Fueling Health and Diversity: Spotlight on Vice Presidentʼs Diversity Graduate Assistant

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Photo by Annabelle Lang

Tia Sanders, a doctoral student in the School of Nutrition and Food Sciences, is making waves in the world of nutrition and food sciences. From Pensacola, Florida, Sanders holds a bachelor's degree in biology and nutrition, as well as a master's in biotechnology from Alcorn State University. However, it was a personal experience that ignited her passion for exploring the profound impact of food on our health.

She decided to pursue nutrition and food sciences after her mother fell ill, which led her to pay more attention to the nutritional value of the foods around her.

“There are certain foods that are more cancer-related than others. Certain foods help benefit your body to help get you better, which influenced me to investigate what could speed up the recovery process,” Sanders shared.

Driven by her desire to unravel the mysteries of nutrition, Sanders became the deserving recipient of the Vice President's Diversity Graduate Assistantship, a prestigious honor awarded through the Office of the Vice President for Agriculture. This recognition acknowledges her exceptional academic prowess and commitment to diversity in the field.

Sanders also achieved another remarkable feat as the first student in an agriculture-related program to receive the highly acclaimed National Science Foundation Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation (LSAMP) Bridge to Doctorate Fellowship. This fellowship provides her with invaluable opportunities to gain new experiences, foster meaningful relationships, and, crucially, secure the necessary funding to propel her career forward.

With the support of her fellowship, Sanders is currently engaged in groundbreaking research focused on harnessing the health benefits of proteins found in hemp plants. Her innovative approach involves utilizing protein from hemp to create cheese — a venture that holds great promise for both nutrition and sustainability.

Sanders expressed her gratitude, stating, “I am very grateful for my fellowship because not many universities offer assistantships and fellowships. So, I am very appreciative to have the opportunity to gain new experiences and build new relationships while also having the funding necessary to further your career.”

12/1/2023 7:03:39 PM
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