Years of volunteer service: 2
Years of philanthropic support: 4
Please explain your motivation(s) for giving to The Friedman School:
When I decided to go back to school to study nutrition, it was probably the biggest professional leap I had made. At the time, one of the most stressful unknowns was how I was going to afford it. It turned out that my application did not go into an impersonal shuffle of papers, but was reviewed thoughtfully and caringly by faculty and staff who I would be working with for the next couple of years. I was given very generous support by the Friedman School, and I am extremely grateful for it. I feel strongly that it is the least I can do to not only donate to the school, but also contribute my time. Supporting students in their work is so important.
How has the Friedman School impacted your life (personally and/or professionally)?
I am a continuing fan of the Friedman School, from the time I visited before being accepted, to being challenged and inspired during my time as a student, to being an alumna who connects regularly, both professionally and personally, with other alumni. Students of the Friedman School I think are a special group – interdisciplinary in their work, individual in purpose, and interested in really making an impact. I would say that the impact for me is mostly inspiration. I like hearing about the creative ways alumni are making a difference as leaders. Certainly, being a Friedman alum has opened doors professionally as well.
What have you found to be most rewarding/exciting about reconnecting with the School?
The School is constantly evolving. It is a young institution and so it’s in an exciting phase of growth. I enjoy hearing first-hand about some of the newer ventures, and ways that the School is constantly working to improve programming. I do think that the Friedman School takes students’ interests and suggestions very seriously, and it is rewarding to see how responsive the School is in staying current with the needs of the students – and alumni.
What is your fondest memory of the Friedman School?
I have a lot of fond memories. Many are of studying with other students – it is a supportive environment. I also have great memories and growing appreciation for my advisors, because I needed a lot of advice! Those conversations were never perfunctory. I always felt that Sarah, Lynne, Stefania, and others were truly helping to guide me toward the best decisions. It’s no small thing.
Based on your experiences to date, what do you think makes the Friedman School special or unique?
First and foremost, the faculty make the Friedman School special. My memory is obviously not that pristine, because I don’t remember whether it was Lynne or Sarah who said it, but one of them said that they know that they are training their future colleagues, and so that the teaching, advising, and so forth are an investment on their part. I had never heard that philosophy before. I had always thought faculty were "Up Here" and the students were "Down There" just churning through. But I do think that is a smart attitude, and that it is genuine. The Friedman faculty are truly working to help nurture the students to assume their new roles as junior colleagues who will one day be the leaders in our collective field. I think Friedman students are fortunate to be studying with such accessible, caring faculty who also are among the most influential researchers and visionaries in nutrition today.