Below are the current student ambassadors for the Bachelor of Science in Public Health program in Nutrition. Feel free to contact one or two of these students to ask questions you may have about the application process, the program, or student life in the Gillings School of Global Public Health.


Maliha is a Senior Nutrition Science and Research major with minors in medical anthropology and biology. Her interest in nutrition stemmed from her childhood in Bangladesh where she witnessed several hardships of mothers and infants in underserved communities, food insecurity being the most prominent. Such experience showed her a strong correlation between maternal nutrition, early childhood diets, and infant health, inspiring her interest in research. She started her research journey in high school through investigating cardiac fibrosis and has been part of diverse research initiatives at UNC, including nutritional toxicology studies at Gillings and medical humanities research through the HHIVE lab. Currently, Maliha is part of Dr. Stephanie Martin’s research group examining nutrition services in primary health care facilities in Zambia. Outside of Gillings, she volunteers with the Refugee Community Partnership, directs a South-Asian interest podcast, and is co-president of Culinary Medicine at UNC. In the future, Maliha hopes to pursue an MD with a focus on patient-centered care and integrate her practice into global health initiatives.


Tate Blackburn is a junior from Charlotte, NC majoring in Nutrition Science and Research and minoring in chemistry and Spanish for the Medical Professions. Tate’s interest in nutrition arose from his curiosity about the Blue Zones, regions of the world where people live the longest, and research on integrative medicine, “superfoods,” and eating for chronic disease prevention. In Chapel Hill, he volunteers with Flourish, the nutrition initiative of the University’s student-run free clinic, to translate nutrition education materials into Spanish, and in Carrboro, he assists El Centro Hispano’s Salud Integral program, helping to educate local seniors on healthy eating habits in Spanish. As a first-year, Tate researched the effects of prebiotics on the gut microbiome, specifically bacterial gene regulation, with the UNC Microbiome Core and hopes to continue this for his senior year capstone. After graduation, he will attend PA school and hopefully work in a low-cost clinic. During his free time, Tate loves to try new foods, practice his handstand, run at Merritt’s Pasture, explore the Triangle, and relax with close friends.


Eleanor Christianson is a senior from Wayzata, Minnesota double majoring in Nutrition, Health, and Society and Medical Anthropology with a minor in Chemistry. Eleanor’s curiosity about nutrition began with her interest in studying the relationship between food, health, and culture. At Chapel Hill, she became involved with TABLE and the UNC Food Justice Alliance which gave her an increased awareness of the effects of food insecurity on early childhood development. At Gillings, Eleanor spends her time studying food culture, sustainability, and health disparities. Eleanor spent her past summers studying sustainability in the cattle industry in Texas and interning with Senator Amy Klobuchar as a food policy advocate. She has researched discussions of complimentary feeding habits on social media platforms as well as the effect of nutritional deficiencies on human remains. Eleanor is currently helping with a School Meals Campaign in North Carolina and research on PORCH Fresh Food Project. After graduating, she hopes to pursue a career in medicine and public health to make an impact on food related health disparities. In her spare time she enjoys sailing and cooking.


Aastha Dubal is a junior in the BSPH program for Nutrition Science and Research. She became interested in nutrition through her work in Dr. Folami Ideraabdullah’s lab which focuses on epigenetic reprogramming of metabolic health as a result of intrauterine micronutrient deficiency. Bridging nutrition and genomics is one of her research interests. Outside of Gillings, Aastha is the head learning assistant for anatomy and physiology lab and currently serves as the diversity, equity, and inclusion chair for UNC’s pre-medical fraternity, Phi Delta Epsilon. After graduation, Aastha plans to attend medical school and use her background in nutritional genomics research and public health to promote wellness through food. In her free time, she enjoys baking and spending time with her hamster, Coco.


Anna Geib

Anna Geib

Meet Anna! Anna is a junior Nutrition Health and Society and Exercise and Sports Science double major from Hillsborough, North Carolina. A competitive swimmer for 12 years, Anna’s interest in Nutrition started with sports and sport performance. Realizing how much diet affected her athletic performance made nutrition something that has fascinated Anna from a young age. Throughout high school, Anna continued to explore nutrition and more importantly, nutritional disparities. As a senior in high school, she researched with Dr. Alice Ammerman on her project “Good Bowls,” a healthy frozen meal created in effort to make more healthy options available in food swamps and deserts. Now Anna is interested in using lifestyle choices to prevent and treat chronic illnesses. Currently she researches in an NIH-funded EXSS lab that is using an exercise intervention to improve overall health and quality of life for patients with Schizophrenia, and in the Cassidy Plasticity Lab on the STRIDE study that uses social support and education to help stroke patients adhere to their rehabilitation treatments upon returning home from the hospital post stroke. Outside of Gillings she serves as the Vice President for CPALS and Secretary for AED. In the future, Anna hopes to work for NASA, researching ways to use diet and exercise to combat health complications astronauts face after being in space.


Ellie Geiselhart is a junior currently majoring in Nutrition Health & Society and minoring in Spanish for the Health Professions on the pre-PA track. Originally from Gothenburg, Sweden, she moved to Greensboro, North Carolina at a young age. As a student-athlete in high school, Ellie’s initial interest in nutrition and health evolved from a place of curiosity: how could food improve athletic performance? Her desire to learn more about food developed when she moved to Chapel Hill and began cooking every meal on her own. The summer after Ellie’s freshman year of college, she worked at a local farmer’s market located in a food desert in Greensboro and spent a couple weeks visiting several farmers markets along the west coast of Sweden. Understanding the difference in food culture, distribution, and security in the United States and in other countries is something Ellie is truly passionate about. In the future, she plans on becoming a PA who understands the impact that global health inequities have on individual patients. Ellie’s utmost goal is to serve underprivileged communities that face challenges finding healthcare as a result of the language barrier.


Rhea Jayaswal

Rhea Jayaswal

Meet Rhea! Rhea is a Junior from Cary, NC majoring in Nutrition Science and Research with minors in chemistry and creative writing. Her interest in nutrition stems from her experiences working with local anti-hunger organizations such as No Kid Hungry NC, Inter-Faith Food Shuttle, and SEEDS in Durham. Her research interests lie at the intersection of food, health, and equity. She currently works with Dr. Lindsey Smith Taillie in the Global Food Research Program, studying federal and international policies to reduce nutrition disparities and diet-related disease. In addition, Rhea is involved with the Orange County Food Council, UNC Minority Health Conference, and the Health Humanities Journal of UNC. In the future, she plans to pursue graduate school and continue working to achieve global nutrition security through policy, systems, and environmental change. Outside of school, Rhea enjoys reading fiction, trying new restaurants, and ice skating!


Aliyah is a Junior from Waldorf, MD majoring in Nutrition Science and Research. Her interest in Nutrition stemmed from a UNC first-year course on food through people, society, and research. In this course, Dr. Beck explained her research on selenium and its remarkable role in the immune system and DNA synthesis. What drew Aliyah in was when Dr. Beck explained described the disparities of people having enough selenium and how it those with lower amounts were more at risk for being severely affected by COVID-19. Aliyah began research her freshmen year at UNC at a neuro-psychology lab that focused on eating disorders among different populations. Currently, Aliyah works with Dr. Ian Carroll’s research group that focuses on bariatric surgery and its effects on weight loss through measurement of caloric excretion. She is also a part of Gillings’ Minority Student Caucus. Outside of Gillings, Aliyah also works as a Nursing Assistant in Maryland, Vice-President of alpha Kappa Delta Phi, TABLEs volunteer, and an ROTC cadet. Through her sorority, she serves her community by hosting fundraisers, service events, and educational talks for issues affecting the women and women that are a part of the Asian diaspora. After graduating, Aliyah plans to pursue an MD with a focus on cardiology and travel with the military to provide aid to people in third-world countries.


Cameron Mewborn is a junior from Lillington, North Carolina majoring in Nutrition: Science and Research with a minor in chemistry. Cameron’s interest in nutrition goes back to her upbringing in rural Eastern North Carolina, where she had the privilege of watching her food come out of the ground and straight to the kitchen table. At UNC, Cameron has been able to dive deeper into nutrition and regional trends through her research with the Children’s Healthy Weight Research group, where she investigates how to implement nutrition best practices in childcare facilities in rural and urban environments. Outside of Gillings, Cameron is a Certified Nursing Assistant, volunteer at the UNC Cancer Hospital, and Narratives in Medicine Club leader. Cameron plans to continue studying nutritional public health trends in rural communities while also pursuing a career in rural medicine following her graduation. In her spare time, she can be found on a run, reading a good book, or cheering for the Heels in the Dean Dome!


Emily Qiu is a junior from Cary, North Carolina, majoring in Nutrition Science & Research with double minors in chemistry and music. As a longtime endurance athlete in running, swimming, and rowing, it was very apparent to her the sheer impact nutrition has in sport performance and general energy levels. She is particularly interested in pursuing research about metabolism and the role of diet in disease prevention. Her experience as a D1 rower on UNC’s women’s rowing team especially gave her a passion for nutrition education for athletes. She currently volunteers as an Olympic Sports Nutrition intern for UNC Athletics by working at the fueling station for UNC Olympic sport athletes, shadowing the UNC Olympic sport dietitians to talk to teams about nutrition, hosting workshops, and creating informative social media content. Outside of Gillings, Emily is still an avid runner and loves baking desserts and singing along to Taylor Swift. In the future, she hopes to attend public health school and become a licensed registered dietitian to teach others how to incorporate a variety of nutritious foods to optimize energy in everyday life.


Corinne Walker is a junior majoring in Nutrition Health and Society with minors in chemistry and neuroscience from Cary, North Carolina. She spent the first five years of her life in the small town of Princeton, Indiana, where the nearest grocery store was 40 minutes away and all restaurants were fast-food chains. The juxtaposition between this type of environment and the more urban area of Cary she moved to later in life made Corinne cognoscente of the vast disparities in regard to nutrition access even within the US, helping her develop an interest in public health. In high school, she began to work with anti-hunger initiatives such as Stop Hunger Now and Interfaith Food Shuttle.  She currently does research for the NIH’s BRAIN Initiative Viral Vector Core at UNC, which creates custom virus preps for researchers across the globe to track neural pathways. In the future, Corinne hopes to pursue her PharmD and integrate her passions for neuroscience, nutrition, and policy into her career. In her free time, Corinne enjoys figure skating, running, and baking!

Department of Nutrition
Our offices are located on the second floor of Rosenau Hall.
Faculty and Staff
Academic Coordinators

135 Dauer Drive
245 Rosenau Hall, CB # 7461
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7461
(919) 966-7218