A little bit about me: I started my professional career as a registered nurse, having received my bachelor’s of science in nursing at the University of Florida. I loved the nitty gritty detail- learning about health and disease at the micro-level, from mitochondria, microbe, muscle to memory. I worked critical care where I appreciated being able to focus on the whole person and family while trying to humanize a very technological experience.
It took only a few years working with patients at end-stages of chronic illness to see the potential of preventing illness, in particular, through food and nutrition as a far more hopeful and likely road to health. I returned to school, taught a nutritional biochemistry lab for a year and received a Master’s of Science in Human Nutrition at Cornell University and also became a registered dietitian. My research focused on older adults, and I conducted a study with veterans who lived in a retirement home. I also supported a community research study of independently living older adults and their food adaptations.
It wasn’t long before I began to see yet a bigger picture- what gets in the way of eating well is a lack of access to good food.
Since then, I have worked in a variety of nonprofits and educational settings including Tompkins Cortland Community College in upstate New York, University of Maine, Oregon State University and Mt. Hood Community College. In Portland, I worked at Oregon Food Bank as a community nutritionist, where I developed a fresh fruits and vegetables distribution program. Most recently, I was director of Growing Gardens- a Portland nonprofit dedicated to helping people grow their own food in backyards and at schools.
This is my fifth year teaching at PCC. I am excited to be here and I look forward to working with you to explore the dynamic field of foods and nutrition.
“To forget how to dig the earth and to tend the soil is to forget ourselves.” -Mahatma Gandhi