Student Spotlights

Meet Lu Chen (BS, Nutrition Science ’19)

Why did you choose BU’s nutrition program?

When I did my college research, I was looking for both nutrition majors and pre-med majors. I found that BU Sargent has a well-designed and integrated major with clinical nutrition and pre-med courses, so that I didn’t need to worry about adding any extra pre-med classes into my already packed schedule. The city of Boston left me with such a nice impression when I toured Boston back in middle school. I decided to go back to Boston and finish my college education.

What did you like most about the program?

The curriculum has a balance between pre-med classes and clinical nutrition courses. I love that Sargent provided me with lots of opportunities for hands-on experience. For example, the undergraduate nutrition practicum is a highlight of my four years at BU. In my senior year, professor Marijane Staniec helped me find a TA position at MCPHS to teach dental hygienist students about basic nutrition related to oral health. This opportunity provided me with real-world experience, linking nutrition with oral health and using my nutrition knowledge to others.

How do you feel the program prepared you for your next step as a graduate student in dental school?

This program prepared me very well, and I have a strong foundation in basic science. All the pre-med courses prepared me well for my DAT exam, and even now, I sometimes refer back to my undergraduate notes to help study for dental school exams. I am proud to have a background in nutrition, as nutrition and oral health are profoundly interconnected. I learned this notion in my undergraduate nutrition practicum, and I was able to continue to apply this in dental school. In dental school, nutrition has been recognized as an important factor in patients’ overall health, and in my first year, we learned basic tools (24 hour recall and FFQ) and knowledge on how to utilize nutritional assessments to determine patients’ general nutrition status and give tips on balancing their diets.

What advice do you have for future undergraduates?

I recommend future undergraduates communicate regularly with their academic advisors to stay on track with their course requirements, utilize pre-professional services, and explore research opportunities on campus. Also, don’t forget about balancing school and your life outside school! You should definitely look into student clubs and school events. Enjoy your four years at BU.