When Meda Bow was 12, her family moved from the U.S. to South Africa. That’s when she saw firsthand how important the science of nutrition could be.
Her mother was a kinesiology professor, now retired, and her father an agricultural researcher. In South Africa, the family lived on a farm in a rural area where her father could conduct his research.
“During our time there, we were able to serve at places to feed undernourished children,” said Meda, now a senior at Abilene Christian University. “Almost every time we went to town, there would be a malnourished child coming to ask for food. I saw a great need for ministry to these people, and not just resources but also education in nutrition. I chose nutrition as a major because I knew regardless of where God placed me in the world, I could use it to save lives and make a difference for people in poverty.”
Meda, whose hometown is Stephenville, Texas, plans to become a registered dietitian after she graduates next May. Her aspirations were solidified this year during her time as a wellness intern for Chartwells, the national food service management company operating ACU’s dining hall, the World Famous Bean. She works with the Bean’s dietitian, Lindsay Arthur, handling everything from social media promotion to creating displays in the dining hall and running tabling events that feature a different “superfood” each month. She also creates pamphlets and handouts with nutritional facts to go along with food being served in the Bean.
I chose nutrition as a major because I knew regardless of where God placed me in the world, I could use it to save lives and make a difference for people in poverty.
One of her favorite experiences has been a “takeover” on Nudge, Chartwells’ own social media channel, where she shared a series of videos explaining her job and how the company’s student success program helped her. The videos were made available to students at 300 other universities who are clients or prospective clients of Chartwells.
Meda’s internship is allowing her to apply the nutritional knowledge she gained in the classroom to a real-world setting. “One of the biggest things I learned about the role of a registered dietitian, is to be flexible and available to step in wherever needed,” she said. “A lot of the time I spent shadowing my mentor, and I was able to see how she, as a registered dietitian, responded to allergy concerns, worked with employees, was flexible and so much more.”
Though her internship has been a highlight of her college career, Meda discovered much more at ACU than a quality academic experience.
“Being at a small university has allowed me to be a part of other things outside of the nutrition department,” she said. “I’ve had the opportunity to be the ACU sports student photographer, a Cornerstone peer leader for a freshman class, and to work for The Optimist student newspaper. Being at ACU has allowed me to foster my hobby of photography while still pursuing a career in nutrition.”
Meda looks forward to graduation and what lies ahead, but she’s also grateful for what she leaves behind.
“ACU is a great community, and I know as I quickly approach the end of my time here, that the connections and relationships I have built will last a lifetime.”
– Robin Saylor
Mar. 25, 2021