Why did you choose UW?
I chose the UW because it is an excellent research institution and I wanted to surround myself with world-class innovation, inquiry and brilliant people interested in public health. The reputation of the Graduate Coordinated Program in Dietetics (GCPD) was also a significant factor in my decision-making process. The GCPD program allows me to simultaneously pursue both an MPH and my dream to become a registered dietitian.
What influenced you to pursue your degree in nutrition?
My fondness for food and cooking is what led me to nutrition. Since I was seven years old, I have been drawn to the kitchen. I was fascinated that with a few uncomplicated steps my mother could transform simple ingredients into an utterly distinct and delicious meal. She made comforting and nourishing Punjabi meals and inspired by her love for cooking, I have spent—and continue to spend—a lot of my free time in the kitchen.
For me, nutrition is more than just understanding nutrients and what to eat to sustain your body. Food evokes feelings, it can provide healing. Furthermore, my program has given me a wider perspective. Now, I constantly see the sociopolitical, economic and historical connections in everything we eat. Food provides a dynamic lens with which to view those connections. This lens can shape the way we design and build future systems.
What is the focus of your research?
The focus of my research is uncovering and understanding the importance of internationally coordinated food governance.
Tell us a few fun facts about yourself.
I've gone gorilla trekking in Uganda to observe gorillas in their wild habitat. I went to Savoy in Tokyo, Japan, to eat what David Chang says is the best pizza in the world, and spent four hours at a lace exhibit in the Rijksmuseum.
What are your future goals?
In the short term, I would like to work clinically in some capacity and then move in to a more food-policy focused role with an interest in helping making food systems more just, equitable, and sustainable.
Read Divya's full profile from the Nutritional Sciences Program.