Master’s student travels to Bali to teach nutrition

Name: Taylor Sofonia

Program of study: Master’s in Food Science and Nutrition

Taylor SofoniaQ: Tell us a little about yourself, where are you from? What do you like to do for fun?

A: I grew up partly in Utah and partly in Colorado. I did my undergrad at Utah State and came to Colorado State for my master’s. I love to travel – it’s my favorite thing because it encompasses everything I love to do. I get to meet new people, see amazing scenery and sites, eat great food, and do adventurous things.

Q: Why did you choose Colorado State University and Food Science and Human Nutrition?

A: I chose CSU because I loved Colorado so much. I got such good vibes from Fort Collins when I came to check out the school. I love the culture of the city as well as all the bikes and beer.

Taylor Sofonia with kids

Q: What brought you to teach nutrition in Bali? Tell us about your experience.

A: I always get inspired for my travels from Instagram. I was always seeing beautiful photos of Bali and wanted to just travel there. When I was browsing online I found that there was a healthcare teaching program offered. That piqued my interest and I read further to find there is a general lack of knowledge about proper health and nutrition. I felt like this would be perfect for me and it has been.

My kids are amazing. I have had the best time getting to know them and seeing them learn. We even taught them about MyPlate and they actually understood! A lot of our teaching involves teaching English as well, so when they actually understand, it’s an amazing feeling.

Q: What are you learning from this experience? What surprised you?

A: I have learned so much from this experience so far. Teaching people with limited English is very difficult. Sometimes you have lessons and activities planned and you have to scrap your idea and come up with something on the spot because they don’t understand. It’s taught me to be as adaptable as possible. I have also learned that I am insignificant in this world. There are so many amazing people out there that you don’t realize until you get out there in the world and interact with them. The Balinese people have been so nice.

Taylor Sofonia with team

Q: What are your future career goals? How does this experience along with CSU and FSHN help you achieve these goals?

A: I eventually want to become a dentist. Nutrition is such a critical part of oral health that I don’t think gets emphasized/connected enough and my whole goal with studying at CSU and doing this program is to emphasize and relate the two practices. I am currently planning lessons about brushing teeth and why it’s important with respect to sugary foods. I am so excited to see the kids’ knowledge grow.

The Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition is part of CSU’s College of Health and Human Sciences.