June 2018 – Young Alum of the Month
Major: Agricultural Biochemistry
Minor: Human Nutrition
Graduation Year: 2007
Hometown: Muscatine, IA
In a nutshell…
I am a research scientist at the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) in the Department of Nutrition and Metabolism. My responsibilities include running clinical studies with human subjects, writing grants and papers and conducting research. Currently, I am researching nutrition and physical activity based interventions to prevent muscle mass loss in older adults. What I love most about my work is how the research we do now is applicable to encouraging healthy aging.
As a nutrition scientist, is there any food that you won’t eat?
My philosophy is everything in moderation!
If you could relive one class which would it be?
One class that stands out is FSHN 101 taught by Dr. Mark Love. I took this class in order to fill one of my requirements and ended up really enjoying it. The course paired well with my biochemistry background which helped me to succeed within the classroom. Prior to taking FSHN 101, I had not considered pursuing the nutrition field, but the class really opened my eyes to the biochemistry aspect of nutrition. From then on, I knew I wanted to apply my agricultural biochemistry degree to human nutrition.
My favorite Iowa State tradition was VEISHEA. To me it was a celebration of so many things that make Iowa State unique. Additionally, being a part of planning VEISHEA I made so many good friends both in the Iowa State and local Ames community.
Did you have any role models or mentors that impacted your journey at Iowa State?
Dr. Beitz is a huge reason why I am where I am now. He served not only as my adviser during my undergraduate career, but also as my personal cheerleader. Dr. Beitz encouraged me to get involved in research opportunities, and he even helped me seek out graduate schools to apply to. It seems as if everyone knows Dr. Beitz due to his long history at Iowa State which has made him a great resource.
What organizations/clubs were you involved with on campus?
Biochemistry Undergraduate Club, VEISHEA (exec), Government of the Student Body, blood drives, WYSE Learning Community, Cardinal Key, Dance Marathon, Women in Science and Engineering
– “I loved being overcommitted!”
Two cents worth:
Get involved in research! The type of mentorship that you get out of doing research is unlike any other. Having research experience when applying to graduate schools or jobs will definitely stand out. I would also say to be open-minded. By being open-minded, I was able to try new things and meet new people (including my husband who happened to be my Chem 177 lab partner).