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 students at Rutgers University who have demonstrated professionalism and dedication to the interdisciplinary 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.
Erin Ornsby is a second-year student majoring in Nutritional Sciences, Dietetics option. Her dedication to health and nutrition developed over time, due to her own health challenges. Erin realized that nutrition was her passion and began a journey that led her to Rutgers University. Along with being an IFNH Ambassador, Erin is also a member of the Healthy Dining Team, under the guidance of Dr. Peggy Policastro, RDN. She enjoys being part of such an empowering team that creates newsletters and interactive educational outlets emphasizing nutrition and healthy living for Rutgers students eating in the campus dining halls. Erin enjoys participating in research opportunities while involved with the team. Erin’s aspiration for good nutrition, quality food and regular exercise were key factors in her determination to pursue a degree as a Registered Dietitian. Erin is extremely motivated to expand her knowledge and break down barriers of living a healthy and sustainable lifestyle. She is excited and appreciative of the opportunity to become an IFNH Student Ambassador and to serve alongside some of the most admired staff members at Rutgers.
Alice Stejskal is a third-year student at Rutgers University, majoring in Nutritional Sciences. She also has a B.A. in Economics and worked at NYC-based start-ups for several years before deciding to return to school to pursue a career as a registered dietitian. As a former competitive swimmer and recreational runner, Alice has always had an interest in nutrition and health and is excited to take that interest and grow it into a career where she can help others. Alice is also a member of the Rutgers Healthy Dining team, where she works with fellow student nutritionists on nutrition-related newsletters, interactive booths, and research under the guidance of Dr. Peggy Policastro, RDN. She is honored to be a part of the IFNH Student Ambassador Program, and looks forward to both serving the community and gaining hands-on experience in the field of nutrition.
Julia Aziz is a second-year honors student at the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences (SEBS). Julia is majoring in Biological Sciences with a minor in Psychology. Her long term goal is to become a dentist; however, she has always been interested in Nutritional Science research and how different foods and different lifestyles affects a human life and wellness. Julia strongly believes in the importance of living a healthy lifestyle including, but not limited to, making healthy food choices. Julia is grateful for the opportunity to be part of the IFNH and gain research experience. She is very passionate about nutrition and excited with the opportunity to encourage others to engage in living a healthy lifestyle.
Sarah Davis is a Graduate student in the Rutgers School of Graduate Studies, pursuing a Masters in Nutritional Sciences. Sarah graduated in May 2020 from Rutgers School of Environmental and Biological Sciences and decided to return for a Master’s program, as well as, pursue her goal of becoming a Registered Dietitian. During her time as an undergraduate, she was a member of the Women’s Swimming and Diving team, where food and nutrition played a significant role in her training. She also volunteers with the Rutgers’ Sports Dietitians to help fuel the student athletes for optimal performance. In addition, Sarah has worked with Dr. Virginia Quick, Director of the Didactic Program in Dietetics, on research pertaining to community farmers markets. For her Master’s thesis, she is studying women’s knowledge of nutrition and how their sources of information impact their level of knowledge. This year, Sarah is the President of the Kappa Omicron Nu Nutritional Honors Society and is looking forward to increasing members’ involvement in the community through volunteering and research. Sarah is passionate about food and nutrition and hopes that as an IFNH Ambassador, she can gain more experience in research and community outreach. She is honored to represent the IFNH and is excited to be a part of the Student Ambassador Program.
Gabby Harrison is a fourth-year student majoring in Nutritional Sciences and minoring in Psychology. She has had an interest in food and health from a young age and owes much of her respect for nutrition to her mother, a Registered Dietitian. Gabby is the Student Director of the Rutgers Healthy Dining Team, where she and other Nutritional Science undergraduates collaborate under the guidance of Dr. Peggy Policastro, RDN. With the Rutgers Healthy Dining Team, Gabby writes and reviews weekly nutrition newsletters, educates students at interactive booths and Dining Services events, and conducts research. Gabby is also part of the Douglass Student Recruitment Network and a member of Kappa Omicron Nu, the National Honor Society for Nutritional Sciences. Gabby's passion for quality healthcare and education motivates her to pursue her goal of completing a Dietetic Internship to become a Registered Dietitian. She is honored and excited to represent the New Jersey Institute for Food, Nutrition, and Health as a Student Ambassador.
Taylor Viana is a third year student at Rutgers University, majoring in Nutritional Sciences, Dietetics option, and hoping to pursue a minor in psychology. In addition to being an IFNH Ambassador, Taylor is a member of the RU Healthy Dining Team, where she works with a small group of Student Nutritionists to educate students about the healthy dining options available at Rutgers, as well as conduct research under the guidance of Dr. Peggy Policastro, RDN. Taylor is also Vice President of The Healthy Kids of New Brunswick, a group that works with Youth Empowerment Services of New Brunswick to teach the children about health, nutrition, and exercise. Furthermore, she lives in Helyar House, the only cooperative living community at Rutgers. The students who live at Helyer not only cook and clean together, but grow their own food in a greenhouse, take care of various animals including chickens and rabbits, and maintain an environmental focus through composting. She is thrilled about the opportunity to work with many other talented IFNH Student Ambassadors, as well as knowledgeable staff, and learn from everyone's interdisciplinary experiences. She is honored to represent the IFNH and be of service to the IFNH.
Jessica Van Wie is a third-year student at Rutgers University, majoring in Nutritional Sciences with a minor in Plant Science. Also, a member of the Healthy Dining Team, she works with fellow Student Nutritionists, and under the guidance of Dr. Peggy Policastro, RDN, she conducts research and educates Rutgers students about healthy eating. Through newsletters, nutrition education booths, and other events, she is able to promote healthy lifestyle habits to her peers. She will soon be an inductee in Kappa Omicron Nu, an honor society for Nutritional Sciences. Jessica is also a brother in the professional fraternity Alpha Zeta, which promotes service, leadership, and agricultural practices. Through this fraternity and her knowledge in nutrition, she has developed an interest in global sustainability, while still promoting human and environmental health. Jessica is very passionate about nutrition and wants to encourage others to engage in living active, healthy lifestyles. She hopes to share her knowledge in an interdisciplinary field. By being an IFNH Student Ambassador, Jessica is looking forward to working with others to promote nutrition, sustainability, agriculture, and health.
Vivian Lee is an active member in the Compost Club, Rock Climbing Rec Team, and Rutgers Outdoors Club. She is extremely passionate about collaborating and engaging with others on how to live more sustainable lives through food choices, environmental practices, and active lifestyles. She understands that privilege allows certain groups of individuals to be able to put more focus on these things; while, many others may not have the same ability. In her career, she hopes to continue learning how to make fresh foods more accessible to combat hunger and homelessness. This season, Vivian is working at the Rutgers Gardens Student Farm, growing fresh produce for CSA members and food donations. Vivian is incredibly honored to represent the New Jersey Institute of Food, Nutrition, and Health (IFNH) as a Student Ambassador and looks forward to all the great opportunities and learning experiences that come with this position.
Tiffany Chen is a senior at Rutgers University, majoring in Nutritional Sciences, Dietetics option, with a minor in psychology. As Student Director of the IFNH Ambassadors, she works with a team of fellow students to provide outreach to the community through nutrition education and research. Tiffany is a returning member of the Rutgers Healthy Dining Team, where she collaborates with a group of passionate Student Nutritionists to provide nutrition education for the college population. She is also a Menus of Change University Research Collaborative (MCURC) Fellow and works with participating universities to shift dining hall menus towards more sustainable and healthful options. Her interest in nutrition started out as an admiration for culinary arts. At a young age, Tiffany marveled at cooking programs on television, which grew into a curiosity for how the foods we consume affect our bodies and wellbeing. She aspires to pursue a career in the field of nutrition that allows her to connect with and meet people from a variety of backgrounds.
Nicole Mejia is a third-year student, majoring in Nutritional Sciences with a minor in Psychology. She began her interest in dietetics when her aunt had surgery and was referred to a Registered Dietitian as part of her recovery plan. At Rutgers University, Nicole was able to expand her interest in nutrition during her sophomore year through her involvement in the New Jersey Institute for Food, Nutrition, and Health (IFNH) where she translated culinary literacy videos in Spanish for the Highland Park school district community. She interpreted culinary literacy videos, under the guidance of Dr. Peggy Policastro, RDN. Nicole believes nutrition is an important step to living a healthy lifestyle physically, mentally and emotionally. She is looking forward to pursuing a career as a Registered Dietician focusing on mental health and connecting with a variety individuals from various backgrounds through nutrition. She is honored for the opportunity of being able to work as an IFNH Student Ambassador and hopes to continue educating and conducting research on nutrition in English and Spanish.