The Ph.D. program in Nutritional Sciences at the University of XXXX is my first choice among doctoral programs. Its sheer excellence and the fact that it is located where I have become established with my family and a social/professional network. I first earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Neuroscience, where I became immersed in studying the brain-gut connection, especially gastroenterology disorders. I feel that my neuroscience background will help me distinguish myself as a doctoral student in Nutritional Sciences, especially concerning my efforts in research into diseases of the gastroenterology system and nutrition intervention for those disorders. I went on to earn a Master’s Degree in Nutritional Sciences with a concentration in the area of Wellness and Sports Nutrition. The relationship between physical activity and nutrition has helped me cultivate holistic perspectives concerning food.
As a Taiwanese woman who came to America for my university education, language was the most immediate challenge I have faced. The first year of my undergraduate studies was mainly English as Second Language courses; I never regretted taking these classes because they allowed me to better prepare for my future work. I have made many friends from different countries. I talked to new friends in the school as much as I could even though I knew sometimes I made hilarious mistakes. I hung out with friends and learned about this new culture. I am proud that I became the person who adapted to this new place. I overcame the obstacle and am no longer the girl who answers questions with a shaky voice.
Everywhere I have studied in Taiwan, China, and now the USA, I seek to develop and enhance my first-hand understanding of nutrition regulation and dietary customs related to culture, economics, and even politics. As well-traveled as I am read, my parents showed me much of the world growing up. I am most grateful for learning to appreciate multiculturalism and diversity early and cultivating a global vision and mindset. My international experience has facilitated my linguistic and communication skills and provided me with an understanding of global nutrition issues and policy initiatives.
My first nutrition course was an elective that I took in college, and, at the time, I had no idea how it would change my life due to the profound and abiding passion I have for nutrition. Nothing excites me as much as the goal of providing access to nutritional education and resources to those individuals and societies that have the greatest need. Thus, after completing your program, I look forward to working tirelessly for many years at the service of no-profit agencies. I am devoted to the cause of alleviating hunger and improving the health of society through greater access to nutrition education and resources. I feel strongly that the most significant possible contribution that I might be able to make to the community is nutrition education. I hope to contribute to assuring that the public has access to correct information in the case of public health emergencies. In 2015, for example, when an explosion occurred at the New Taipei Water Park, hundreds of people suffered varying degrees of burns, some over 90% of their body. Someone spread false information that drinking coconut water helped heal the burns. The data was widely shared on social media, creating false hope and causing some to neglect helpful treatments in favor of therapy that did no good. I want to work to monitor and ensure that such things do not reoccur.
My central professional goal for the future is to constantly expand my expertise in non-invasive and all-natural ways to significantly improve patients' quality of life, especially those who suffer from chronic gastroenterology disorders/diseases. I also look forward to researching the nutritional factors surrounding Alzheimer’s disease. Two of my grandparents have Alzheimer’s, and I have met with modest success in their nutritional dietary interventions. Since I have been working in XXXX’s lab as a graduate student, I now have experience in human research related to Vitamin D. I have conducted graded exercise testing, assessment of muscle lipid using MRI, measured dietary intake, and physical activities such as aerobic training for participants following the American College of Sports Medicine guidelines. I am highly adept at data analysis and interpretation. I have mastered various software programs, including Nutrition Data System for Research, Redcap, Microsoft Office, and SPSS. Researching Vitamin D greatly arouses my interest in its anti-inflammatory properties that can be helpful for chronic gastroenterology disorders. While pursuing my Master’s Degree, I enjoyed serving as a graduate teaching assistant for the Epidemiology course and the Chemistry lab. Therefore, I hope to teach clinical nutrition at the same time that I continue the research.
While I am not yet a registered dietitian, I work under the physician's supervision, gaining practical experience administering patients’ diets. Since August 2018, I have worked as a Certified Nutritionist at XXXX Pediatric Gastroenterology Clinic with children only one week old. Most of our patients suffer from chronic gastroenterology disorder/disease. I help educate patients and their families, particularly about special diets for patients with Irritable Bowel Syndrome, fructose malabsorption, and Small Intestinal Bacteria Overgrowth. I help. We often prescribe a Specific Carbohydrate Diet for Inflammatory Bowel Disease and Anti-inflammatory diets for patients with inflammation in the intestine. I provide alternative food choices based on the patient’s diet restrictions and religious preferences. We also offer nutrition education for patients with food allergies, hyperlipidemia, hypertension, elevated insulin, poor weight gain or abnormal weight gain, nutrition throughout the lifecycle, tube feeding, and nutritional supplements. This experience helps me better to appreciate the complex interrelation between individual and population health. For instance, cultural and social norms influence individuals' lifestyles and eating habits. However, the generalization of population health is unable to define individuals precisely.
The Specific Carbohydrate Diet has been researched by XXXX Children’s Hospital, an affiliate of the University of XXXX. This is one of the reasons I am applying to your program. Our physician, Dr. XXXX, is currently researching the low-FODMAP diet and the efficacy of treating fructose malabsorption and Small Intestinal Bacteria Overgrowth (SIBO) - with a professor at the University of Washington. I will be one of the nutritionists designated to educate participants about the low-FODMAP diet, which will allow me to delve deep into current research on fructose malabsorption and SIBO using a low-FODMAP diet. The opportunity of combining the dietetic program with the Ph.D. program further strengthens my determination to apply to your schedule. Combining the dietetic program with the Ph.D. program further reinforces my decision. Thus, the University of XXXX is the school that best prepares me for a lifetime of research into diet and gastroenterology disorder/disease using a combination of vitamin D and gastroenterology nutrition.