Sarah Dramstad '20

Celebrating Food as a Source of Nourishment, Joy and Connection
Sarah Dramstad

Sarah Dramstad '20 is a nutrition major from Essex Junction, Vermont. She ran the Brain Freezer 5k last summer – her first race ever – which raises money for People Helping People Global, an organization that provides micro-loans to individuals who live with less than $2 a day. The best part of the race, she reports, was the pint of local VT ice cream that the runners were required to devour 1.5 miles into the race. The observation isn’t surprising for Dramstad, who believes healthy eating habits can include all foods. She also loves ice cream.

COLSA:  Looking back on your time at UNH so far, what are you most proud of and why? 

Sarah Dramstad: During my time here at UNH, I am most proud of becoming a Student Liaison for the NH Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. In this role, I get to connect UNH’s Student Nutrition Association with the NH chapter of the Academy and share some of the events happening around NH and the available resources like with my peers.  I also get to attend the monthly conferences held by the NH Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics to give updates on what our nutrition club has been doing and to connect with other registered dietitians and nutrition professionals around NH. 

COLSA: What motivates you?

Dramstad: I always like to have a goal in reach to stay motivated. Some goals may be short or smaller like staying active during the school year while others may be long-term goals like my career goal of becoming a registered dietitian. To help me reach those goals, I look up to those who have helped me along the way and it keeps me energized to strive to be a role model just as they have been.  Whichever goal I envision or role model I look toward, I like to reflect during the times I struggle or may not be as motivated so that I can feel re-centered to put my best foot forward. 

COLSA: Why did you choose your major?

Dramstad: I love food! Food is something that connects people, both socially and culturally. I chose to study nutrition because I love learning about why food is important to us but also to share my passion with others. Emphasizing how healthy eating habits can be enjoyable and that every food can “fit on your plate” (you may think of it as eating all foods in moderation) is so important for our overall health, well-being, and shaping our own identities. I want to share this positive outlook on food and nutrition so that others, too, can enjoy and nourish themselves the best they can be. 

COLSA: Any advice for students interested in your major? 

Dramstad: My first advice is don’t be afraid to start getting involved outside the classroom! There are lots of clubs and volunteering opportunities that not only help you build your resume but to grow as a person and make more friends and connections. I joined the Student Nutrition Association Club and volunteered at the Fueling Station ever since I was a freshman and have loved it! I continue to participate in these groups every semester and find that being involved with people who have the same passion and interests as you make it so much fun! Another great place to check out is the Waysmeet Center/Cornucopia Food pantry right on campus. Helping out at the food pantry and being a part of cooking community dinners always brings everyone together. 
My second advice is to lend a helping hand to your peers! Regardless of what option you choose in nutrition, and while it may feel competitive at first, know that your peers will be your friends and your biggest supporters. Help each other out whether its studying together or inviting them to come join you volunteering. Some classes will be hard but realize you are not alone, and you are all in it together! 

COLSA: What are you planning to do after graduation?

Dramstad: I plan on completing a dietetic internship, hopefully combined with a master’s program, so that I will be one step closer in becoming a registered dietitian (RD). 

COLSA: How is UNH preparing you to achieve your goals? 

Dramstad: UNH’s Nutrition program is preparing me well for my dietetic internship. Within the dietetics option, my classes include food science, medical nutrition therapy, management and accounting in foodservice, nutrition education and counseling, and lots and lots of chemistry! What I love most about this program is how friendly and helpful the faculty are when it comes to academics and career advice. 
UNH also gives me an open door to many opportunities for personal growth to better reach my goals. Being able to volunteer at the Waysmeet Center’s food pantry right on campus allows me to connect with other students as well as diverse populations. I also got to take NUTR 600, a field experience course, where I worked with the dietitian at UNH Dining Services, which expanded my perspective of the work she does as well as what other dining service staff and hospitality staff do. Lastly, I took courses through the Thompson School of Applied Sciences studying the relationship between culinary arts, nutrition and food science (one of my favorites was making blood-orange flan and the science behind it). All of these opportunities here at UNH inspires me to work hard to achieve my goals! 

COLSA: What do you love most about UNH?

Dramstad: The food, of course! One of my biggest decisions when choosing where to go to college was the food at the dining halls. I will be living on campus all four years because I love the convenience of the dining halls and not having to cook while being so busy studying and volunteering. As much as I would love to cook my own food, I really appreciate the hard work all the dining hall staff members do to keep the food fresh, nutritious, and diverse. 
One regret I had was not going to Union Court or the Dairy Bar my freshman year! I love the different lunch options they have like sushi or roasted vegetable pesto sandwiches at Union Court. It’s also a great spot to meet up with friends or to study in-between classes. The Dairy Bar also has wonderful sandwich and salad options and have local ingredients (not to mention the delicious ice cream stand)! 

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