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CHCI-PepsiCo Nutritional Health Graduate Fellow

Hometown: Paterson, New Jersey
School: Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
Degree: Master of Science in Clinical Nutrition
Placement: TBD

Natalia Guzmán (she/her/ella) is a Salvadoran-American born and raised in northern New Jersey. Growing up in a disadvantaged and food apartheid community, she first-hand saw and experienced the hardships people faced to obtain nourishing food. She also personally experienced the benefits of federal food assistance programs, as her parents worked hard to raise their three daughters. Acknowledging these adversities sparked a fire within her to advocate for her community and those alike. She believes that ensuring food security, and addressing its components, its determinants, and other systems that play a role in a community’s health, should be the primary focus of nutritional health.

She attended Rutgers University, receiving her B.S. in Nutritional Science – Dietetics and her M.S. in Clinical Nutrition. Her love for food is what led her to pursue a degree in nutrition; however, in the last six years, she has learned the importance of food security and accessibility, and nutrition education. Through her master’s program, she completed supervised dietetic practice hours in various clinical and community settings needed to become a registered dietitian nutritionist. Natalia has participated on leadership committees in university and national organizations, including the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ (AND) Latinos and Hispanics in Nutrition and Dietetics, as their Social Media Coordinator. In 2021, she was awarded the Dietetic Student Initiative Award by the New Jersey AND. Natalia has various nutrition-related experience working with the Spanish-speaking population, expanding from data entry for the federal extension program NJ Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program to research to nutrition education. Her goal is to become a community and clinical registered dietitian nutritionist specializing in eating disorders and weight-inclusive care.

As the CHCI-PepsiCo Nutritional Health Graduate Fellow, Natalia looks forward to learning more about public policy and growing in this space. She wants to learn how, as a dietitian, she can aid in properly advocating for nutrition-relating policies. She looks forward to this opportunity that will allow her to work towards policies that will fully benefit the nutritional health of all marginalized communities across the life span.