Making an Impact on the World, One Nutrition Course at a Time

Graduate Program: MS in Nutrition Education
Graduate Year: 2014

My name is T’ara Smith and I’m a first-year graduate student from Baltimore, Maryland. In 2014, I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Marine Science and had plans to become a planetary geologist or environmental chemist. However, after taking two years to travel, discover my hobbies and delve into my passions, I discovered that I found immense joy in cooking, exercising and nutrition. Luckily, I found the program for me when I decided to pursue my Master’s in Nutrition Education at American University (AU). It was the perfect choice for me to pursue my passion in health and wellness.

In my pursuit to find a program, American University’s admissions counselor was the first counselor I spoke with during my application process to any school. As soon as we ended our first conversation about the university and the program, I knew I wanted to be part of the AU community and pursue my online Master’s degree at AU. The MS in Nutrition Education program at AU was the only program I applied to and I was more than elated when I got the call that I was accepted.

I’m about to finish my third course in the program and I’ve begun to get everything I wanted out of this program and much more. My professors have been nothing but helpful and accessible and I can tell they enjoy teaching the material as much as I enjoy learning about it. The course that has exceeded my expectations thus far is Health Communication, where we discuss the importance of conveying health information through social marketing campaigns, advocacy and technology. I was interested in learning the role of marketing in nutrition education and have come to love the subject so much, that my mind is opening to the possibility of pursuing internships and jobs in social marketing.

The best qualities of the nutrition education program are the opportunities to complete projects that one would likely to complete in the real world. Practicality in education is super important to me and keeps me engaged in my coursework. I feel like I’m making a small impact in the world one big assignment or project at a time. I know if I feel like this now, then I know I’ll feel even more empowered once I graduate in 2018 and apply everything I learned towards bettering my community.

Though I take classes online, I try to visit campus at least 4 or 5 times a semester to attend events, visit faculty and staff or just simply study at the library. One of my reservations about becoming an online student was the possibility of feeling like an outsider and not part of the AU family. However, I feel just as included as if I were an on-campus student. I also enjoy being able to do my work on my own time and absorb the information at my own pace. If I feel overwhelmed by the deadlines or feel like I need to improve on my time management, I know AU has all the resources I need to remain on the right track. I also love that I’m able to connect with students all over the country and read about their experiences and what brought them to AU in our discussion forums.

I’m proud to be in this program and proud to be an AU Eagle. I couldn’t have chosen a better program and look forward to continuing to my education at this school, but more importantly, have a long-lasting relationship with the university even after I graduate.

To learn more about American University’s online Master of Science in Nutrition Education, request more information or call us toll free at 855-725-7614.

  • About the Author

    T’ara Smith

    T’ara is a first-year graduate student in American University’s Masters in Nutrition Education program. When she’s not studying, or completing assignments, she’s whipping up healthy recipes in the kitchen or lifting weights at the gym. She runs a food blog called Cooking to a T, where she shares some of her favorite recipes, discusses her weight loss journey and important topics such as emotional eating.