Gatepost Interview: Jaquelyn Litwak – Campus Dietitian

Caroline Gordon / THE GATEPOST

What is your job here? 

The position title is Campus Dietitian, so I work as a Sodexo employee for the Dining Services. This mainly means working with different departments on campus, such as the Wellness Center, and making sure that healthy choices are easy choices for students. Also, letting them know they have resources. We want them to give us feedback, talk with us, develop a relationship with us, and make sure that we can better suit you guys with what you are looking for. 

What does a typical day look like for you?

In the morning, I typically just check emails. Then, I go down to the Dining Commons and check our digital signs. Digital signs are screens above each station in the Dining Commons displaying items with the allergies and food calorie count. I make sure they all seem correct and it’s the right item for the right meal at the right station. I go back and do that for lunch, too. After that, I see if there are any menu changes. I will look at those recipes and make sure they sound nutritionally balanced, and I make suggestions for the next time the menu comes around. Then, I normally work on projects for either things I am doing with other dietitians or nutrition team events.

How would you rate the difficulty of your job on a scale of 1-10 and why? 

I would say that depends on the day, but on average,, I would say a happy medium. A few days this week have been laid back so maybe like a four or five. There are other days where there are meetings and things you have to look at ahead of time – those days might be more like a six or seven. Once you develop a routine, you plan out and organize your week. Usually, it goes pretty smoothly, but you can’t always plan for everything that goes on, either. 

What is the most interesting aspect of your job? 

I think it is getting to work with students one on one. There are a few students I see every week, seeing people progress by taking healthier options, and more people using the salad bar, and seeing if there is an impact from the marketing and everything we do here for you guys. 

What made you interested in your profession? 

It was kind of random. Back in high school, I watched a show on Oprah that was all about vegetarian eating and animal cruelty. There was talk about nutrition on there and I just got on this healthy eating kick. This was around the time I was thinking about college and I realized this was a career and it just felt like the right move at that time. 

Did you graduate from Framingham State? 

I graduated from undergrad in 2018. Yesterday [Jan. 28th] was actually one year in this position. I am also in grad school here right now and I will finish that next spring. 

What is your most memorable moment as an undergrad? 

Probably getting into the Coordinated Program [in Dietetics Concentration], which is something with the nutrition major. You complete your 1,200 hours of supervision at different nutrition sites as you are completing your senior year in undergrad. This saved me a couple years of having to move somewhere, being able to gain experience right in the state, and furthering my education. I saved time and money.

Career-wise, if you could go back and do something differently, what would it be? 

I probably would have tried picking up a minor, probably in chemistry or biology since I had other classes that fit with those. Maybe psychology even. With the program I ended up going through, there weren’t enough electives to complete a minor. 

What are some of your hobbies and interests? 

I enjoy exercising, getting my body moving, and staying active. I am into cooking and baking, too. Also, going for walks and going to coffee shops with friends. 

What’s a goal of yours for the next year? 

I would like to create some type of night events for students – whether it’s cooking demos, general facts, or questions and sampling. Also, finishing grad school. 

What advice do you have for Framingham State students? 

Network. If there are opportunities to join clubs in school or outside, that would be great to meet people, gain skills, and having people skills. So many people these days are glued to screens. Have a presence somewhere, go to job fairs, and introduce yourself. 

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