Name: Rachel Dalton
Hometown: Midlothian, Illinois
Major & Graduation Date: Dietetics, May 2017
Favorite ISU Class: Medical Nutrition Therapy with Dr. Christina Campbell
Job Title & Company: Maternal and Child Health Educator, Peace Corps Zambia
Major Job/Position Responsibilities: Community integration is a key responsibility of Peace Corps Volunteers. Much of my days are spent greeting neighbors, attending community functions, preparing and sharing meals, and learning the local language. These experiences are wonderful in their own ways but also help me better understand my community and its needs. As a health educator, identifying and addressing these needs are the main aspects of my job. Guided by local counterparts, I help develop sustainable programming to combat our community’s most prevalent health issues such as malnutrition, malaria, and HIV/AIDS. These programs vary from structured school clubs to impromptu educations at the Rural Health Center.
What you like most about your job/position: Intimately experiencing a foreign culture, engaging in endless learning opportunities, and connecting with fellow Peace Corps Volunteers are among my favorite things about my job.
What advice would you give to current students pursuing a career in Agriculture and Life Sciences? It has been a decade-long dream of mine to serve as a Peace Corps Volunteer. However, after graduating from Iowa State and beginning my dietetic internship, I wasn’t sure if it was in my best professional interest to pursue this dream. Ultimately it was the thought, “If not now then when?” that drove me to apply for Peace Corps, and I am deeply grateful to have done so. My advice for students in CALS is to follow your curiosities with vulnerability and humility and to embrace the countless opportunities the field has to offer