Morgan Bahl, senior in nutritional science and dietetics, will serve as the university marshal, representing the College of Human Sciences, at Saturday's undergraduate commencement ceremony. Contributed photo.

Nutritional science, dietetics student to serve as university marshal

A student from the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition will have the honor of serving as the university marshal for the College of Human Sciences at Saturday’s undergraduate commencement ceremony.

Morgan Bahl, senior double majoring in nutritional science and dietetics, came to Iowa State to pursue a degree in dietetics. She said she was impressed with the university’s high-ranking dietetics program, and loved Iowa State’s image branding.

Highlights of her time at Iowa State include serving as a First-Year Learning Community mentor, spending a summer abroad studying in Spain for her Spanish minor, and being a member of The S.H.O.P. and Body Image and Eating Disorder Awareness clubs.

During her sophomore year, Bahl was selected for the Louise Rosenfeld Undergraduate Research Internship, a program that provides high quality research experience to undergraduate students in the College of Human Sciences. She was paired with Sarah Francis, an associate professor of food science and human nutrition and nutrition extension state specialist.

“Morgan is an exceptional student who is energetic, self-motivated, and dedicated. She approaches everything she does with optimism, determination and professionalism,” Francis said. “She has been instrumental in assessing the impact of a statewide Extension and Outreach nutrition newsletter and developing materials for Nutrition and Wellness Extension and Outreach programming.”

While working with Francis, Bahl had a paper published in the Journal of Extension, and two other manuscripts have been submitted for review.

It’s no surprise that Bahl mentioned Francis is one of the people who have been most influential during her time at Iowa State.

“She’s opened tons of doors for me,” Bahl said. “She has trusted me with projects and that trust has increased my confidence.”

Following graduation, Bahl will travel to the University of Michigan where she will complete her dietetic internship. Her goal is to become a registered dietitian and obtain a master’s degree in counseling. Eventually, she’d like to combine the dietetics and counseling degrees to help individuals with eating disorders.

Bahl encourages current students to not give up, even when a class or project seems challenging.

“Be intentional about your experiences and what you do,” Bahl said. “Always try to stick things out even when they’re not enjoyable and even though you might not like it. There’s usually a lesson to be learned from it.”