Nutrition Junior Madison Powell

Throughout the month of March we will be highlighting current students from our DPD program. 

madison powell in an orchard holding an appleThis week we feature junior Madison Powell. 

Why did you choose Nutrition at the University of Minnesota?

I chose the University of Minnesota because the campus is beautiful, spacious, and welcoming. Although I am not from Minnesota, I feel right at home here. I was also attracted to the opportunities being so close to a big city and with an extensive healthcare system integrated right into the campus/city. 

What are your career goals after graduation?

I am hoping to get into the integrated B.S./M.S. program this year. Hopefully this means after I complete my undergraduate studies I will be here another year to complete my master's degree, and then begin applying to dietetic internships. After passing the exam to become a licensed dietitian, my goal for my career is find a job where I feel I am really helping people.

Do you do any Nutrition-related work or volunteer activities outside the classroom?

Both the jobs and volunteer student groups I am involved in have to do with Nutrition. I work at Fairview hospital Riverside campus as a Nutrition Services Associate, where I deal with helping provide adequate nutrition both pediatric and adult patients with special nutritional needs. I also work here on the St Paul campus as a research assistant with the College of Education and Human Development. The lab I work in is studying the gut brain axis development of kids from infancy to three years old. I work within the bio-sample and nutrition data collection aspect of it, seeing what impact nutrition has on gut microbiome development. These jobs are so wonderful to work in because I see very different aspects of how nutrition can be applied, both in research and in hospitals, helping patients.

For my student groups, I am a team leader for the Nutritious U Food Pantry as well as a member of SNAC. I have been with Nutritious U since its first pilot pantry my freshman year. For those who don't know, we are a group started by CFANS own Rebecca Leighton and we help alleviate food insecurity for students going to the U. We hold pantries the last week of each month, providing free food to any and all students. I have been volunteering with the pantry since the beginning, and it has been such a privilege to see it grow into something that is really helping alleviate the stress that students feel when they are food insecure. My absolute favorite part of the pantry is getting to meet new volunteers and people coming through the pantry. The appreciation people have for the pantry makes all the work very gratifying. Finally, in SNAC (Student Nutrition Advocacy Collaborative), I hold two peer nutrition consultations weekly, as well as cooking classes every other week. This student group has been so fun to be  a part of and I really value the opportunity to practice nutrition counseling every week. 

Favorite healthy snack?

A banana wrapped in spinach. Ok. I know this sounds crazy, but try it! The crunch of spinach and slight bitter taste complements the sweetness of the banana in a fantastic way. 

Funniest question asked by people when they learn you’re a Nutrition major:

"Oh, is that a bachelor of art?" (Seriously??)

What piece of advice do you have for future Nutrition students?

Be excited! Nutrition is so fun to learn about, and the college Nutrition is housed in (CFANS) is so wonderful. We get the best of both worlds: a smaller, more personal college housed within a huge university! There are so many amazing opportunities to get involved with things and groups on campus. Make sure you pay attention to the emails sent to Nutrition students about different opportunities, it is how I found my amazing two groups and my lab job. I really appreciate CFANS and all the people in the FSCN department.

madison powell with a calf