Rebekah Mani Clinical Scholar Fund in Dietetics & Nutrition
Please join the family and friends of Rebekah Mani in establishing The Rebekah Mani Clinical Scholar Fund at the University of Kansas Dietetics & Nutrition Department. The fund will provide support for students who are receiving clinical dietetics training and education at the University of Kansas Medical Center. Additionally, to honor Rebekah’s pioneering work as a clinical dietitian in Australia (1977), Malaysia (1986) and Kyrgyzstan (1993), the fund also supports bringing clinical dietetics students and professionals from overseas to KUMC to study clinical dietetics and then return to their home countries to train clinical dietitians.
We all have many special memories of Rebekah and remember the ways she touched our lives over the years. We hope that you share yours and any photos through this link.
As many of you know, Rebekah never made a fuss about her achievements and was a very private person. Here is a brief summary of her life-long journey to keep her legacy alive.
Rebekah Mani (nee Kuruvila) was born in Chennai, India on May 17, 1936. She received her BSc and MSc in nutrition and dietetics from the Women’s Christian College in Chennai at age 22. She was one of the pioneers in the field of Dietetics in India. After graduation with her Master’s in Dietetics and Nutrition in 1958, she joined the Christian Medical College (CMC) in Vellore, and soon after was appointed as the head of the department at the age of 22. During her 15-year tenure at CMC, Rebekah helped to start a state-of-the-art dietary department by changing the cooking method from coal and wood fire to steam – this also meant changing cooking posture from squatting on the floor over a fire to standing next to a stove. During this time, she trained a number of dietitians who continue to impact the specialty all over India and the world. In 1960, she received training at the Jewish Hospital in Cincinnati and the Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in New York. While in the United States she was credentialed by the American Dietetic Association.
In 1977, she joined KUMC as a Registered Dietitian (RD) specializing in Renal Disease also worked in the Rehabilitation Unit. She was a provider, a teacher and a mentor for her patients, colleagues and students even after her retirement in 1997. She was active in the KU Auxiliary, Kansas Dietetic Association, and Alumni Relations. In her retirement she volunteered at the KUMC gift shop and the family care room. She loved cooking, especially Indian food which she taught classes and shared with neighbors, friends and families. She was well known for her chutneys and jams. Along with cooking, she was a talented seamstress who embroidered dresses for babies and quilted with saree material.
Rebekah Mani was devoted and generous to her family, extended family and friends. She was a great communicator and always made sure everyone was up to date on all the news of family and friends. She lived a full life of faith, love, and passion for people, cultures and food which nourished many souls.