Falk Graduate Student Rebecca Garofano Honored by Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

In accordance with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Nutrition Services policy memorandum, SP 15-2018, CACFP 12-2018, SFSP 05-2018 – Child Nutrition Program Waiver Request Guidance and Protocol-Revised, May 24, 2018, the Tennessee Department of Human Services (DHS) is seeking a waiver of statutory and/or regulatory Program requirements to assist CACFP and SFSP program operators in transitioning to normal operations while understanding the ongoing impacts of COVID-19.

Rebecca Garofano, a Falk College graduate student in nutrition science, was honored with the Outstanding Dietetics Student Award at the New York State Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Annual Meeting and Expo April 8-9 in Syracuse.

Garofano is actively engaged in research and service with various professional and community organizations. We spoke with Garafano to learn more about her research experience and interest in nutrition.

Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself.

A: “I am from Syracuse, left at age 18, and returned after about 10 years to care for and be with my mom, who passed away from colorectal cancer in 2018. Outside of being a student, I’m a mom of two young kids, an avid doodler, an aspiring gardener, a decent cook but better eater, and a recent convert to graphic novels.”

Q: What sparked your interest in nutrition? 

A: “During my time away (from Syracuse) I had the opportunity to learn about agriculture, including working internationally for a nonprofit that does agriculture research and extension for smallholder farmers.

“There were multiple culminating dynamics that contributed to this moment, but the specific one, when I realized that I wanted to study nutrition science, came while working on a research grant, which involved doing nutrition composition analysis of local vegetable species for which that data doesn’t yet exist. We were packing fern samples to ship to the World Vegetable Center office located at Kasetsart University in Bangkok, Thailand. My co-workers taught me a lot about food, and collecting and packing these samples, of course, involved taste testing the fern in several dishes that they enjoyed.