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Mitzi Samano

Mitzi Samano

Nutritional Sciences

Her own journey toward prioritizing her health helped shape Samano's pursuit of knowledge

Hometown

Chamblee, Ga.

Major

Dietetics

Activities and Honors

SGA Professional Clothing Closet student relations and events associate; Dean’s List; Lunchbox Garden Project volunteer; Dietary aide - St. Mary’s Hospital; Volunteer at Athens Heart Center and the Good Samaritan Health Center of Gwinnett; Site leader for UGA Impact trip to Philadelphia on Disability Advocacy and Awareness to Philadelphia; Spanish translator/temporary employee for the Athens Land Trust Housing Counsel

Why I chose my major

It surprised me to learn the small poem I wrote about body shaming earned a school-wide writing contest in fifth grade. As I read my poem to a large audience in the auditorium, it was the first time I voiced the effects of being bullied about my weight. I kept these issues quiet from my family because they seemed minor compared to our adversities; however, I did not realize minimizing my struggles would lead to a long journey of body dysmorphia and eating disorder tendencies. I accepted that I would have a similar future to my parents who suffered from chronic health conditions related to poor eating habits and financial constraints. For years, my family of five stayed in small rooms relatives and friends would offer us, once staying in a small office for weeks. Understandably, nutrition was the least of our concerns. Growing up in a Hispanic immigrant family, my parents taught me to value the opportunity living in the United States allowed for achieving a higher education, as they did not have the same opportunities. After realizing how my food choices were hurting my academic performance, along with my social and emotional well-being, I decided to prioritize my health. Understanding these connections led me to pursue my major in dietetics at the University of Georgia. My professors ingrained into me the importance of listening to a patient to determine realistic changes they can make, and how their priorities impact the feasibility for change.

What I like most about FACS

I think the thing I like most about FACS is Dawson Hall – everyone is kind and the environment there is great for studying, meeting with professors and advisors, and hanging out with friends. It’s clear that it’s a tight-knit community and it’s easy to feel at home.

Post-graduation plans

I will attend Augusta University for its MS-DI program starting in fall 2021.

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