Food is Medicine Collective.

Food is Medicine Collective @ BUSPH has a mission to…

We meet…

Sakshi DewaniSakshi Dewani, President
Certificate: Healthcare Management & Epidemiology Biostatistics
Pronouns: she/her/hers

Sakshi is a second year MPH student doing dual certifications in Healthcare Management and Epidemiology-Biostatistics. She is passionate about healthcare access and equity and wants to work in data analytics and strategy after her graduation. She has been an active member of the Food is Medicine collective since the organization started and understands the importance of food access, food justice and food insecurity around BU campus and the greater Boston community. Her aim is to reduce the stigma of food insecurity among BU students by providing them with necessary resources and also spread awareness about these sensitive issues. Sakshi also works as a Research Assistant for the Activist Lab on BUSPH campus. Her hobbies include biking around Charles River Esplanade and catching up with friends and family back in India! Feel free to email her at or through LinkedIn!

Paola BayonaPaola Bayona, Communications, Outreach & Events Coordinator
Certificates: CAPDIE and Epidemiology & Biostatistics
Pronouns: she/her/hers

Paola is a second-year Master of Public Health candidate studying CAPDIE and Epidemiology & Biostatistics. She is originally from Peru, and has lived in Michigan, Texas, and Maryland before relocating to Massachusetts! She is a certified Lifestyle Coach for the National Diabetes Prevention Program and her main interests are promoting healthy lifestyle behaviors in populations with chronic diseases. Her goal is to blend her lifestyle medicine knowledge with public health to promote sustainable interventions and decrease the stubbornly high incidence of lifestyle-related chronic disease in the country. She loves cooking, biking, and mushroom hunting in her free time! Feel free to email her at and connect with her on LinkedIn.

Madilyn SnyderMadilyn Snyder, Co-Community Food Access Liaison
Certificates: CAPDIE, Human Rights and Social Justice
Pronouns: she/her/hers

Madilyn is in her second semester of the MPH program at BUSPH. In addition to her class work and role with FIMC, she works as a graduate office assistant for Graduate Student Life. She was born and raised in central Florida, attended undergrad in Asheville, North Carolina and lived among the Iowa cornfields before moving to Boston. Her professional passions include ensuring all individuals have access to nutritious, culturally relevant foods, as well as working to advance social, political, and economic structures through a health equity lens. In her free time, she enjoys attending free events around Boston, rewatching Broad City, and catching an early morning CrossFit workout.

Mariangelí EchevarríaMariangelí Echevarría, Climate Equity Coordinator
Certificate: CAPDIE
Pronouns: she/her/hers

Mariangelí is in her last semester of the MPH program pursuing the certificate in Community Assessment, Program Design, Implementation, and Evaluation (CAPDIE). She currently works as a Climate Resilience Fellow with Mystic River Watershed Association. In this role, she partners with the Community-Based Organization Everett Community Growers and the Healthy Neighborhoods Study to understand Everett residents’ current experiences with extreme heat, housing, and food insecurity to implement climate resilience efforts and ensure that potential strategies to combat these issues do not increase social inequities. In her spare time, Mariangelí enjoys long walks around the city, cooking, thrifting clothes, and working out.

Saloni PatelSaloni Patel, Treasurer
Certificate: Epidemiology & Biostatistics
Pronouns: she/her/hers

Saloni is a second-year MPH candidate pursuing the certificate in Epidemiology & Biostatistics. She is from India where she served as a dentist before moving to the US for her master’s degree. She is passionate about mitigation of chronic diseases through public health research. In her free time, she enjoys dancing, listening to music, and fitness activities. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to Saloni at or on LinkedIn to connect!

Noor A. SafarNoor A. Safar, Co-Community Food Access Liaison
Certificates: Epidemiology & Biostatistics
Pronouns: she/her/hers

Noor is a second-semester MPH candidate who is pursuing a certificate in Epidemiology and Biostatistics. In addition to being a full-time student, she is also actively involved within the BUSPH community as the Newsletter Curator for Students of Color for Public Health and a Peer Coach for the Peer Writing Coach Program. While Noor was born in Ohio, her family moved back to Kuwait when she was just two. She was raised there until she moved to San Diego to begin her undergraduate studies. This program was her first real venture into public health in an academic setting, and she has found it to be an eye-opening experience thus far. Her passions include learning about ongoing health disparities, and how current healthcare systems can correct or contribute to them. She is also interested in how epidemiologic data can be used to shape public health promotion. In her free time, she loves reading, visiting coffee shops, writing poetry, and spending time with her family and friends.

Avy OsalvoAvy Osalvo, Policy and Advocacy Coordinator
Certificates: Health Policy and Law
Pronouns: she/her/hers

Avy is a first-year Master of Public Health candidate studying Health Policy and Law. She is also involved in the Health Policy and Law Student Organization (HPLSO) and works for the Medicaid Policy Lab in the Health Law, Policy, and Management department. Through her role in FIMC, she aims to make advocacy accessible for students in supporting bills and policies that tackle food security. In her free time, she enjoys trying new dessert places with friends and volunteering.

Man NguyenMan Nguyen, Food Justice and Antiracism Coordinator
Pronouns: he/they
School/program/certificate: BUSPH, undecided

Man Nguyen is a first-year MPH candidate who is currently exploring different functional degrees. Growing up in Vietnam, Man moved to Massachusetts in 2014 and currently lives on Charles River Campus to continue pursuing his study in Boston. Initially focused on medicine, Man recognized the inequity within the system they aspired to work under and the lack of attention toward social determinants that affect the patients even before they reached the hospital lobby.

  • Passion: I am passionate about fostering connection with people and contributing toward the collective fight for equity in public health. Through my time here, I also hope to learn more about inequity within the Asian American community.
  • Hobbies: Outside of class, I love playing board games and listening to music. 3 boys by Omar Apollo is the song on repeat for me right now :)
  • Favortite Boston restaurant(s): Saigon One and Saigon Fusion XD. Must try avocado smoothie and vietnamese iced coffee as side drinks at Saigon Fusion
  • Instagram: mnguyen20

Nitya JhaNitya Jha, Secretary
Certificates: Epidemiology and Biostatistics
Pronouns: she/her/hers

Nitya is a first-semester MPH candidate who is pursuing a certificate in Epidemiology and Biostatistics.
She was born and raised in India, completed her bachelor’s in dental surgery from India and worked as an Associate Dentist before moving to the US. She has previously volunteered at several non-profit organizations. She is passionate about food security, eliminating disparities in healthcare and promoting health equity. In her free time, she enjoys dancing, listening to music, and cooking. Feel free to email her at or connect with her on LinkedIn! Favorite Boston restaurant(s): Maggiano’s Little Italy (South End), Regina Pizzeria
(North End)

Ajuni KaurAjuni Kaur, Environmental Advocate
Certificates: Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Environmental Health
Pronouns: she/her/hers

Ajuni is a first-year Master of Public Health candidate studying Epidemiology and Biostatistics and Environmental Health. She is also a part of the Mental Health Public Health Connections (MHPHC). Through her role in FIMC, she strives to highlight environmental issues in Boston and introduce strategies to combat these challenges. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, watching standup comedy and dancing. Feel free to connect with her on LinkedIn!