Summer 2021 Alumni Spotlight

Katie D’Orazio, VSB ’07

By Anne Krepacki '87 MBA

Katie is a 2009 graduate of Villanova’s Professional MBA program. She is also actively involved in the Villanova MBA Alumni Association and recently conducted a “Virtual Wellness Series” for all Villanova MBA Alumni. She currently works as a Registered Dietitian providing nutrition counseling in private practice. Anne had the chance to catch up with her and have a conversation about the recent Wellness Series.

AK: After completing your MBA at Villanova, what made you decide to go back to school? And please tell me about your other degrees and certifications.

KD: I went through Villanova consecutively, getting my Bachelor’s degree in 2007 and graduating with my MBA in 2009. I was accepted into the Fellowship Program at Villanova, so I went through the program on a full-time basis while doing research work with professors. I started my career working in Risk Management for a mortgage insurance company. It was a lucrative career but after five years, ultimately my passion for health and wellness led me to embark on a career change to become a Registered Dietitian. I obtained a degree in Nutrition and Dietetics at West Chester University and completed a Dietetic Internship through Iowa State University, which required 1200 hours of supervised practice. Additionally I hold the 200 hour Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT) credential.

I have always been a wellness enthusiast and have been a fitness instructor in various capacities for many years. My mom is a Registered Dietitian, so growing up I was always conscious of the importance of nutrition, and witnessing her have a fulfilling career in this field certainly helped inspire me as well.  

AK: Please tell me how you designed your classes to have effective participation individually at home?

KD: I knew I wanted to integrate the pillars of the work that I do, which are Nutrition, Movement, and Mindfulness. Informing and empowering people to live healthy lives is at the core of everything that I do. I designed the sessions to incorporate these pillars and wanted to make the sessions easily accessible from home, without requiring any equipment.

The first and last sessions were yoga-based, the first being more of a strength class with power moves, and the last focusing on restorative movement and breath work. I will say, though, that I like to end all of my workouts with breath work; it's impactful to become mindful of your own breathing and it really does leave you feeling grounded and focused. I also like to emphasize that "exercise snacking" is a great approach to incorporating movement into your day; acknowledging that you do not need an hour of intense sweating to reap the benefits of movement. A 10-minute movement break throughout the day is more attainable for most people and is very beneficial. 

The middle session featured a nutrition presentation to provide evidence-based information on how to eat for overall health. The objective was to provide an understanding of how different food sources fuel the body and how to ensure a balanced diet. 

AK: Do you expect to be able to offer another Virtual Wellness Series, and if so, are there are other aspects of health and wellness that we can expect to see from you in the future?

KD: I would like to be involved in future wellness offerings. I’ve discussed with the University the possibility of providing pre-recorded "Movement Breaks" - short movement and mindfulness classes that Villanova MBA Alumni can access on-demand, anytime that it is convenient for them. I also think it would be interesting to introduce a variety of experts in the health arena who could feature other specialized wellness topics. I look forward to continued work with the MBA Alumni Association in providing health and wellness offerings to keep our Villanova community connected in the pursuit of healthy living.