Impact Stories

Each year the Friedman School seeks opportunities to enhance the educational experience for its students, opportunities for its faculty and staff, and its presence in the city. Donors help the University push nutrition students to excel, support vital research, and create real world impact. Both our donors and the beneficiaries of their generosity have stories to share. See some student and alumni stories below or learn more about Ways to Give and our Leadership Giving opportunities.

Dianna Bartone

Dianna Bartone, N17 
M.S. Candidate,  Food Policy and Applied Nutrition

“They [the centers] are community run and sustainable, which is exciting,” she said. “Women will hear about a center and visit it to see what is happening, then go back to their villages and replicate it.”

Dianna Bartone, the fourth Aid for Africa Endowed Scholar, traveled to Gicumbi, Rwanda, and Nairobi, Kenya, as part of her graduate work in nutrition and public health at Tufts University’s Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy.

Bartone undertook this work with support from the Aid for Africa Endowment for Food and Sustainable Agriculture, a partnership between Tufts University’s Friedman School and Aid for Africa. The Aid for Africa Endowment provides a Friedman graduate student with funding to help defray the costs of research in Africa each year.

Alison Brown, NG17 
Ph.D. Candidate, Food Policy and Applied Nutrition

"I am grateful and honored for the financial support of my education and look forward to contributing to the reduction of health-related inequities in America. I am particularly appreciative of the flexibility of developing my own specialization here at Tufts: Minority-focused nutrition interventions--design, cultural considerations, management, and implementation."

The broad range of expertise of my professors is surely a reflection of the interdisciplinary nature and complexities within the nutrition field.  From the economic principles of food consumption and the intricacies of nutrition public policy development to the racial and cultural considerations in elucidating health disparities in this country, my Tufts experience is further opening my eyes to the challenges that lie ahead.

Alyssa Charney

Alyssa Charney, N15
M.S., Agriculture, Food and Environment

"I am so appreciative of the incredible learning opportunities available to students at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy. My Friedman School education and learning experiences are enabling me and my fellow classmates to make an impact in the world, and I cannot thank you enough. I look forward to continuing to pay your generosity forward."

Rachel Chiaverelli

Rachel Chiaverelli, NG18 
Ph.D. Candidate, Biochemical & Molecular Nutrition

“To my scholarship donor and to all who support financial aid, I extend a huge thank you. It means everything for my life and career development. If I had not gotten financial aid and had been prevented from pursuing a Ph.D., my career path would have come to a halt."

At the Friedman School, Rachel finds a natural synergy between her fascination for health and wellness and her passion for research. The Nutrition and Cancer Biology Laboratory at the HNRCA examines how carotenoids (concentrated in vegetables like tomatoes, red peppers, and spinach), fruits (such as oranges and watermelons), vitamin A, vitamin D, and fish oil change molecular and genetic pathways and prevent cancers, such as those of the lung, liver, and colon.

Cory O'Hara

Corey O'Hara, F08, N08, NG17 
Ph.D. Candidate, Agriculture, Food and Environment

“My interest is in making sure that poor rural communities in Nepal are able to benefit from some of the advances that are happening in the country”

Almost a decade ago, while he was working on his master’s in Agriculture, Food, and the Environment at the Friedman School, Corey O’Hara, F08, N08, helped small farmers in Nepal learn how to feed their families more effectively and make a better living through sustainable agriculture. He is now working on his Ph.D. in food policy and applied nutrition and is once again helping the Nepalese, this time studying the intersection between agriculture, nutrition, and women’s empowerment.

Adrienne Roberts

 

Adrienne Roberts, N15 
M.S., Agriculture, Food and Environment

"In India, I designed and built vertical gardens in migrant camps. It helped the communities supplement their mostly grain-based diets in an easy and sustainable way. While it was a tough job, I’m now sure that international work is the field for me—and I couldn’t have done it without you."

Alexandra Simas, N16, NG19 
Ph.D. Candidate, Biochemical & Molecular Nutrition

“We’re tackling problems that are so multifaceted, and I want to be at a place where different disciplines, such as cell biologists and geneticists, are working to solve them together.”

Alex believes health-care providers need to move beyond broad nutritional recommendations. “What we’re learning is there isn’t one right diet. She envisions a future in which physicians can tailor treatment based on a patient’s genetics and microbiota. A lowfat or no-sodium meal plan might help one person, but have no effect on another,” she says.

“I’m learning so much from my classmates through the student-run NEWtrition forum, which sponsors TED-style Nutrition Talks,” she says. “And the [school-sponsored] weekly policy talks have been fascinating, particularly about the economics of nutrition. Our research is only going to be useful if it’s economically feasible for people to make the changes we recommend.”

 

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