kristen hicks

Why did you choose the Nutrition Program at Texas A&M?

I chose Texas A&M Department of Nutrition and Food Science because of the great faculty, staff and future opportunities. I was excited to work in this department to help discover real food interventions to protect against cancer and to develop and distribute research-based nutrition education materials to health care professionals. Also, my dad is a Texas A&M alum (’86) and has described A&M unlike any other school, which sparked my interest and led the way for me to commit to this wonderful program.

What is the subject of your dissertation research?

My research focus is developing research-based continuing medical education courses (webinars and self-study modules) for health care professionals. My aim is to provide health care professionals with the latest research, recommendations and realistic methods to integrate brief nutrition counseling sessions with patients. My dissertation spans three courses on the following issues our health care system faces including Type 2 Diabetes, Weight Management and Heart Healthy Living. Our courses are launched on the state wide platform, Texas Medical Association, allowing statewide visibility of our courses and the Department of Nutrition and Food Science at Texas A&M University.

Why would you recommend the Department of Nutrition and Food Science? 

I would highly recommend the Department of Nutrition and Food Science at Texas A&M University. This department has grown and truly turned into a remarkable program as far as teaching, research and opportunities. The department offers several Teaching Assistant opportunities to help fund your graduate degree. The courses offered for graduate students has grown over the years along with the cohesiveness of the department including undergraduate and graduate students, along with faculty and staff. I believe the best part of the program at A&M is that you feel like part of the family and we are all here to help each other and work together- an aspect you likely won’t find in many programs elsewhere.

How has the department prepared you for your future career?

The department has opened many doors for my future career by allowing me to network with individuals and groups in my field, providing me with top-notch support and feedback during my academic career and empowering me to expand my research on a larger scale. The Department Head, Dr. Boon Chew, provides enthusiasm and support to all the graduate students in the department, allowing us graduate students to explore “out of the box” research ideas. The faculty and staff do their best to prepare you; however, it is important to realize, you only get out what you put in, your time at Texas A&M opens many doors, it is up to you to open each of them.

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