The new Ellie Block and Family Career Services Center, an emergency fund for students impacted by COVID-19, new endowed professorships, and a scholarship honoring a foundational faculty member–this year your generosity made an especially big impact when we needed it most.
An Investment in Future Leaders
Whenever Ellen Block, BSOT66, has visited the Tufts campus, she talked with Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy students about their plans to apply their knowledge out in the world.
The students’ wide-ranging ideas inspired Block, a past chair of the school’s board of advisors, to pose this question: How can we better help Friedman School students start careers in areas that didn’t even exist just a few years ago—new roles in cognitive, emotional, and physical health and policy, and in agricultural development, energy, climate change, and humanitarian aid and disaster relief?
"If our fantastic faculty are equipping them with the knowledge and skills to improve the world and society, it only seems right for us to give our students this extra piece so they can actually go out and make that difference."
The answer that Block came up with? A dedicated career services program at the Friedman School. The Ellie Block and Family Career Services Center opened this fall on the first floor of the Jaharis Building on the Tufts University Boston campus. A staff of four—a director of career services, an associate director, a web specialist, and an administrative coordinator—are virtually providing job fairs, exposure to different careers, and much more. From day one, students are receiving one-on-one coaching and access to a network of professionals ready to advise and connect them.
“If our fantastic faculty are equipping them with the knowledge and skills to improve the world and society, it only seems right for us to give our students this extra piece so they can actually go out and make that difference,” said Block, who also helped establish student scholarships at the Friedman School.
Block is particularly excited that one of the positions is focusing entirely on technology, including a searchable online database for student and alumni use, as well as a robust social media presence. “Actively communicating online the range of jobs held by our graduates is another way the Friedman School can set itself apart from other nutrition education programs and also attract a more diverse population of prospective students and employers,” said Block.
“Thanks to her leadership and the generosity of the Ellen & Ronald Block Family Foundation and the Hassenfeld Family Foundation, both the school and generations of Friedman School students will benefit from cutting-edge career development and support to be the best."
Friedman School Dean Dariush Mozaffarian said Block has been a champion of the school’s students. “This gift is a reflection of how deeply she cares about the development of our students,” he said. “Thanks to her leadership and the generosity of the Ellen & Ronald Block Family Foundation and the Hassenfeld Family Foundation, both the school and generations of Friedman School students will benefit from cutting-edge career development and support to be the best."
Block said it’s the students who deserve thanks for what they do with their education. “It’s rewarding to learn about new discoveries in the field and how our research can influence policy,” she said, “but what’s best of all is getting to hear from graduates who are making real change in communities both in the US and abroad.”
Emergency Funds for an Extraordinary Year
The COVID-19 crisis created major new challenges for many of our students, including:
- Unexpected acute financial hardships and food insecurity, due to loss of personal or spousal income as well as new expenses.
- Major new financial aid needs to continue their education.
- Loss of internship opportunities and support.
These challenges created unprecedented strains and so to help address these acute needs, we launched the Friedman School Emergency Fund, which has provided 1 in 6 Friedman students with much needed resources to flexibly support unexpected hardships, essential student financial aid, and internship coordination and support.
We can't thank you enough if you were able to help our students get through this difficult period. Your support helped and will continue to help the hardest-hit members of our community, allow us to maintain and expand critical financial aid, and help preserve essential student career experiences
With the unprecedented challenges of COVID-19, nutrition science and policy and the work of the Friedman School are as important as ever. In the global battle against this pandemic, food and nutrition are key elements that can’t be neglected.
How does this pandemic relate directly to the work we do at the school?
- We have yet to truly discover the potential immune system benefits of specific foods and nutrients to treat COVID-19.
- The major diet-sensitive co-morbidities of cardiovascular disease and diabetes that increase risk of death with COVID-19 have a strong correlation with diet and equitable access to healthy foods.
- The rapid disruption of national and global food supply chains and labor markets require major shifts in a short amount of time to create new systems that can better serve the public.
- The current and ongoing acute humanitarian crises, both regional and global, require the best minds in the field and continued community building to conduct effective evaluation and responses.
A hallmark of the Friedman School is our commitment to each other and to those around us. With your generous support to the Friedman School Emergency Fund, we are able to ensure that the School rises to meet this crisis together.
Dollars to Support Research & Scholarship
Total Endowed Professorships in the Brighter World Campaign
Gifts During 2019's Giving Tuesday Event
Miles Logged By The 2019 Tufts Marathon Team
A Visionary Gift in Honor of Professor Lynne Ausman
Trustee and Friedman School advisor Elizabeth Cochary Gross, N82, NG88, has long been committed to the Friedman School. She has been a scientist, the Friedman School’s first director of admissions, and co-founder (and first president) of the school's alumni association. Today, Cochary Gross champions the school as co-chair of its Brighter World campaign committee.
And in the spirit of the campaign's forward looking vision, she and her husband, Phill Gross, recently made a $2.7 million gift to support an interdisciplinary research fund and an endowed scholarship at the school. The scholarship will provide much-needed financial aid, and it expresses a personal debt of gratitude. Cochary Gross named it in honor of Friedman School's Saqr Bin Mohammed Al Qasimi Professor in International Nutrition Lynne Ausman, whose path at the school often ran tirelessly right alongside her own, as teacher and colleague, mentor and friend.
"We worked together really well, because Lynne was always kind and generous to me and to so many students over the years," said Cochary Gross. "Most importantly, we felt dedicated to helping the school move forward; we believed in it together." Ausman is now the Saqr Bin Mohammed Al Qasimi Professor in International Nutrition at the Friedman School, a researcher in cardiovascular nutrition at the Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging, and is also the director of the Master of Nutrition Science and Policy degree program, a unique blended learning program offered here at Friedman. She is thrilled to be part of Cochary Gross’s legacy.
"It's a tremendous honor," said Ausman. "I have never had anything this good happen to me! It's meaningful especially because I know it will help so many doctoral students who want nothing less than to save the world."
Every Gift Makes a Difference
The Advancement and Development team at the Friedman School and the HNRCA work hard all year to create new opportunities and to match every donor with a priority that fits their passion for supporting nutrition science and policy. Thanks to your gifts, the School and HNRCA have surpassed the $100 million Brighter World campaign goal. However, there are still key priorities to that we need to address through increasing donor engagement such as student financial aid, diversity initiatives, and more funding for entrepreneurship and nutrition innovation.