Career goal: To empower individuals and communities to take an active role in their health through education on nutrition, physical activity and stress-management.
Internship outline: Tracy worked with the Center for Science in the Public Interest in the health promotion policy department. She analyzed data on sodium content in restaurant foods with the aim of producing a report to reflect the progress, or lack thereof, that the prepared foods industry has made to reduce sodium content in their foods.
She was also a garden apprentice at Wangari Gardens, a nonprofit community garden aimed at cultivating community and providing fresh, healthy foods to community members. She interviewed individual garden plot holders about their experiences gardening and thoughts on health, nutrition and community engagement through the gardens.
Value of experience: The dichotomous nature of my summer provided me an opportunity to see nutrition work from a variety of perspectives: nutrition policy working to change industry behavior, and grassroots level activity working to educated and bring community members together around growing their own food.
Best moment/experience: One of the many highlights of my summer was meeting NYU nutrition professor, Marion Nestle, at the Soda Summit hosted by Center for Science in the Public Interest. Reading Professor Nestle’s book What to Eat was a major influence on my decision to pursue a graduate degree in public health. Her blog Food Politics is my daily newspaper, keeping me informed about some of the most important events in nutrition in this country.
Funding source: Laurence and Judith Weiss Fellowship
Center for Science in the Public Interest founder Michael Jacobson presents at the annual Soda Summit, organized around reducing consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages.
Marion Nestle, NYU Professor of Nutrition and author, attends CSPI’s Soda Summit in Washington, D.C.
The California Center for Public Health Advocacy presents at CSPI’s Soda Summit on the harms of consuming liquid sugar.
Wangari Gardens, named after Kenyan environmental activist Wangari Maathai, in Washington, D.C. is a community garden providing free, fresh produce to community members.
A disabled plot holder, Grace Kelly, with a number of chronic conditions has improved her health by spending time at the gardens with an accessible garden plot.
Picking fresh produce grown at Wangari Gardens
A local teacher brings community children to the gardens to learn about health and the environment.
Wangari Gardens maintains an outdoor classroom where community members attend workshops on a variety of gardening topics, such as pest management and beekeeping.
The nonprofit, DC Water, runs a test plot at Wangari Gardens using recycled biosolids as compost.
DC Water’s test plot shows strong growth with recycled biosolids compost over the summer growing season.