but she said she was familiar with the campus as she is originally from the area and is the daughter of two EIU alum. 

That being said, she said she has gotten to know more from the nutrition and dietetic professors and said they are full of knowledge.

“Starting a career in nutrition at EIU is a great undergraduate choice to make,” Klopfleisch said. “The nutrition and dietetic professors are so knowledgeable about nutrition and genuinely want their students to succeed in whatever path they choose to take.”

Eastern’s College of Health and Human Services offers an undergraduate and a graduate program for those who are interested in a career in nutrition and dietetics. 

For those interested, Bethni S. Gill is the undergraduate Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) Coordinator at Eastern.

Kate Stevens can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]