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.
Tiffany Calvache is a junior majoring in Public Health with a minor in Biology. She first began her interest in healthy living in high school when she found her passion for incorporating fitness and healthy eating into her daily routine. Coming to Rutgers, she wanted to continue her fitness journey, so she took advantage of the free fitness classes RU Recreation has to offer. Eventually, she became a fitness instructor for Les Mills Bodypump to motivate others to incorporate exercise in their daily lives. Even though she grew a passion for fitness and health, she never gave up on her dream of becoming a pediatrician and working with children. During her spare time and the summer, she volunteers at Englewood Hospital and helps with patient care and simple tasks around the hospital. She plans to pursue both an MPH/MD once she finishes her undergraduate studies in hopes of working in the medical field. Tiffany also works with the Leadership and Experiential Learning Department, Residence Life, and the Learning Center at Rutgers. She believes participating in the programs helps bring out her best traits and personal growth. She is grateful and looks forward to the rest of the year as an IFNH Ambassador and to the research we will be conducting.
Jessica Carr is a fourth-year student at Rutgers University pursuing a major in Nutritional Sciences. She believes that nutrition education is a vital step towards optimal wellbeing, and that improving one's health through nutrition is one of the most transformative things a person can do. Jessica is a Student Nutritionist on the Rutgers Healthy Dining Team, where she works to educate students on healthy eating in the dining halls and conducts research under the direction of Dr. Peggy Policastro, RDN. She is an intern for the Homestyles project, a USDA-funded childhood obesity prevention program that works in conjunction with West Virginia University and The University of Florida. She has presented her research on nutritional profiles of non-dairy milk varieties at the New Jersey Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics annual meeting, and her research on student perception of the term “Plant Forward” at the Aresty Undergraduate Research Symposium. She is a fellow of the Menus of Change University Research Collaborative (MCURC), and is excited to present her research on the plant forward diet in Colorado at the MCURC All Member Meeting. She is looking forward to completing a Dietetic Internship and becoming a Registered Dietitian in order to combine the knowledge and skills she has learned at Rutgers. Jessica is honored to represent the New Jersey Institute for Food, Nutrition, and Health (IFNH) as Student Director of the ambassador program and to apply her leadership abilities while gaining professional experience in nutrition and other related fields.
Tiffany Chen is a junior at Rutgers University majoring in dietetics with a minor in psychology. She is a returning member of Rutgers Healthy Dining Team where she collaborates with a group of passionate Student Nutritionists to provide nutrition education for the college population and works on research projects under Dr. Peggy Policastro PhD, RDN. Tiffany is also a Menus of Change University Research Collaborative (MCURC) fellow. Her interest in nutrition started out as an admiration for culinary arts. At a young age, she marveled at cooking programs on television, which grew into a curiosity as to how the foods we consume affect our bodies and wellbeing. She is also interested in learning more about environmental nutrition and is currently a member of the Hunger and Environmental Nutrition Dietetic Practice Group. Tiffany volunteers and shadows dietitians at Robert Wood Johnson Hospital in New Brunswick in the Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition Department. She aspires to pursue a career in the field of nutrition that allows her to connect and meet different people. She is excited for her first year as an IFNH Student Ambassador and eager to work with fellow students who share her appreciation for nutrition and health.
Gabby Harrison is a third-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 a Student Nutritionist with 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. She is a Peer Instructor of a First Year Interest Group Seminar (FIGS) titled Exploring Nutrition where she teaches a class of 25 first year students about both opportunities for success at Rutgers and topics in nutrition. Through her experiences with the Rutgers Healthy Dining Team and FIGS, Gabby has enjoyed mentoring and educating students about nutrition and health. Gabby is also the Community Service Chair of the Douglass Student Recruitment Network, a recent inductee of Kappa Omicron Nu, the National Honor Society for Nutritional Sciences, and a Certified Home Health Aide with Bayada Home Health Care. 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.
Dana Ikeda is a fourth-year student at Rutgers University pursuing a major in Nutritional Sciences with a minor in Psychology. She has always been passionate about healthy eating and learning the science behind how certain foods can improve health and wellness. Dana is currently the Student Director of the Rutgers Healthy Dining Team, where she educates students on healthy eating in the dining halls, and conducts research under the direction of Dr. Peggy Policastro, RDN. She has presented her research at the Aresty Undergraduate Research Symposium, the national Food and Nutrition Conference and Exhibition, and the New Jersey Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics annual meeting. She has gained valued experience through her time volunteering in an outpatient Nutrition and Diabetes Education center in RWJ. She serves as Vice President of Kappa Omicron Nu, the National Honor Society for the Human Sciences, and hopes to pursue a Dietetic Internship after graduation and become a Registered Dietitian. Dana is honored to have the opportunity to represent the New Jersey Institute for Food, Nutrition, and Health (IFNH) as a Student Ambassador.
Vivian Lee is a second-year student pursuing a major in Nutritional Sciences, Dietetics option at Rutgers University. Growing up in a household with four other empowered women and a supportive father, Vivian was openly able to explore her interests in healthy living and individual well-being. As an active member in the Compost Club and Rock Climbing Team, she has discovered her passion for sustainability as well as the importance of maintaining a physically active lifestyle. She whole-heartedly believes that living a well-balanced life consists of many factors including, but not limited to, making healthy food choices that suit you, staying active in the body and mind, and being conscious of your own mental and physical health. She understands that privilege allows certain groups of individuals to be able to focus on these things; however, many others may not be able to. In her career, she hopes to continue learning about food insecurity and seek ways to combat global hunger and homelessness. Vivian works as a Student Nutritionist on the Rutgers Healthy Dining Team where she strives to inform students about nutrition and health and conducts nutrition-related research under the guidance of Dr. Peggy Policastro, RDN. This year, she will be volunteering at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital and working closely with Registered Dietitians in the Outpatient Department. 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 new learning experiences to come.
Kiera Nealon is a third-year student at Rutgers University pursuing a double major in Nutritional Sciences - Dietetics option and Italian. She currently works as a Student Nutritionist on the Rutgers Healthy Dining Team, a joint program between the IFNH and Dining Services. Through this, she educates students about healthy eating, authors nutrition newsletters that are distributed in the dining halls, and conducts nutrition-related research under the guidance of Dr. Peggy Policastro, RDN. She has presented her research on College's Students Perception of Healthy and Unhealthy Fats at the Aresty Undergraduate Research Symposium and at the Food, Nutrition, Conference, and Expo in Philadelphia in October. She has recently been inducted into Kappa Omicron Nu, the National Honor Society for the Human Sciences, and hopes to pursue a dietetic internship upon graduation. She has gained valued experience during her time at Rutgers volunteering for the Sports Performance Nutrition Department, working alongside numerous sports dieticians to promote student athletes' overall sport performance and well-being. As an athlete on the Rutgers Cross Country and Track and Field teams, Kiera understands the importance of healthy eating in relation to athletic performance. She hopes to share this knowledge as a collegiate sports dietician upon completion of the dietetic internship. She is honored to represent the Institute for New Jersey Institute for Food, Nutrition, and Health as a Student Ambassador.
Jessica Van Wie is a second-year student at Rutgers University majoring in Dietetics. She is currently a Student Nutritionist with the Rutgers University Healthy Dining Team, in which she works with fellow student nutritionists under the guidance of Dr. Peggy Policastro, RDN, to conduct research and to educate Rutgers students about healthy eating. Jessica is very passionate about nutrition and wants to encourage others to engage in living a healthy lifestyle. Jessica is excited to make connections and gain new experiences as an IFNH Ambassador.
Taylor Viana is a second year student at Rutgers University. She is majoring in Nutrition, dietetics option, and hoping to pursue a minor in psychology. In addition to being an IFNH Ambassador, Taylor is on the RU Healthy Dining Team where she works in a small group of student nutritionists in order 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 involved in the RU Nutrition Club, a club dedicated to learning about nutrition and passing on that information, and 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 here earn scholarships and 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 students 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 rest of the team.
Wyatt Walker is a fourth year student majoring in Food Science. At a young age, Wyatt developed a passion for the intricacies of fine dining and a love for food. Through the years, he has been mentored by Bill Wong, worked in fine dining establishments, and practiced culinary technique for hundreds of hours. Wyatt has worked in a broad range of fields from culinary arts, to tree care and project management. Some of Wyatt's past times include drawing and design, skiing, cooking, weight lifting, and road biking. His active lifestyle has led him to educate his peers on the importance of following a healthy diet and eating everything in moderation, but to never forget to indulge a little and be happy. Wyatt is thrilled to spend his third year as an IFNH Ambassador and work closely with his peers and educators.