Student Ambassadors

The Institution for Food, Nutrition, and Health Student Ambassadors are an integral component of our mission of collective success, interdisciplinarity and community responsibility. Student Ambassadors will be called upon to represent the IFNH at various meetings and events, as well as communicate and market the IFNH to students, stakeholders at Rutgers University, and to the New Jersey community at large. Student Ambassadors will also play a role in assisting with business models of the Institute, such as Harvest. Those selected for the position of Student Ambassador are undergraduate students within the Nutritional Sciences Department at Rutgers University who have demonstrated professionalism and dedication to the fields of food, nutrition, and health. Each ambassador brings their unique Rutgers student experience to the IFNH as it continues to expand and serve as a state, national and global model for change and success.

Current Ambassadors

Photo: Bill Cornelius

Bill Cornelius is a senior at Rutgers University, pursuing a major in Dietetics-Nutritional Sciences and a minor in Psychology. After completing his Dietetic Internship, he plans to work as a clinical dietitian, and eventually complete Culinary School to consult as a Culinary Nutritionist. Bill is the co-student director of the Rutgers Healthy Dining Team, mentored by Dr. Peggy Policastro, where he shares his passion for nutrition with his college-aged peers. He has presented research at the Aresty Undergraduate Research Symposium and has been selected to present the research this October at the Food and Nutrition Conference and Exposition in Nashville. This year, Bill will also serve as Vice President on the e-board of Kappa Omicron Nu, the nutrition honor society. Over the past few summers, Bill has acquired considerable experience during his time spent interning for Registered Dietitians at both the NACUFS Foodservice Internship Program at the University of Illinois in 2014 and Rutgers University Behavioral Health Care in 2015. In addition to channeling his passion professionally, he practices nutrition and wellness personally as an endurance runner. Bill is honored to represent the IFNH and their noble mission in making New Jersey the Healthy State.

Photo: Brenda Borba

Brenda Borba is a third-year student at Rutgers University majoring in Nutritional Sciences in the Dietetics option. After completing her Dietetic Internship, she hopes to pursue a career as a Registered Dietitian and help people one-on-one with their diets while showing them a healthy lifestyle is attainable, enjoyable and affordable. Currently, Brenda is a Student Nutritionist for the Healthy Dining Team where she conducts research, writes research-based newsletters, and educates her peers through interactive booths held in the dining halls. In addition to the Healthy Dining Team, Brenda is part of the Nutrition Advocate program, which is a division of the Health Outreach, Promotion and Education at Rutgers. She is honored to be a representative for the Institute of Food, Nutrition and Health which allows her to attend professional events where she is able to represent the IFNH mission in making New Jersey the "Healthy State". In her free time, Brenda enjoys discovering local markets and 'hidden gem' restaurants in the city. She has also been practicing yoga for five years and hopes to get her license to teach and ultimately incorporate nutrition, yoga, and meditation into others' lives.

Photo: Chelsea Cotugno.

Chelsea Cotugno is a third-year student at Rutgers University majoring in Nutritional Sciences in the Dietetics option with a minor in Psychology. She first became interested in nutrition when she was in seventh grade and her father was hospitalized and had to be put on a cardiac diet. After graduating from Rutgers, Chelsea plans to complete her Dietetic Internship and a Master of Science degree in Nutritional Sciences. She aspires to pursue a career as a Registered Dietitian in a clinical setting such as Gastroenterology or Long Term Care. Chelsea has been an Undergraduate Research Assistant for Dr. Carol Byrd-Bredbenner with The HomeStyles Project since she first came to Rutgers. Now, Chelsea also works as a Student Nutritionist for the Healthy Dining Team where she educates students on healthy eating in the dining halls and conducts research under the direction of Dr. Peggy Policastro. Chelsea is grateful for the opportunity to represent the Institute of Food, Nutrition and Health as the initiative to make New Jersey the "Healthy State".

Photo: Cortney Flynn.

Cortney Flynn is currently a senior at Rutgers majoring in Nutritional Sciences in the Dietetics option. After she graduates, she hopes to complete a dietetic internship and get a job working as a dietitian with an emphasis in sports nutrition. Cortney is a student nutritionist for the Rutgers Healthy Dining Team, which aims to help educate students through newsletters and interactive booths. In addition to the Healthy Dining Team, she has presented nutrition related research at the Aresty Undergraduate Research Symposium. Cortney has also gained experience working as a student intern under the Registered Dietitian at Rutgers University Behavioral Health Care in 2015. Cortney uses her passion for nutrition and wellness personally as a weightlifter and runner. She feels privileged to become a student ambassador for the Institute of Food, Nutrition and Health (IFNH) and looks forward to being apart of their mission to make New Jersey the Healthy State.

Photo: Carly Harris.

Carly Harris is currently a sophomore at Rutgers majoring in Nutritional Sciences in the Dietetics option. Her passion for food, nutrition, and health stem from early childhood and has been a part of her life ever since. Carly is hoping to graduate and complete her dietetic internship to ultimately become a Registered Dietitian. In her role of IFNH Student Ambassador, Carly conducts research and educates her peers about eating healthy on campus. Carly also works for Rutgers University Behavioral Health Center shadowing the dietitian to gain clinical experience. In her spare time, Carly is interested in weight lifting and running a popular food blog. Carly feels incredibly honored to represent the IFNH and is looking forward to joining the initiative in making New Jersey the healthy state.

Photo: Megan Devlin.

Megan Devlin is a junior at Rutgers majoring in Nutritional Sciences; Dietetics option and minoring in Psychology. Currently she is Co-Student Director of the RU Healthy Dining Team, which aims to provide nutrition education to the college-population through weekly newsletters and interactive booths held in the dining halls. In addition to the Healthy Dining Team, she is also a part of the Nutrition Advocate program, which is a division of Health Outreach, Promotion and Education at Rutgers. In her free time she enjoys long distance running. She is very honored to be a Student Ambassador for the Institute for Food, Nutrition, and Health. Specifically, she is excited about having the opportunity to represent the IFNH at prestigious events as well as to communicate the mission of the IFNH in making New Jersey the Healthy State. She also enjoys dining at Harvest, which is the healthy café located in the IFNH. Her favorite dish from Harvest is the black bean and beet burger with steamed Swiss chard and roasted sweet potatoes.

Photo: Rebecca Tonnessen.

Rebecca Tonnessen is a New Jersey native and Dietetics major with a Public Health minor at Rutgers University. Currently she is a student nutritionist for the RU Healthy Dining Team where she educates her peers, conducts research, and writes nutrition newsletters. She recently had the opportunity to write a guest blog post for the USDA, which highlighted the Healthy Dining Team’s activities within the Rutgers community. She is also a research assistant in the Department of Nutritional Sciences working on a nutrition project called HomeStyles. Recently she was given the honor of representing the New Jersey Institute for Food, Nutrition, and Health (IFNH) as a student intern. Rebecca plans to graduate in 2016 and go on to complete a dietetic internship. She is interested in pursuing a career in the fields of Public Health and Nutrition in order to conduct research and work on initiatives addressing the obesity epidemic. She hopes to eventually obtain a Ph.D. in Nutritional Sciences.

Photo: Rebecca Tonnessen.

Sofia Zois is honored to have been selected to be a Student Ambassador for the Institute of Food, Nutrition, and Health and contribute to their mission of making New Jersey the Healthy State. Growing up, Sofia developed a passion in foodservice by working and managing her parents' restaurant. Now, as a dietetics major, she has combined her interests and has been working on expanding the restaurants' menu by making her own "Skinny" menu. Working around food all her life has ignited interest in making healthy, but delicious meals, which is where her love for nutrition has developed. As well as shadowing clinical dietitians in the past, she is also expanding her clinical experience by working under a Registered Dietitian at the Rutgers University Behavioral Health Center as a student intern. Sofia is grateful and humbled by the experiences that she has gained so far at Rutgers University and is excited for what is to come within the IFNH.