Emma D’Arpino ‘17 on her Journey as Nutrition Student

October 15, 2015

Emma Darpino

Emma shares healthy eating tips and what she’s learned from her work and volunteer experiences.

What are you studying?

Nutrition and Dietetics with a minor in Photography.

What drew you to your major?

I defeated a 5 year battle against myself, titled: You're Fat & Lame. Suffering through anorexia during middle school and high school had to be the worst and best thing to happen to me. Unable to accept myself, I tried becoming someone else. Now, strong as ever, I let myself sweat with confidence each day (Simmons, you help tremendously). And through that I found my future. 

My goal is to allow consuming food to be a friend, not a battle, not a nightmare. I want people to understand that good foods and exercise may give you that body you want but MORE IMPORTANTLY allow you to live a happy and healthy life. 

What’s your favorite class you’ve taken so far? Why?

Community Nutrition with Dr. Brown. This was my first lecture where I was able to receive insight on the Registered Dietitian (RD) career path. Dr. Brown created the lectures to be inviting allowing for various group discussions. We were also able to share our knowledge with the community by teaching elementary school kids about nutrition.

What work and volunteer experiences have you been able to pursue as a Nutrition student?

At Boston Children’s Hospital I work in the Outpatient Preventive Cardiology Department. Here I help counsel kids who suffer high cholesterol, hypertension and obesity. I also contribute to their Heart Center Facebook page with both recipes and my photography.

At Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center I work as a clinical research nutrition aide. Here I prepare food for various protocols regarding patient specific nutrition status. One of the ways we conduct research is by measuring patient metabolism rates over a period of time.

At Dana-Farber Cancer Institute I volunteer in outpatient treatment care. I organize nutritional supplements given to patients while answering their questions posted on the blog in regards to easier ways to consume food after treatment, ideas to regain taste and effective ways to exercise.

What has been the most valuable lesson from these experiences?

Learning about who I am, and who I want to become. At these hospitals and institutes I learn the value of knowledge and obligation. I force myself to break any uncomfortable barrier to learn something new, asking endless questions to some of the best healthcare professionals in the nation. Gaining these responsibilities I step closer to my dream each day, realizing that I am able to reach any goal I put my mind to.

What are your top 3 healthy eating tips for students?

  1. Eat breakfast. I REPEAT: EAT BREAKFAST.
  2. Plan ahead: packing healthy snacks prevents a growling stomach, which means no overeating.
  3. Live a little! Don't restrict yourself from foods you love. It's all about moderation (also known as the 80/20 rule) If you're eating healthy and exercising 80% of the time, allow yourself some freedom for that 20%.

What’s your dream job?

I plan on becoming an outpatient Pediatric Dietitian with a focus on high cholesterol/obesity or eating disorders/controlled eating. I believe that my personality and patience allows me to connect with younger children and parents without them feeling bewildered or blamed.

What's your Simmons moment?

Joining the Simmons Softball team - I've learned the value of leadership, family and team work. They guide me, push me and support me. And I wouldn't have come this far without them.

Check out more of Emma's tips on her Guide to Nutrition College Edition.