Standing on the shoulders of giants

February 1, 2024
Zac Jones

Zac Jones is an undergraduate student in CFANS studying nutrition.

Choosing to pivot

I think my start in nutrition was a little unconventional. I remember meeting with a guidance counselor late in high school, somewhat unsure of what I wanted to study. I was considering chemistry, political science, and aviation. My guidance counselor told me that she went to school for nutrition and had a pivot in her journey. I was inspired and deeply curious to learn more about a passion of mine! Being able to study the science of nutrition, something I was thinking about regularly, was very appealing to me.

The nuances of nutrition

What I enjoy most about nutrition is just how diverse diets can be! I don’t enjoy thinking about “optimization” of diets. Food is too nuanced to be able to be optimal. Are we able to make changes to better suit our needs? Absolutely! Will I ever give up the “less than optimal” foods that remind me of home and my culture? No! 

Advice to CFANS students of color

My advice to CFANS students of color is to seize every opportunity you can to be selfish. Advocate for yourself and your desires. Not every culture celebrates selfishness and individuality. However, I think it’s important that these notions are challenged in a setting such as this one. Not everyone will advocate for you as it’s not in their interests for you to succeed. Be your biggest supporter and I’ll be second!

In Advancing Agriculture, members of CFANS’ Black community share their pathways in agriculture. From student researchers to faculty members, their contributions have an impact here in Minnesota and around the world.