Impact Stories: Erika Hval

Dear Friedman School Donors

My name is Erika Hval and I’m a student in the Frances Stern Nutrition Center Master’s Degree/Combined ErikaHav1Dietetic Internship program at the Friedman School.  I came to Friedman because I had a vision for how I wanted to impact our nation’s health, and this was the only school I could see launching me into that vision. I studied nutrition and dietetics as an undergraduate, and after graduation I knew I wanted to continue my education by completing a clinically focused dietetic internship, which would eventually allow me to become a Registered Dietitian. This credential would certainly bolster my credibility and help me fulfill my ultimate goal of systemically and sustainably improving our country’s health. Of course I could have chosen to complete the dietetic internship alone, however I knew that in order to achieve my goal I would need more than clinical training–and that’s where Friedman stepped in.

At the Friedman School not only would I have access to world-class training through a dietetic internship at the Frances Stern Nutrition Center at Tufts Medical Center, but the Friedman School offered a combined master’s degree that would also allow me to learn about nutrition from a political, research-oriented, public health, and economic standpoint. I firmly believe that any long-term, scalable, and sustainable improvement to our country’s nutrition will be crafted as a result of skills honed and creatively combined from each of these areas. The Friedman School offered me just the kind of multi-disciplinary learning and thinking I was looking for, and the generosity of donors helped me accept that offer.

The financial support I have received has also allowed me to take on an internship with the Boston Public Health Commission in their intergovernmental relations department. Here I’m learning even more about how food, nutrition, government, economy, and medicine interact, forcing me to think critically about all the enabling factors as well as the barriers to good nutrition that the United States faces. I have no doubt that these types of experiences, made possible by the Friedman School and the generous support of its donors, will push me closer to making a positive impact on our nation’s well-being through a multi-faceted, nutrition-focused approach.

Thank you so much,

Erika Hval
Master’s Candidate Combined/Dietetic Internship