Impact Story: Caitlin Westfall


Name: CaitlinWestfall, N10

Degree: MS, MPH

Program: Nutrition Communication            

Friedman School Volunteer since: 2009

Years of giving: 2 years

Advisor: Jeanne Goldberg

What is your fondest memory of the Friedman School?

As a dual degree student, I worked within a five-semester program. This gave me the opportunity to use two summers toward applied learning. Without a Friedman alumni connection, both of those summer experiences would not have been possible. I enjoyed my first summer in Chicago at the National Dairy Council, where I worked for the Nutrition Communications team. An alumnus had alerted me to this internship. My experience allowed me to apply my  epidemiology, writing, and other communications coursework toward an enriching internship. The second summer, another Friedman alumnus connected me with an opportunity to work at the Cambridge Public Health Department on two very innovative public health programs. I was able to see public health theory practiced first-hand in a progressive organization.

Please explain your motivation(s) for giving to the Friedman School:

The Friedman School facilitated my professional and intellectual growth by creating an environment supportive of advancement and collaboration. The aid I received as a student allowed me to have fantastic experiences that contributed to this growth, and this aid would not have been possible without help from friends of the Friedman School.

I want current and future students to have similar marvelous experiences. Therefore, I give in order to support a group of dynamic, forward-thinking students who are constantly pushing the envelope through nutrition research, community engagement, and policy.

How has the Friedman School impacted your life (personally or professionally)?

My professors and colleagues at the Friedman school helped me channel my interests to something important and impactful.  I remember Chris Economos telling my class to write down a personal career vision and mission statement. This advice has helped me as I have navigated my post-graduation career path.


What makes the Friedman School special or unique?

It is amazing to see a small community have such a global impact. Our generous and committed alumni base supports a fantastic student body. The faculty and staff at Friedman are exceptionally generous and encouraging, and motivate students to support one another.  These relationships are the special ingredients that create effective, lasting, global impact.