June 18, 2019
Alumna Paloma Suarez, who received her bachelor’s degree in Nutrition in 2012 and her MPH degree in Community Health Education in 2015, recently received the 2019 New Hampshire Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (NHAND) Outstanding Dietetic Student Award for her work as a dietetic intern at Keene State College in New Hampshire.
The award is given to students who show emerging leadership skills through their achievements in a dietetic education program. Suarez was recognized for her hand in developing a nutrition education program in her area as well as a culturally-competent meal project at Concord High School in New Hampshire.
In their nomination letter, administrators from the Keene State College dietetic internship program wrote, “[Paloma] had the opportunity to work with families new to this country through the International Institute of New England, helping them figure out ways to utilize their WIC benefits while also adjusting to an entirely new American food system. She met with ESOL students at Concord High School to implement a culturally competent meal project that was a true collaboration with the students. She designed and translated into Spanish population specific nutrition education materials for Dartmouth College medical students to implement on their medical service trip to Honduras.”
“I was truly humbled and touched by the kind words that were said about me and the nomination,“ Suarez says. ”This year as a dietetic intern, my experiences in working with the community have shaped both my personal and professional life in such profound ways.”
Suarez notes that while her experience in New Hampshire has been inspiring, she would not be where she is today without UMass. “Completing my master's in Public Health helped me feel more confident and prepared to go out into the community. UMass also helped me create long lasting relationship with my mentors, Dr. Cohen and Dr. Gubrium, who have been there for me in each step of my career.”
Suarez expects to complete her dietetic internship by the fall of 2019.