Dear Friedman School Donors,
My name is Tristan Kaiser, and I am a first year student in the Food Policy and Applied Nutrition Program (FPAN). It was not until I had completed degrees in International Relations and Economics that I realized that nutrition is, arguably, one of the most critical issues of the 21st century. Obesity, malnutrition, chronic disease, food security – all around the world, almost every major issue related to human health comes back to nutrition. I found myself thinking constantly about the potential for research and policy to improve the lives of, quite literally, every person on earth, and I launched on a journey to learn everything about nutrition that I could. I realized that I found the subject so fascinating, and with so much room for improved understanding across the policy and scientific boundaries, that I had to find a way to become a part of the cutting edge of nutrition research and policy full-time.
The range of expertise needed to synthesize nutrition research is staggering. The instant I discovered that Tufts University’s Friedman School brings together biologists, chemists, epidemiologists, economists, and agriculture and policy experts, to name just a few of the influential fields, I began my application. When I received my acceptance letter, I was ecstatic, but it was not until I received my financial support letter that I truly realized that I would actually be able to study at the Friedman School.
In my short time here, I have been able to spend hours upon hours conversing with my peers and professors about everything that nutrition affects and is affected by, from specific biochemical mechanisms to community outreach efforts, and all with unique perspectives that I would never have been exposed to anywhere else. The opportunities to attend weekly seminars from nutrition leaders in both policy and science fields, as well as engaging with researchers about their work, have been invaluable. To top it all off, I have yet to have had a meeting with a professor that stayed within a time constraint.
I truly believe that substantial advances, still to be made, in nutrition research and policy will help lead to a world in which humans live longer lives and are more-free of disease. This will only happen, however, through institutions, like the Friedman School, that encourage cross-field interaction and understanding. To this end of collaborative work, I am committed. I am incredibly grateful to have been given the opportunity to embark on this journey at the Friedman School because of your support.
Tristan Kaiser, N14
Food Policy and Applied Nutrition