Sara Boyd (SB): This month, I had the pleasure to sit down and talk to Trevor Kennedy who is widely active within the Brooks College of Health! He talks about his triumphs and how this program has benefitted him for the better and has impacted his life for years to come!
SB: Everyone has different reasons for wanting to pursue the nutrition and dietetics route. What made you want to begin this process and what was your goal you wanted to achieve by doing so?
Trevor Kennedy (TK): After I lost interest in my first degree, I wanted to do something that would help people and be beneficial to the society. I think that the Community area of nutrition provides a great platform to do just that. I also enjoy anything that involves science so when I found out that a nutrition degree had a ton of science was involved, I was all in.
SB: What are some of your greatest accomplishments this far within the program?
TK: I have many different accomplishments that I am proud of. I think my best accomplishment so far has been my ability to excel in the classroom. Before coming back to school, I was a less than average student, but I think my grades now show the interest I have for the subject. Because of excelling in the classroom, I think it has helped form the relationships I have made while in the program. I’ve met some of the best friends I’ve ever had here and will cherish them long after graduation. I also helped start a nutrition education program at a local rehab facility for the Garden U Bridge project which, I think, will help people in the facility with their recovery. At the beginning of my senior year, I became an officer of the Nutrition Journal Club and started a new research project with Dr. Arikawa which is going to hopefully have really interesting results.
SB: I know you are involved in a research projects with Dr. Arikawa. What are you researching and what do you hope to gain by the end of it?
TK: We are researching the lycopene content of different tomatoes. More specifically, the lycopene content in organically grown tomatoes vs. conventionally grown tomatoes. We all know the environmental and chemical benefits of organic food but there is little research on the micronutrient content of these foods. By the end of the experiment, I hope to have some reproducible results but most of all – the experience. Research is something that I have been interested in for a while and I am using this experience to see if it is something I would like to pursue.
SB: Are you involved in any other extracurricular activities within the Brooks College of Health? What would you suggest to other students who are interested in joining clubs or research while taking full time classes?
TK: Yes, I am involved in the Nutrition Journal Club and I also tutor a couple students for Advanced Nutrition. I think there are two things you need to do when thinking about extracurricular activities. Number one would be to start early. If you start early with a couple things, then you can carry those things through your senior year and be great at them. With the internship looming, we all feel like we need to cram as much experience as we can into a small time period. If you start early it eases some of that pressure. Secondly, seek leadership roles. It’s not enough to just be part of a club. Instead seek officer positions or create something yourself that you can show results for.
SB: After graduation, what field of nutrition do you hope to be a part of or what do you hope to accomplish?
TK: Right now, I am not sure what field I would like to be in. I enjoy the research aspect but I also like working with kids, so it’s all up in the air. The most important thing for me to accomplish would be to make a difference in people’s lives. On the day I retire, if I can say I helped people better themselves then I would say I have accomplished what I set out to do.