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ERIKA HVAL

Steinhardt School of Culture, Education & Human Development
Bachelor of Science, May 2011
Nutrition and Dietetics
Profile (.pdf)
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Erika Hval is currently a dietetic intern at Tufts Medical Center and a masterís student at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, Tufts University in Boston. This dual degree program is training Erika to become a registered dietitian, the credential given to food and nutrition experts who have met minimum academic and professional requirements. This training guides her through the community, the inpatient hospital setting, and outpatient counseling centers to improve the eating behaviors of neighbors, patients, and clients. Erika ultimately hopes to leverage the nutrition and healthcare education she is receiving in order to positively impact food and nutrition policy for systemic public health change.

Since moving to Boston, Erika has also interned with the Boston Public Health Commission. She worked with the Commissionís Intergovernmental Relations Department to suggest and implement citywide health promotion projects, and draft comment letters to the federal government on important pieces of nutrition-related legislation. In addition, Erika acts as an ambassador to the Friedman Schoolís Community Health Advocates group, as a liaison to the Student Government, and as Vice President to the Massachusetts Student Dietetic Association. These roles allow her to further engage colleagues in important food and nutrition-related political activism.

Erika furthermore serves as communications director for Jumboís Kitchen, an after school nutrition and cooking program for low-income elementary school students. Each of her activities has helped Erika achieve a better understanding of the physical and political nutrition environments in her community, and thus a better idea of the changes that need to take place for optimal health.

As an undergraduate at NYU, Erika developed Students for Slow Money, a student-led initiative to repair our broken food system. She also worked closely with the Wagner School of Public Service as a research assistant, analyzing the politics of obesity and school food. Erika further helped organize a Reynolds Speaker Series exploring the effects of economics, sustainability, and safety on our food choices, and generally developed her passion for improving community health through sound nutrition. Erika graduated from NYU in 2011 with a B.S. in Nutrition and Dietetics from the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development.