Meet Alicia! She’s a nutrition and dietetics student at the University of North Florida who is a part of the school’s research-based nutrition magazine, Nutri News. Alicia is determined, kind, and hardworking. She is going to contribute great things to the profession of dietetics. Read on to find out about this amazing undergraduate student, Alicia Scott.
Tell me a little bit about yourself.
My name is Alicia Scott. I am 24 years old, and I am originally from the beautiful island of Jamaica. I was raised there and moved to the U.S shortly after my 18th birthday. During my first years as a student, I received my Associate of Arts degree in Dietetics and Nutritional Services followed by an Associate of Science degree in Health Service Management at Broward College. Outside of school, most of my time is spent reading, spending time with friends and family, and of course my unhealthy obsession of eating French fries. One of my hobbies is doing yoga! I am not particularly good at it, but I try my best to do what I can, and I love it.
Where do you go to school and what is your degree? Tell me about your experience as a nutrition student.
I currently attend the University of North Florida, and I am getting my bachelor’s degree in Nutrition and Dietetics. Before transferring to UNF, I received two associate degrees at Broward College. My experience as a nutrition student at UNF has been phenomenal. From my first semester, I have felt at home at the university. During my time here, I have met some amazing people and have had some wonderful experiences. The professors are understanding and helpful and I found some great mentors.
What attracted you to the field of nutrition and dietetics? Tell me about your journey thus far.
Ever since I was a child, I wanted to be in the medical field. I thought of different occupations such as a pediatrician or even a veterinarian, but none of those were my passion. In the ninth grade, I got more interested in my food and nutrition classes, and I made the decision that I would explore the field of nutrition. I found out that I could be an RD and after I moved to the U.S. I did exactly that by getting my associate degree at Broward College in Dietetics and Nutritional Services. The journey has been a long one, but since transferring, it has only gotten more interesting, and I am excited to see how far I can go.
What are some nutrition or food science topics that either excite you or frustrate you?
The one topic in nutrition that I have found to frustrate me is anything to do with energy production. We keep hearing about glycolysis and all the other forms and the role it plays in energy production, and I get confused every time I hear it. The one topic that I have learned so far that has excited me has been in food science. I love the idea of food science and I remember a lecture we had where we were learning cheese making. Our professor said that all mammals can make cheese and the class started asking questions about all mammals. Turns out, that since a whale is a mammal, it is able to make cheese. I fell down a rabbit hole trying to find out where the milk would come from. I finally found out, and I just have to say, I love food science!
Tell me about some of your accomplishments as a nutrition student.
AS: I think one of my greatest accomplishments as a nutrition student was getting straight A’s in my first two semesters at UNF. I was new to the Jacksonville area, and I was away from my family. I had to learn how to study even though I have been going to school since I was a toddler. I have also been able to be more comfortable when it comes to asking for help and interacting with my peers and my professors. I have had the opportunity to be a part of some amazing organizations like Brooks10 and have gotten to have a once-in-a-lifetime experience of going to Italy to participate in Study Abroad.
How have you adapted and shown resiliency throughout your schooling?
AS: With me being shy and an over-thinker, I have tried my best to grow out of my shell and participate more. Once I transferred and got settled in my apartment, I started volunteering at Meals on Wings every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. That has helped me to be more involved in my program, and it’s a great way to help the community. I have also tried to set aside time for myself every week during school. Sometimes we can get wrapped up in school, work, and volunteering, but it is important to take care of ourselves. The fall semester was the most hectic semester I have ever had, and I felt like I couldn’t do anything except study-I felt myself pulling away, so I came up with the plan of setting aside time for myself.
Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years? What do you hope to contribute to the field of nutrition and dietetics?
AS: In 5 years, I am hopeful I would have successfully finished my internship and MS degree and hopefully have passed the RD exam. I am open when it comes to working in different areas of dietetics, but if I were to specialize in an area, it would either be oncology or transplant. I hope to find an area of research that I am enthusiastic about and dedicate part of my life to that research. I would love to explore the area of eating disorders and find ways to improve the treatment of patients with eating disorders.
Alicia will start her senior year at the University of North Florida this fall, continuing her nutrition classes while being honored with representing UNF’s Brook’s College of Health as a member of the Brooks 10.
By: Larissa DePasqua