A variety of diverse interests and talents help Celeste Kurz to stand out as a UConn student. From farming, to nutrition, to Spanish, she is working to develop her path to a future career in community nutrition. Celeste’s passion for agriculture and people is very apparent. Read more about Celeste’s experiences as a UConn student.
What attracted you to UConn? I came to UConn as a transfer student. I spent a semester at a school in Boston, but did not like how small the school was or that it was in the city. I then took a year off and just took a few classes at a branch campus. I also moved to Hawaii, where I worked for six months in a botanical garden. After a little time away from school I decided to apply to UConn because of its great nutrition and agriculture programs. I also liked the rural setting of the campus. Ever since I have transferred, it has felt so right being here.
What is your major? I am a nutritional sciences major, and I hold a minor in Spanish.
Which one of your UConn activities, internships or jobs was the most memorable? Why? The most memorable experience for me has been living on Spring Valley Student Farm. I live on one of two houses on the farm, which is located off campus. We grow plants and food for UConn Dining Services. I love the full circle relationship of picking a vegetable here and then seeing it on campus a few days later.
Name two other experiences that have enriched your studies. I am part of the honors program, which has been a really wonderful experience for me. For my honors research I am currently developing curriculum to teach middle school children about the relationship between gardening, cooking and nutrition. I am hoping to give them confidence in working in gardens and help increase their nutrition knowledge.
Another part of my time at UConn that has been very enriching for me is my Spanish minor. I take one class every semester just to keep up with it. It’s nice to spend the time talking about culture. I want to work with Spanish speaking and other minority communities as it centers around nutrition, so it will certainly be very beneficial for me in the future.
What was the biggest challenge in your UConn career? The biggest challenge for me has been trying to find my niche at UConn. After being here for a full year now, I feel like I have finally found my community. Spring Valley Farm has really helped me with that because I have become great friends with everyone there.
When do you expect to graduate? What then? I plan to graduate in May 2019. I would like to receive a master’s degree in public health. I plan on working with community nutrition, rather than in a clinical setting.
Is there anything else you would like us to know about you? I am a certified plant-based chef, so I am able to cook a lot of different vegan food.
By Erin Norris