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Mastering nutrition in her quest to fight poverty


Gabriela Puche, a graduate student at OSU, knew from an early age that she could help Hispanic communities in America conquer nutritional issues. She chose Oklahoma State for the unique dietetics internship program offered through the College of Human Sciences. For Gabby, this mission is a personal one.


Gabby’s family fled Venezuela when she was 10 years old, during the start of the ongoing unrest in that country. Her parents left everything behind and escaped with their lives — and their daughter — to live in the United States.


Moving from the Puerto Rican community in Orlando, Florida, to a Mexican-American community in Dallas, Gabriela saw firsthand how poverty and nutrition issues go hand in hand. She began to take an interest in dealing with public health in Hispanic communities. 


“In Venezuela, people were starving, eating out of garbage cans, and were constantly sick and malnourished,” Gabby said. “In the U.S., people in my community were eating poorly due to the abundance of cheap but unhealthy food options.” 


She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in nutrition from Texas Woman’s University and wanted to pursue further research on poor nutrition and its effect on health in Hispanic communities. She found Oklahoma State’s internship in dietetics program — the only one of its kind in the U.S. that has a research internship coupled with earning a master’s in nutritional sciences — and the rest is history.


With the help of the faculty and research facilities at OSU, Gabriela Puche intends to make a difference in the health of Hispanic communities across America and worldwide.




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