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Current 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 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.

Current Ambassadors

Alice Stejskal

Alice Stejskal is a fourth-year student at Rutgers University, majoring in Nutritional Sciences, under the dietetics option. As Student Director of the IFNH Ambassadors, she leads a multidisciplinary team of fellow students in providing community outreach through nutrition education and research. Alice 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 grow that interest into a career where she can help others. Alice is also a member of the Rutgers Healthy Dining team. She works with fellow nutrition students on nutrition-related newsletters, interactive booths, and research under Dr. Peggy Policastro, RDN. She is honored to be a part of the IFNH Student Ambassador Program and serve the New Brunswick community.

Ashlyn Burns-Lynch

Ashlyn Burns-Lynch is a fourth-year student majoring in Nutritional Sciences under the Community Nutrition option, with a minor in Religion. She has been interested in health and wellness from a young age due to her parents working as a nurse and a counselor. During her first year at Rutgers, she developed an interest in nutrition after taking the Food as Medicine course. Through additional nutrition courses, she realized how important nutrition and food security was to physical, emotional, and psychological well-being and became passionate about nutrition and community outreach. She is a member of Kappa Omicron Nu, the National Honor Society for Nutritional Sciences. She is honored and excited to represent the New Jersey Institute for Food, Nutrition, and Health as a Student Ambassador and collaborate with fellow interested students and staff.

Erin Ormsby

Erin Ormsby is a third-year student majoring in Nutritional Sciences, Dietetics option. Her dedication to health and nutrition has developed over time due to her own health challenges. Erin realized that nutrition was her passion and began her 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 booths emphasizing nutrition and healthy living for all Rutgers students. Erin is also able to participate in research opportunities involved with the team. Erin’s desire for nutrition, quality food and exercise are key factors in her determination to pursue a degree as a Registered Dietitian. Erin is extremely motivated to expand her knowledge of giving everyone, no matter the circumstances, the ability to live a healthy sustainable lifestyle and be able to impart that to others in a purposeful way. She is excited and appreciative of the opportunity to become a IFNH Student Ambassador and to work alongside the goals of IFNH to seek solutions to health problems in this complex world.

Jenny Campbell

Jenny Campbell is a second-year student at Rutgers University, majoring in Nutritional Sciences. She has worked various jobs, from veterinary technician to pizza delivery person. Jenny has a passion for cooking and uses her home kitchen as a laboratory to find that elusive balance of healthy, economical, and delicious meals. She is not yet sure if she will be pursuing a career in nutritional counseling, research, or public policy. She is also a member of the Rutgers Healthy Dining Team, where she and fellow nutrition students collaborate on newsletters, interactive booths, and research under Dr. Peggy Policastro, RDN. She is honored to represent the IFNH as a Student Ambassador and welcomes this “chance to work hard at work worth doing.”

Jessica Van Wie

Jessica Van Wie is a senior at Rutgers University majoring in Nutritional Sciences under the Nutrition, Food, and Business option with a minor in Plant Science. As the student director of the Healthy Dining Team, she works with fellow nutrition student under Dr. Peggy Policastro, RDN, to conduct research and educate Rutgers’s students about healthy eating. Through newsletters, nutrition education booths, and other events, she promotes healthy lifestyle habits to her peers. She is also a member of Kappa Omicron Nu, an honor society for Nutritional Sciences. Jessica is also a member of the professional fraternity Alpha Zeta, which promotes service, leadership, and agricultural practices. Through this fraternity and gaining knowledge in nutrition, she has developed an interest in global sustainability while promoting human and environmental health. Jessica is very passionate about food and encourages others to live active, healthy lifestyles. She hopes to share her knowledge in an interdisciplinary field while gaining new skills and information from others. As an IFNH student ambassador, Jessica is looking forward to working with others to promote nutrition, sustainability, agriculture, and health.

Kylene Stewart

Kylene Stewart is a second-year student majoring in Nutritional Sciences, under the Community Nutrition option, and is pursuing a minor in Leadership Skills. She has been interested in healthy living ever since her involvement in New Jersey 4-H and her position as a 4-H Healthy Living Ambassador. Through her participation in 4-H, she traveled the country learning about healthy living and civic engagement. She came to Rutgers to broaden her horizons and understand more about nutrition and positively impact youth in the community. She is aspiring to have a career in Rutgers Cooperative Extension, and she is currently interning for the State 4-H Office in Martin Hall. Alongside being an IFNH ambassador, she is the current President of the Rutgers Collegiate 4-H Club. As President, she organizes club meetings and events that benefit the Rutgers community. Kylene is excited to further her involvement at Rutgers and learn more about the opportunities in nutritional science.

Melonnie Esquerra

Melonnie Esquerra is a senior majoring in Exercise Science at the School of Environmental Science Honors Program. Growing up as an athlete both fitness and nutrition has played a large role in her life. She learned many of her culinary skills from her grandmother whom she lived. Together they spent a lot of time in the kitchen cooking meals. As Meloniee got older, she became highly focused on the nutritional value of meals being cooked at home since her grandmother is a diabetic. During her years at Rutgers, Melonnie has been part of a women’s health and fitness organization called Rutgers CHAARG (Changing Health Attitudes and Actions to Recreate Girls), serving as membership chair and president. She has led weekly group workouts and travelled with the organization to local fitness spots to help girls “find their fit.” The organization’s mission is focused on uplifting women to live their healthiest happiest lives. She has completed two honors research projects. One with the Rutgers Department of Kinesiology and Health on pediatric fitness and development and one with the Sports Nutrition Department at Rutgers Athletics on iron deficiency in athletes. Melonnie is currently working on her GH Cook honors thesis on pediatric nutrition and fitness in local communities under the guidance of Drs. Policastro, Comollo, and Elnakib. Her work with the NJHKI includes graphic design, development, and lesson plan formatting for nutrition and fitness lessons that will be implemented in local schools for young children. She is excited to be a Student Ambassador for the IFNH and to collaborate with a positive team that promotes healthy habits in the community.

Nicole Mejia

Nicole Mejia is a fourth-year student, majoring in Nutritional Sciences, dietetic option, 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 of 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.

Rachel Ho

Rachel Ho is a second-year student majoring in Nutritional Sciences, Dietetics option, with a minor in Food Science. Ever since she was young, Rachel has always been around foods of many different cultures. That grew into an interest in how it connects others and contributes to a healthy lifestyle, especially for children at a very important developmental stage in their lives. She is also a member of the Healthy Dining Team, a group of Student Nutritionists who provide nutrition education for the college population and conduct research under Dr. Peggy Policastro, RDN. She is honored to be a part of the IFNH Student Ambassadors to continue providing nutrition education and gain new experiences and opportunities.

Sarah Davis

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 spent time volunteering 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. 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.