Living in Union Square

by Sarah Olliges

Rental market

Because it is not directly on the Red line, apartments in this area seem to be slightly cheaper than Porter or Davis.  Many people find apartments or roommates via Craigslist.  It does take some time to cull though all of the listings there, and you might end up with some crazy roommates.  Ideally, you will want to visit the city to see a place before you rent it- it is hard to tell from photos and emails.  Another option is to go through a broker- this is a service you will likely pay for though, and you will want to use a reputable broker such as Red Line Real Estate.

Transportation

There is not a T stop in Union Square.  Because of this, there is not a large student population there, which may be a pro or a con, depending on what you are looking for.  Union Square is approximately 1 mile from Central Square and just over a mile to Porter Square and Harvard Square.  It is about 2.5 miles from the Tufts Medford Campus.  If you are willing to trade some convenience to the T for cheaper rents, its a great place to live.  If you are willing to bike around the city, Unions Square is easily assessable to the Red or Orange line, to get downtown.   There are of course also bus lines that go through Union.

Attractions

The lack of a T stop makes Union Square a little more “authentic” feeling.  There are plenty of young professionals but are also families and an ethnic diversity you won’t find in Porter or Davis Square.  There are two great coffee shops in Union: Bloc 11 and the Sherman Cafe.  Bloc 11 have a relaxed atmosphere, great coffee and yummy sandwiches.  They also have a rarity for the Boston area- a courtyard and outdoor seating.  The Sherman Cafe also has good coffee and food, as well as an adjacent market that supplies many delicious locally produced foods.  You might not be able to afford many items in the Sherman Market on your student budget, but luckily you will have access to both Reliance Market, a Korean grocery and the to Market Basket, the cheapest grocery store in the city that also happens to have the freshest produce and worst parking.  In the warmer months you will also find the Union Square Farmer’s Market chock full of local veggies.

There are many bars in the Square, from the hole in the wall to the hip, including the Precinct, housed in the former police station, and the Independent, next door.  There are also many ethnic restaurants and on any night you could choose from Peruvian, Indian, Thai, Mexican, or Chinese.  The next morning you can role out of bed and beat the crowd to a Somerville classic- breakfast at the Neighborhood, where, for $5 you will get coffee, OJ, fruit, home fries, and a huge omelet.  Just get there early: on the weekends the line is out the door.

Cons

No T stop:  You will have to be willing to bus, walk, or bike to get to classes

No Tufts Contingent:  This is not a hot spot for Tufts students, so if you want to live around the corner from your school buddies, you may want to go for Davis or Porter Square

Living in Coolidge Corner

by Leslie Rathfon

Nestled intimately between Boston University, Boston College and the Longwood Medical Area rests zip code 02446: Brookline. As eloquent as its name rolls of the tongue, Brookline embodies all that this city has to offer, including: safe, manicured streets and jogging paths; parks and green spaces; quality restaurants that drive even Cambridge-dwellers; quaint coffee shops where the barista will remember your order; shoe smiths; a choice of drug stores; specialty shops, “Coolidge Corner”…and the list goes on. Though you’ll find a mix of people—from academics to young professionals to retirees—there aren’t as many college-aged kids living in Brookline compared with other Boston neighborhoods.

Rental Scene:

With its charm and quaintness, living in Coolidge Corner is never lackluster. Housing rates are slightly higher than average compared to neighboring vicinities. A one-bedroom apartment in Coolidge Corner averages around $1,450 per month including utilities. However if you are planning on splitting rent with a roommate, you can each expect around $1,000 to share an average two-bedroom, one-bath apartment. Often, laundry facilities are available in the building and sometimes parking is included. This is of importance if you’re considering bringing a car because parking in Brookline is tricky. First of all, there is no on-street overnight parking. So, if you have guests, they will have to park in one of the town’s guest lots for $10 per night. Because apartment hunting isn’t easy, especially when you’re new, allow a credentialed real-estate agent to guide you. One who knows the area like the back of his hand is veteran Boston realtor Bill McGowan at Keller Williams Realty (http://www.billmcgowan.yourkwagent.com, 617-497-8900).

Transportation 101:

In essence, Brookline relinquish the city’s hustle and bustle, yet still manages to maintain the urban feel. With access to Green Lines B, C, and D, make the subway, or “T”, trip downtown to school a quick jaunt. Like Boston itself, Brookline spans a large area, but is broken up into manageable neighborhoods. The previously mentioned Coolidge Corner (on the C line) serves as the congregational epicenter for Brooklinites. Incidentally, in April on Marathon Monday, hundreds of fans line up along the C line, which runs long Beacon Street, to cheer on the runners.

Pros:

There is a litany of perks attached to this walker-friendly locale.  Firstly, anchoring Coolidge Corner is the not-for-profit Coolidge Theater, which offers sleeper and artsy films. With an old-school theater feel that’s hard to come by these days, the illumination of the theaters’ lights at night make it a beacon of Coolidge Corner. On Thursdays, students can purchase tickets for $6.75 for any movie and you can bring your own snacks! Across from the theater is Brookline Booksmith, a celebrated local bookstore that offers weekly, mostly free, readings by renowned authors. Then there’s the famed farmers market (June 1-October 31), complete with slow-churned ice cream, which attracts farmers statewide. On the other hand, for general grocery shopping there are many options right along the C line: Trader Joes (right in Coolidge Corner), Stop and Shop and Whole Foods (in Washington Square).  To pick up a new hobby and meet new people, Brookline Adult Education Organization offers a mix of courses ranging from single baking or cooking classes to several week-long dance or language classes. Lastly, because you’re going to have studying to do, Brookline’s two public libraries offer a scholarly refuge with free wi-fi.

The restaurant scene is equally dynamic. Coolidge Corner is blessed with eateries that have received the prestigious “Best of Boston” award many times over. Such examples include: Matt Murphy’s Pub (Irish), Fugakyu (Japanese), Zaftigs (a delicatessen that has people lined up for over an hour on weekend mornings), Kupels Bakery (best bagels this north of NYC), Pho Lemongrass (Vietnamese), Orinoco (Latin), and Bottega Fiorentina (rustic, authentic Italian).

Cons:

Few and far between are the cons of living on the Green Line. Previously mentioned, parking in Brookline requires some getting used to. Firstly, there is a 2-hour limit for street parking, metered and not.  If police or parking attendants notice that you’ve been parked in a spot for more than 2 hours, you’ll face a $30 ticket. Unlike other subway lines, the Green Line runs above ground, and though the T runs frequently, it never seems fast enough in the (choose all that apply) blustery; windy; cold; damp; rainy; snowy; winter mornings. Luckily there are covered standing portals that shield Boston’s sub-optimal weather patterns.

All in all:

They say that green is the color of envy. So, it is no coincidence why Brookine’s Coolidge Corner is right on the Green Line. As soon as you see Coolidge Corner, it’s love at first sight.  It will make that big move just that much easier.

Living in the South End

by Laura Geraty

Rental Market…

Price range: one bedrooms range from $1,200-$2,800; two bedrooms range from $1,900-$7,500; three bedrooms range from $2,100-$7,500. (Note: high value represents top-of-the-line, newly renovated apartments)

Availability: Approximately 150 apartments are available at any given time; roughly 550 total apartments for rent in the South End.

(The above values are estimates from Gibson Sotheby’s International Realty)

Getting in and out…

Depending on your destination, one of the most convenient ways to get to and from the South End is on your own two feet. Even the furthest corner of the neighborhood is only 1.5 miles from the Friedman School, making your commute the perfect time to fit in extra exercise.

However, if it is raining, or you feel just plain lazy, there are also plenty of public transportation options. To access the subway, pick up the Orange Line at either the Massachusetts Avenue or Back Bay stops; another alternative is to catch the Silver Line bus, which runs down Washington Street and takes you directly to the Tufts Medical Center stop. With all of these options, having a car is a luxury but not a necessity.

Why choose the South End…

The South End is bursting with diverse boutiques, art galleries, public parks and open markets. A foodie’s mecca, this neighborhood offers more than 110 restaurants within its 1.5 mile radius. Whether you crave popular French or Italian cuisines, or something more exotic like Ethiopian or Cuban, the possibilities are endless.

Speaking from experience, this glut of options can be dangerous when living on a student budget. However, since the South End has nearly 30 well-maintained parks, there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy the neighborhood with a wallet-friendly picnic. Most of these parks also welcome dogs, making the South End a good choice for anyone with an animal companion.

The South End is best in warmer months, when many trees and private gardens are in full bloom. A delightful Sunday can be spent at the SoWa Open Market, snacking on fresh fruit and vegetables from local farmers while perusing wares from artists, independent designers, and antique dealers. Finish your day with a local brew and some live music at the Beehive, and I’m sure you’ll agree: it could hardly get any better than Boston’s South End.

Why not choose the South End…

Although I’m a loyal South Ender, truth-be-told the neighborhood has several cons. First, it is expensive. In addition to the pricey rent, there are few cheap-eats in this area. (I’m still trying to find a decent pizza delivery place that’s less than $30 for a large cheese and salad!) However, a persistent bargain hunter will be rewarded (irresistible $5 sandwiches at the South End Formaggio, $6 chock-full-o-grilled-veggie burrito from El Triunfo, and free wine-tasting every Friday and Saturday night at BRIX).

Second, the South End’s crowd is decidedly older. The upside to this is that you won’t be kept awake by a college kegger going on next door; the downside is that it might be more difficult to make likeminded neighborhood friends. Also, while the bar scene is lively, high-end wine and martini lounges are more common than student-friendly Irish pubs.

Third, and this goes for all Boston neighborhoods, there are some dodgy areas. It is advisable to be on guard when walking alone late at night. Luckily, there is a large police presence ensuring your safety.

Laura’s South End picks

  • B & G Oyster: $$$ (550 Tremont Street)
  • Toro: $$-$$$ (1704 Washington Street)
  • Union Bar and Grille: $$-$$$ (1357 Washington Street)
  • Franklin Café: $$ (278 Shawmut Avenue)
  • Beehive: $$ (541 Tremont Street)
  • El Triunfo: $ (147 E Berkeley Street)
  • South End Formaggio: Artisan products (including cheese, meat and wine) from around the world (268 Shawmut Avenue)
  • BRIX Wine Shop: Bottles start at <$15 (1284 Washington Street)
  • SoWa Open Market: May-October (540 Harrison Avenue)

Living in Brighton

by Amy Scheuerman

While all Boston neighborhoods offer a balance of ups and downs, Brighton’s balance tips toward downs.  Without ever visiting the area, I moved to Brighton in August of 2008, the main appeal being price.  I soon learned my mistake.

Rental Market

Two things that Brighton has going for it are the low cost of housing and its closeness to a wonderful selection of ethnic restaurants.  $1500 a month may sound like a lot for a two-bedroom apartment with a living room and eat-in-kitchen, but here in Boston once you tell someone that all utilities are included in the price, it seems downright cheap.  My roommate and I had plenty of space, hardwood floors, and never had to worry about the heat or cable bill.

Transportation

Brighton is connected to the rest of Boston by the B train of the Green Line.  This train is the slowest and most inconsistent of all the MBTA subway lines.  The train travels above ground through most of Brighton, and stops not only at each of the 18 above ground stops, but also at each and every traffic light between Kenmore and Boston College.  Unlike the other MBTA subway lines, the Green Line trains are only two cars long, which means that they are frequently very crowded.

While the B train will take you to Boylston Station in downtown crossing for a quick walk to the Friedman School, students who take classes at the Medford campus will find they have an even more arduous trek.  The easiest route between Brighton and Medford is the notorious 66 bus.   While scheduled to run every 11 minutes during the weekdays, buses actually come about every 20 minutes, at which point two will appear on the horizon and then, after picking you up, will leapfrog each other across the Greater Boston Area in an inefficient manner until you reach Harvard Station in Cambridge.  From Harvard you will take the Red Line to Davis Square and walk 15 minutes to the Medford Campus.

The Perks

Another great thing about Brighton are its neighboring areas, the hip Allston area, and the upscale city of Brookline.  Allston has an amazing selection of authentic Vietnamese, Korean, and Ethiopian restaurants as well as many grungy but hip music and dance clubs such as Harpers Ferry.  The Sunset Grill is known all across the city as having one of the best on-tap beer selections in Boston.

Brookline is a different flavor altogether.  A high rent neighborhood that is probably unaffordable for most graduate students, the city is spattered with interesting places to poke around.  The Brookline Booksmith is a great independent bookstore and the Coolidge Corner Movie Theater always has a couple of interesting independent films playing.

The Downside

Brighton’s population is split between lower income, primarily immigrant families, and Boston University students.  While living there I found the former to be friendly and very willing to offer advice on places to shop for groceries or eat out.  Unfortunately I found the latter to be loud and obnoxious.

My apartment building (near the Alston Street Station of the B train), while in no way affiliated with BU, was full of BU undergraduate students.  Loud music frequently lasted late into the night and rare was the weekend morning when I did not find broken beer or liquor bottles littering the entranceway.

Few Friedman students choose to live in Brighton and those who do tend to be spread far apart from one another, so you won’t get a real sense of community from the area.  That plus the pain-in-the-ass transportation situation were enough downs to make me break my lease and move to Teele Square, near the Medford campus and Davis Square off the Red Line, after just four months of Brighton fun.

Take Away Message

If you don’t mind a long commute and a dearth of local culture, Brighton is a safe-ish and cheap place to take up residence.  However, you can probably find a closer apartment on a better subway line for just about the same price if you work hard at it.

Welcome to Friedman! An Academic Tour from Current Students

by Rachel Perez

Congratulations for being accepted into the Friedman School! As you will learn, the School has two distinct branches, (the Department of Nutrition Science and the Department of Food and Nutrition Policy ), seven different degree tracks, and an enthusiastic student body.   Friedman’s multidisciplinary approach encourages collaboration and allows students to capitalize on their peers’ broad range of expertise.  Excited yet? Here’s a preview to Friedman’s degree programs with perspectives from current students.

The Department of Nutrition Science houses three programs: Biochemical and Molecular Nutrition, the Frances Stern Dietetic Internship, and Nutrition Epidemiology.            In the Biochemical and Molecular Nutrition (BMN) program, students focus on the biochemical, physiological, and molecular processes of nutrition as they gain skills for research or teaching in industry, government and academia.  Payal Batra, who is originally from India, was drawn to the BMN program for its expert faculty and extensive nutrition research.  Now a second-year PhD student, Batra’s work in an energy metabolism lab is giving her expertise in issues related to weight gain and obesity, which is her primary field of interest. Although she hopes to eventually return to India, she notes “The warm attitude of people at Friedman made my transition to this new country and culture very smooth.  The interactive environment and the diversity of faculty and students have made learning a joyous experience.”

An additional Nutrition Science program is the Frances Stern Dietetic Internship and Combined Masters Program, which is a combined degree with the Frances Stern Nutrition Center at Tufts Medical Center.  Students gain a master’s degree in nutrition, and complete clinical competencies necessary for a Registered Dietitian license.  A Registered Dietitian is a health care practitioner trained to use nutrition therapy for the treatment and prevention of disease.

The final program within the department is the Nutritional Epidemiology program, where students learn to design, implement, and analyze epidemiologic studies to answer nutrition research questions.  Vinh Tran, a first-year masters student, became interested in nutrition and epidemiology during his undergraduate studies when he worked for the Dietary Assessment and Epidemiology Department at the Tufts Human Nutrition Research Center for the Aging.  Tran says, “I’m enjoying the wide range of classes that I get to take.  From biochemistry to statistics, I’m getting a good foundation.”

Friedman’s second department, the Department of Food and Nutrition Policy, consists of four programs: Agriculture, Food, and Environment, Food Policy and Applied Nutrition, Humanitarian Assistance, and Nutrition Communication.

The Agriculture, Food and Environment (AFE) program looks at food production from ecological, political and social viewpoints. Chelsea Lewis, a second year AFE student, was attracted to the program after observing a rift between conservationists and social justice advocates in the environmental movement. “I am drawn to agriculture and food justice as a way to bridge that gap,” she says.  As she finishes her degree she looks forward to a career promoting sustainable agriculture in the Northeast.  Lewis has augmented her Friedman classes with courses at Tufts University’s Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and the Tufts’ Department of Urban Environmental Policy and Planning.  She hopes that skills such as marketing, GIS mapping, and grant writing will be useful in multiple job settings. “I’ve really tried to get a broad skill set while at Friedman.”

The Food Policy and Applied Nutrition (FPAN) program looks at food from policy and consumer perspectives.  For Katie Houk, a first-year master’s student, her interest in FPAN stems from working as a basic sanitation Peace Corps Volunteer in Bolivia. Katie reflects, “After returning home, I thought a graduate program in international nutrition would provide a good basis for continuing in development programs abroad with a focus on working with women and children.” She’s enjoyed FPAN thus far, and comments, “The econometrics and research skills we’re learning will really serve us in doing more structured thinking about issues we all seem to care about intuitively.”

The Humanitarian Assistance (MAHA) program is a one-year master’s of art program offering three core classes: humanitarian issues, humanitarian aid, and nutrition in complex emergencies.  Additional electives allow students to further develop their specific interests in topics such as development aid and international law.

In the Nutrition Communications (Nut Comm) program, students practice translating nutrition science into information that is useful for the general public. Lindsay Peterson, a second-year master’s student, said that before coming to Friedman she was contemplating a career in writing or health sciences. The Nut Comm program has given her the opportunity to pursue both.  She comments, “I think the electives allow you to figure out what nutrition issues are most important to you, and the communications classes give you the tools to share your message.”  Now as she prepares to graduate, Peterson says, “The [program] gave me a chance to explore everything from consumer writing and public relations to patient education and grant preparation. I feel equipped to be successful in a range of areas, so at this point I am just looking for the right opportunity.”

As we end our tour, I hope you’ve gained insight into the Friedman academics and enjoyed the student viewpoints.  We are excited to see you soon!

Stay Connected: The Friedman Alumni Association

by Kelly A. Dumke

What if I told you there was a part of the School specifically devoted to securing funds for your scholarships and financial aid, creating a network of alumni services, including career development tools, for your future job hunt, promoting the reputation and maintaining the caliber of students and faculty at your school…would you believe me?

You’d better believe it because that is exactly the task of the Alumni Association and the office of Development and Alumni Relations at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy.  With the Alumni Association’s mission to develop and maintain a community of alumni and assist members of the community in achieving their professional and personal goals, as well as the development office’s support of the Friedman School’s mission and objectives, they are truly an amazing resource for Friedman students, faculty, alumni, and friends.  I sat down with Lindsay Schoomaker and Sean Devendorf from the office of Development and Alumni Relations to learn a bit more about these valuable School resources.

Who are they? Friedman School Alumni Association

The Friedman School’s Alumni Association is only a mere 7 years old, but it has already established an array of alumni networks, sponsored numerous networking and promotional events, and helped secure scholarship support for the School.  It is governed by an Executive Council, which is comprised of over twenty-five alumni and two student representatives. The council is currently led by Sai Krupa Das, NG02, President, and Andrew Shao N00, Vice President.  The goal of the council is to bridge alumni and students through the Tufts Career Network, organize networking and social events, and fundraise to increase alumni participation in the Annual Fund and Beyond Boundaries: The Campaign for Tufts.

Every graduate of the Friedman School is automatically a member of the Alumni Association and just last year the Association launched its first regional chapter in Washington DC with over 100 people involved.

The Office of Development & Alumni Relations is headed by four familiar faces on the Friedman campus – Cindy Briggs Tobin, Director of Development and Alumni Relations; Sean Devendorf, Director of Annual Giving and Alumni Relations; Lindsay Schoonmaker, Assistant Director, Stewardship & Constituent Relations, and Joanne McDonough, Staff Assistant.   The Office supports the activities of the Alumni Association as well as working with friends, overseers, foundations, and corporations to advance the School’s mission and objectives and secure much needed funding.

The Board of Overseers, comprised of friends, alumni, and experts in the field of nutrition science, policy, and communications, work with the Office of Development & Alumni Relations and Dean Kennedy by providing visionary leadership, council, and support both financially and strategically.

What they do? Funding, Resources, and Events

Funding: A major task of the Alumni Association and the Development Office is to secure funds to both advance the goals of the Friedman School and support students through financial aid and scholarships.  The School focuses on two major types of funding sources: capital gifts and the Annual Fund.

Capital gifts are focused on supporting long-term School priorities.  They are often larger gifts that are “restricted use”: dollars that can only be spent on specific needs of the school.  Some capital gifts are for the School’s endowment.   The endowment is basically the “financial bedrock” of the university; it gives Tufts the long-term stability to achieve its goals.  Through the endowment, professorships and student aid are generated off interest from a principal investment from generous donors.

The Annual Fund is the other major source of funding for the Friedman School.  It is dedicated to the immediate needs of the school with a major portion earmarked for student financial aid and other resources, such as free wireless on the first floor of Jaharis.

Recent fundraising successes have come from the 2009 graduating class and generous alumni internship donors.  Specifically, the Friedman Alumni Association, in conjunction with the Friedman graduating class of 2009, collected donations that were matched last spring by Friedman School Dean, Dr. Eileen Kennedy.   A total of $2,500 was raised that went directly to incoming student financial aid.  Additionally, a generous overseer recently donated a significant financial gift as part of the Annual Fund and directed the money solely for the purpose of funding student internships.

Resources

  1. Career Advisory Network (NEW): In conjunction with the Tufts University Alumni Association, the Friedman Alumni Association has been preparing to launch the Career Advisory Network.  This will be an updated version of the current monthly career mentor list that is sent out to Friedman students and alumni.  The new Career Advisory Network will connect alumni and students to facilitate communication about internship and job opportunities, career advice, and expert advice from professionals in a multitude of fields. The network will be updated in real time and will be available online in the coming months.
  2. Connecting Alumni and Students:  A major part of the mission of the Alumni Association is to connect students and alumni to facilitate reaching professional and personal goals. “We want people to have a relationship with the school for life, not just while they are here,” quotes Sean Devendorf.  Therefore, the Alumni Association puts on multiple events throughout the year that bring together alumni and students:
    1. Brown Bag Lunch Series – Lunchtime talks by alumni about his or her profession, career path or relevant issues and topics in the “real world.”
    2. Career Panels – Periodic events hosted at Friedman usually based around a program theme such as sustainability, public health, communication, and nutritional sciences or an alumni theme such as entrepreneurial alumni.

Events

Beyond events at the Friedman Boston campus, the Alumni Association seeks to connect alumni and students all around the country and world.

  1. Tufts Alumni Regional Events: Alumni from all around the country attend events sponsored by the Alumni Association. Recent 2010 events include a lecture presentation and social event in Los Angeles featuring Dr. Chris Economos.  In addition, a networking and speaker series was held during February near San Francisco at The Culinary Institute of America.  Friedman Alumna Amy Myrdal N97, was instrumental in planning this fantastic event.  Regional events are posted here: http://alumni.nutrition.tufts.edu/
  2. Annual Student/Alumni Washington DC Trip:  Now in its third year, this annual event takes students from the Boston campus to visit various alumni working in the Washington DC area.  From organizations such as USDA, Environmental Defense, World Bank, and others, students gain first-hand insight into various jobs in the nutrition field.

How you can get involved and upcoming events?

The Friedman School Alumni Association makes every effort to connect students and alumni through events, social media, and online resources.  Consider joining the Executive Council of the Friedman School Alumni Association as a student representative next term.  As a committee member, you serve as a liaison between current Friedman students and alumni.  You have the power to create events, facilitate networking, and give a voice to the student body.  Current vice president, Andrew Shao states of his experience on the board, “[We are working to] elevate the alumni association to a level of stature that truly has a say in the school’s future.”

Also, join the Friedman Alumni Association groups on Facebook and LinkedIn to stay connected, network, and learn about upcoming events sponsored by the Alumni Association.

It might seem too good to be true to have an Alumni Association and School department devoted specifically to securing funds for you, creating networks for your future job search, and sponsoring events to promote career development and alumni networking.  The Friedman School’s Alumni Association and Office of Development & Alumni Relations are truly valuable resources that seek to promote your development as a current student and your relationship beyond!

Get Involved: Student Groups at Friedman

by Allison Mikita

From tomato canning to happy hour, Friedman students come together in several student-led organizations to engage fellow students and surrounding communities.  Highlighted here are four active groups that help strengthen the Friedman student community through their work, events, and inspiring collaborations.

Slow Food Tufts

Skill shares, film screenings, and campus sustainability are just a few items on the Slow Food Tufts agenda.  The group is a chapter of Slow Food International, which seeks to “defend biodiversity in our food supply, spread taste education and connect producers of excellent foods with co-producers through events and initiatives.”

Asta Schuette, a 2nd year Agriculture, Food, and Environment (AFE) student, says the Tufts Chapter was born in 2008 after a trip to Italy for a Slow Food conference.  “Students expressed an interest in joining Slow Food as the values of the organization fit well with many people at the Friedman School.  A key group of us met and started the Slow Food chapter.”

The group hosts student-led culinary workshops called skill-shares; thus far, students have learned how to can tomatoes, cook Thai dishes, and roast coffee.  At Trivia Night, students and faculty are invited to share potluck fare and test their food knowledge with agriculture, food, and nutrition trivia questions written by Friedman professors. The group also worked with fellow Friedman students to plant the Friedman Garden and hosted a cheese-tasting workshop at Formaggio Kitchen, where they visited the oldest cheese cave in Cambridge.  Slow Food is looking forward to hosting a homebrew beer competition in the late spring, and field trips to local farms and processing facilities next semester.

The group meets several times per semester. The Events, Social Justice, Campus Greening and Fundraising subcommittees meet more frequently.  To learn more, check out the Slow Food Tufts Blog.

Tufts Food System Planning Coalition

The distance between the Medford and Boston Tufts Campuses can seem long, especially during rush hour on the T, but this group of students ensures that the two campuses are connected.  The Tufts Food System Planning Coalition (FSPC) seeks to enhance the relationship between the Friedman School and the Department of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning (UEP) in Medford.  To lessen the gap, they even rotate their meeting spots between the campuses.

Mari Pierce-Quinonez, a 2nd year AFE and UEP student started the FSPC in 2009. “I started it because there are so many policy connections between the food system and urban planning, and it made sense to try to promote dialogue between the two schools,” she says.

FSPC is planning an ongoing garden-raising calendar with Somerville High School and the Columbus High School in South Medford, in which the garden-raisings will begin planting at the schools and then rotate to residential gardens to plant vegetables.

“By bringing the two schools together we hope to broaden the educational opportunities provided at each school, and eventually work on inter-disciplinary projects together that address the food system,” Quinonez adds.  Group and community events as well as related links and articles on the FSPC Calendar.

Jumbo’s Kitchen
A blender, garbanzo beans, chopped vegetables and a classroom full of children—a possible science experiment?  No, it is Dawn Undurraga’s, 2nd year Nutrition Communication student, favorite memory of cooking in the classroom, in which the class “erupted into a celebration of hummus and veggies.”

“The kids were so excited to try the hummus, and when they did–they loved it…I’ve never seen anyone gulp down so many vegetables with such enthusiasm,” she says.  Undurraga volunteers with Jumbo’s Kitchen, a student group that teaches basic cooking skills and promotes nutrition in three Dorchester elementary schools.  Jumbo’s Kitchen was founded in 2008 by two medical students in collaboration with the DotWell Organization to address healthcare disparities in the Dorchester community.  The group works with three schools each year, teaching children basic nutrition concepts and how to prepare healthy snacks.  Jumbo’s Kitchen also provides Friedman students with an opportunity to apply their nutrition skills and knowledge and to gain experience working with children and a near-by community.

Classes are held weekly on Friday afternoons.  Jumbo’s Kitchen always welcomes volunteers. Read more about the group and sign up at Jumbo’s Kitchen and check out the Sprout’s feature article:  Fun with Jumbo’s Kitchen

The Friedman Student Council

The Friedman Student Council stands alone among Friedman’s student groups in that becoming a Council member requires student nomination and election.  However, one would be hard-pressed to find a Friedman student that has never been a part of the Friedman Student Council’s activities.  The Council hosts a monthly happy hour, bake-offs, fundraisers, apple picking, and ski trips.  The Council also organizes Town Hall meetings, Interdisciplinary Forums, and a community service day.  In addition, the Council aids in funding film events, student research conferences, and student-group projects.

Student Council serves as the students’ collective voice, to serve as a liaison between the graduate student body, and the Friedman faculty, administration, boards, alumni, and other graduate organizations.  The Council also seeks to promote the active involvement of students in the Friedman community, through funding and organizing student events.

For the past two years, the Council has accepted student-funding proposals to support student-led initiatives in the Friedman community.  According to Rebecca Boulos, Student Council President and 2nd year PhD student, Food Policy and Applied Nutrition, “The number and variety of funding proposals we receive speaks to the level of engagement and dedication that the entirety of the Friedman School has to nutrition issues and student life.  From what I know of other Councils in the area, we are unique in that way and I think students should be proud [of the Council and themselves].”

The AFE and Josiah Quincy Elementary School Garden-Based Learning Project

Since 2006, the AFE program has partnered with the Josiah Quincy Elementary School, a public school in Chinatown to cultivate the benefits of garden-based learning.  AFE students teach hands-on, interactive lessons that include songs about plant parts and decomposition, seed plantings and more.  This spring, the project will expand into an after school program open to all Friedman students interested in teaching at the Friedman Garden.

For more information, contact Tara Fiechter-Russo, and Kathleen Stewart, 2nd year AFE students and student program coordinator.