University of Minnesota

Nutrition Student Profile

Name: Ellie Bauer
Anticipated Graduation Year:

How and why did you choose your major?

I had been promoting the swine industry for a long time through 4-H and made a lot of nutrition claims. I wanted to learn the biochemistry behind these claims I was making. Through 4-H I was also introduced to the issue of food security. I thought I could be a valuable asset by studying the nutrition aspect of making sure people have wholesome, nutrition food.

Please give a description (in your words) of your major including the things you learn, favorite classes, and any challenges you have faced.

The didactic program in dietetics in the nutrition program will prepare me to be a registered dietitian. Registered dietitians can do so many things. They are employed by hospitals, food companies like Land O' Lakes, grocery stores, dinning halls, Extension, and public health sectors. Because dietitian can do many jobs, this degree must be very broad. I've studied counseling, education, management, and psychology in addition to the sciences necessary to understand how our bodies metabolize the food we eat. While all of the chemistry classes I've had to take have really challenged me, I'm excited to be able to explain the biochemistry behind nutrition guidelines.

What types of experiences outside of the classroom have you had relating to your major? (i.e. clubs, jobs, internships, volunteering, study abroad etc.)

I'm currently volunteering at the Ronald McDonald House and cook breakfast and lunch for the kids who go to school there. I also served as the food manager for my sorority. It was fun to apply the food management skills I learned in class to these two jobs. I am a part of the food science and nutrition club. It's a little bit more food science-focused which has been really great because I don't get as much food science in my courses. I am also a part of Student Nutrition Collaborative (SNAC). This student organization really lets me use the knowledge from the classroom in real-world situations facilitating nutrition check ups, teaching cooking classes, giving grocery store tours, and doing presentations to groups. I'm excited to study food systems in Italy this May, but don't have much to report on that yet!

In your opinion, what is one thing, or one piece of advice that other students pursuing your major should know?

Food choices are really personal. I'm sure you chose foods because of your culture, previous knowledge, and taste preferences. This major can challenge these things. Be proud of your background with food; but be open about learning new things!

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