When I lost 100 pounds at the start of college, I developed a passion for obesity policy, public health, and wellness. The question that guides my work now is: How can I pay forward the privilege of good health?
At UC Davis, I designed a major to combine economic theory with anthropology, philosophy, and science and technology studies. I was able to put these fields in conversation across two honors theses, one on the racial dynamics of obesity policy in the American South, and another on the use of obesity science in size acceptance activism. To better understand the intersecting networks of obesity policy, I interned at the California State Assembly, researched obesity legislation in Buenos Aires, spent a summer laboring on an urban farm in Milwaukee, published white papers on food stamp reform and medical education, and educated college students across the country about the U.S. farm bill. On my college campus I taught three classes on eating disorders and represented my peers on campus advisory boards in the spaces of physical activity and recreation, media, and international programs. By serving as the Senior Health Policy Fellow at the Roosevelt Institute Campus Network and completing a fellowship year at the Center for American Progress program Young People For, I had several more opportunities to organize and represent student interests in progressive policy. I’m practiced in working in social change networks, and have gained experience in how they can be stitched together, leveraged, and better connect to their target populations.
After college I have had the opportunity to work in policy and program evaluation at Social Policy Research Associates and healthcare reporting at Close Concerns. At Upworthy I curated and iteratively optimized socially meaningful content for “viral” sharing on the internet. In the last two years, my posts on healthcare reform, wellness, food systems, environmental sustainability, economic justice, and equal opportunity have generated more than 100 million total pageviews. In so doing, I’ve been able to cultivate a community of 34,500 followers on Facebook and 8,000 followers on Twitter. Working at Upworthy and writing elsewhere has given me a unique perspective on how folks outside traditional policy and academic spaces think about health, wellness, and the policies between.
Having just earned graduate degree with Distinction in Medical Anthropology at the University of Oxford, where I am a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar, I recently had the privilege of joining the Center for Health Equity at the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.