Naniel Scott ’23, College of Agriculture, Health & Natural Resources

Naniel Scott reflects on her time at UConn

Portrait of Naniel Scott

Portrait of Naniel Scott taken March 30, 2023. (Sydney Herdle/UConn Photo)

Naniel Scott says she grew up understanding the connection between nutrition and health, so nutritional sciences was an ideal major for her to put that into practice, both in a lab and with the community. One of the most important lessons she learned at UConn came courtesy of Dr. Ji-Young Lee, who counseled that it’s not necessary to have all the right answers right away – new experiences and openness will lead to them in time. After graduation, Naniel wants to pursue entrepreneurship in the nutrition industry after gaining some real-world experience and getting her Ph.D.

What’s your major and why did you choose it?

My major is Nutritional Science. I chose it because I knew that I wanted to learn about what influences health outcomes in relation to our dietary practices, the mechanism, social and economic aspect to it so that I can implement this knowledge in my profession.

What are your plans after graduation?

After I graduate my larger plan is to pursue entrepreneurship in the Nutrition industry. Before doing so, I’d like to gain real word experience into how companies in this field run and continue my education doing research in pursuit of a PhD.

What activities were you involved with as a student?

As a student I did a lot of independent study in two research labs in the Nutritional Science Department. This was most meaningful to me as I grew up seeing and hearing nutrition being emphasized as a determinant of health. However, in the lab, I got to see that these concepts can scientifically be explored and we can observe the relationship between and our health. I also did internships and joined clubs that were exciting to me such Women in STEM and Good Food 4 U.

Any advice for incoming first-year students?

I would say that you are now in a place where learning, asking questions and trying new things to figure out what sticks is possible. There are resources and people who want to help, so put yourself out there and ask questions and try new things.

What’s one thing every student should do during their time at UConn?

Every student should go to Eatjoy; they have the best sushi burrito!

Who was your favorite professor and why?

My favorite Professor is Dr Ji-Young Lee. She assured me that I have time to figure out what I do and who I want to be, and I don’t have to have all the answers right now but trying new things and being open to different opportunities will help to reveal the answer. She is very supportive of students in their career pursuits and that’s nice to have as after the four years you’d like to have some idea or experience for your next steps. In addition to this, she’s just great to talk to.

What are you most proud of about your time at UConn?

I’m most proud that I learned how to put myself out there and I really found my passion and discovered what I believe I’m meant to do.