Undergraduate Student Spotlights

Erika Hval

Nutrition and Dietetics

What I do to de-stress:
Bake, everything and anything.
I would like to be remembered for my:
My favorite course at NYU:
Introduction to Foods and Food Science
Community service activity I'm most proud of:
Working with an elementary school in Brooklyn to expose the students to the fun inherent in healthy eating. We read letters from farmers, explored the various parts of whole foods, cooked nutritious recipes together, and tasted the delicious results. So m
After I graduate, I:
Plan on pursuing my studies to become a Registered Dietitian.
Why I chose this program at NYU Steinhardt:
Opportunity to learn about and thus show others the power of food.
A book from class I would never sell back:
Closing the Food Gap: Resetting the Table in the Land of Plenty
My inspiration:
Social entrepreneurs, individuals refusing to accept the status-quo and change the ills of our society in truly pattern-breaking, sustainable ways. Some are famous, many less well-known, but all exude unwavering hope for our future and I aspire to join their ranks, improving nutrition access and education.
My favorite place to study around NYU:
Newspaper Cafe--they offer dozens of free newspapers and magazines to read while you sip coffee or take a study break. You will always find something fascinating to read, no matter your interests. Plus, the amount of food and health-related material they
If I took a year off from my current life, I would:
Join Healthcorps or go to culinary school.
Prized possession:
My health.
The professor who influenced me the most:
Amy Topel, she taught me how to respect food and how to bring the joy back into food for others as well.

Background Information

Where you grew up:
Treasure Island, FL
Honors, Awards, and Achievements:
The Catherine B. Reynolds Foundation Program in Social Entrepreneurship, New York University's Dean List, St. Petersburg High School Paul Logan Community Service Award, National Scholastic Press Association Honor Roll of Student Journalism, Florida Holocaust Museum Anne Frank Humanitarian Award.
Community Service and Other Activities:
Validus Preparatory Academy, Bronx, NY Teaching Volunteer, Facilitated faculty with creating a lesson plan for high school students focusing on urban access to nutritious foods. Researched articles, books, films, community leaders and local activist sites for class study. Guest lectured ninth grade classes on interpreting nutrition labels and led related activities to promote interest. Food Bank for NYC's CookShop Classroom, New York, NY Volunteer. Promoted exposure of various types of produce to elementary school children through hands-on exploration of fruits and vegetables along with educational games. Assisted the students in cooking various recipes in order to familiarize them with healthy foods. Introduced the proper terminology with which to identify and express opinions about foods in order to improve vocabulary and the appeal of "health food". Bowery Residents' Committee, New York, NY Volunteer.  Assisted outreach center to prepare and serve meals, and provide companionship to their homeless members during dinner. Organized the pantry and cleaned the dining area. Alpha "A Beginning", Inc., St. Petersburg, FL Volunteer. Taught basic cooking skills while preparing dinner with the resident teen girls in crisis pregnancies. Conceptualized and ran workshops for residents regarding nutrition during pregnancy and infancy. Cleaned, organized, and grocery shopped for the residency's kitchen.