As an eager first-year student in NYU Steinhardt’s Department of Nutrition and Food Studies, she seized the opportunity to join Club E.A.T., where she could network with other students and gain experience cooking and learning about food outside of the classroom.
Despite her limited experience, Jeanine’s diligence and knowledge earned her a summer internship as the specialty food liaison at Cedar Lake Camp, a kids sleepaway program in Milford, Pennsylvania, where she was responsible for tracking allergens in foods and working with staffers to ensure that campers received specialized meals that met their dietary needs. While her priority was the campers’ safety, she found that her course work gave her additional insight into their diets – beyond the ingredients.
“My first year I took a lot of classes that put nutrition into perspective in the outside world. Relationships to food differ depending on cultures, their backgrounds, gender, even sexuality – and all of that comes together to explain people's eating habits,” Jeanine says. “So I would see the way they ate and the way they talked about their foods in different ways, and I would understand why.”
Now in her second year, Jeanine serves as the director of partnerships in the Black Student Union, a mentor in the Academic Achievement Program, and as the secretary for Women of Excellence, Strength, and Tenacity (WEST).
While her graduation date is a few years away, Jeanine is looking forward to attending graduate school to pursue a career as a dietitian.
“I think that nutrition is just a misunderstood field. It's not just giving out diet plans to people,” she says. “There's eating disorders, there's sports dietetics, there's people who after surgery need specialized eating plans so that they can be okay. I hope part of my future involves advocating for the role and importance of nutrition. It's misunderstood, but it's something that everyone should really know about and care about, because it affects all of us in different ways.”
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