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Student Spotlight: Sofia Chang

March 31, 2020

Sofia Chang arrived at Drexel University’s College of Nursing and Health Professions eager to make a positive impact. Having already completed an undergraduate degree in sustainable food production, she was focused on the next part of her academic journey: enrolling as a graduate student in the Future Model Master of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics Program.

As a member of a small and connected cohort of students, individual classroom attention is a normal part of the experience. Whether a student is interested in becoming a clinical dietitian, who provides medical nutrition therapy for patients with acute or chronic diseases in care, a community dietitian, who counsels individuals and groups on nutritional practices designed to prevent disease and promote health, or a sports dietitian, who works with competitive and recreational athletes, there are faculty experts and built-in experiential learning opportunities that allow students to focus directly on what they care about most.

The curriculum prioritizes a strong foundation in science and physiology through courses like Advanced Nutrition: Macronutrient Metabolism, which covers the biochemical and physiological topics of macronutrient metabolism, with an emphasis on ingestion, digestion, absorption, and excretion of carbohydrate, protein and lipids. Other courses, such as Lifecycle Nutrition, build on the basic principles of nutrition, to include nutrient metabolism and chemical and biological aspects of nutrition for individuals of all ages.

With an interest in sports nutrition, Sofia was able to connect with Stella Volpe, PhD, RDN, the chair of the Department of Nutrition Sciences, and Nyree Dardarian, MS, RD, the director of the Center for Nutrition & Performance, who both work with some of Philadelphia’s most elite athletes. Volpe’s expertise and advice have been a meaningful part of Sofia’s academic experience.

As a knowledgeable horticulturalist and vertical garden enthusiast, Sofia has many interests in Philadelphia. In addition to her interest in sports nutrition, Sofia is an athlete. She completed the New York City marathon last year, and is part of a long-distance running club in Philadelphia, which meets regularly to run along the Schuylkill River Trail.

As a leader in her class, Sofia’s interest in creating positive and healthy change has already meaningfully shaped her school and city.