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Young Alum of the Month: Alyssa Dougherty

Alyssa DoughertyName:  Alyssa Dougherty

Hometown:  Epworth, IA

Major and Graduation Date:  Dietetics and Global Resource Systems, May 2020

Favorite ISU class:  My favorite ISU class was Globe 321 with Catherine Swoboda and Shelley Taylor.  My classmates and I had just returned from our summer-long international internships, and everyone had a unique learning experience from a different corner of the world to share.  I enjoyed learning from them and reflecting more upon my own personal growth from a 9-week internship in India with the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition.

Job Title & Company:  Graduate Student in the Coordinated Master’s Program at the University of Minnesota. This 2-year program offers both a dietetic internship and Master of Public Health in Public Health Nutrition.

Major Job/Position Responsibilities:  As a graduate student, I have thoroughly enjoyed

  • Conducting qualitative research in the areas of college food insecurity, food cooperatives, and sustainable food systems.
  • Interning in a variety of nutrition rotations, including with the National Dairy Council, a school foodservice program, and a transitional care unit.  I look forward to my future rotations in a clinical hospital, WIC office, and the United States Agency for International Development.
  • Engaging in thought-provoking discussions and projects with fellow classmates in a variety of classes, including classes that focus on public health, biostatistics, epidemiology, global nutrition, and more.

Alyssa DoughertyWhat do you like most about your job/position?  When I accepted admission to this program in January 2020, I was not anticipating the pandemic and social challenges that were to unravel in the coming year.  In combination of these events and my program’s focus on serving marginalized and disadvantaged populations, I am thankful to have grown in my ability to understand hardships, critically think through solutions, and provide compassionate care along the way.

What advice would you give to current students pursuing a career in Agriculture and Life Sciences?  College offers endless opportunities.  My advice to students would be to diversify your adventure at Iowa State with a variety of experiences.  I say with confidence that my participation in the Salt Company, SHOP Student Food Pantry, World Food Prize Foundation, and international internships positively impacted my life goals and career ambitions.  In addition, do not be afraid to let some activities go so you can dive deeper into the ones you are most passionate about.