Jennifer Gonzalez, Nutritional Science

“I didn’t know how strong a woman I was until I came to UMass Lowell.”

Jennifer Gonzalez believes you are what you eat.

“I have always been interested in how eating benefits the science of the human body,” says the nutritional science major. “I want to help people become healthy and live longer.”

But for Gonzalez, the college experience at UMass Lowell is far more than earning a degree.

“I didn’t know how strong a woman I was until I came to UMass Lowell,” she says. “The early months of living with strangers who then became my friends and getting lost around campus before I found my way, turned me into a more confident person.”

She poured this newfound confidence into her studies. She researched how certain chemicals disrupt the endocrine system that controls metabolism in the human body, thus causing obesity. With the support of her professors, Gonzalez presented her poster at the Student Research Symposium. Watch her video:

“I’ve had excellent professors who believed in me, who wanted the best for me.”

One of those professors, Mindy Dopler Nelson, was Gonzalez’s research adviser. “She supported me every step of the way on my project. I could look at this research poster and say ‘I did this.’” 

Inspiration also comes from her mother who raised her alone. 

“When the school work gets tough, I call my mother and she says don’t give up, this is the last mile. When I receive my diploma in May 2013, I will hand it to my mother for wanting a better life for me.”