A Family Tradition Sarah Fruit follows her grandmother and father into the tradition of feeding people

As a child, Sarah was always cooking with her grandmother and parents. Her grandmother cooked for the family. Her father became a chef. She loved experimenting with new recipes and creating new ones under their watchful eyes. "As I grew older, I became fascinated by the science behind nutrition. I discovered that a lot of what we learn about nutrition from the media can be misleading and even incorrect. When I discovered the food and nutrition major, I knew it was the major for me because it combined my love of cooking with the science of nutrition."

Sarah's Multicultural Leadership Scholar Class of 2023 cohort.

As a member of the Multicultural Leadership Scholar cohort, Sarah moved onto campus to begin learning the leadership skills to act as a mentor to incoming freshmen. "We were able to acclimate to the University culture early and Multicultural Center's mission of leading by serving," said Sarah. Her cohort meets monthly to work on service projects together and learn about diversity and inclusion by participating in the many events the Multicultural Center offers to students.

Sarah is an Ambassador and Amigo Orientation Leader. She sees being an Ambassador as a way to give back to the school that has given her so many opportunities. "I love sharing my story with campus visitors and showing them how special USI is." As an Orientation leader, she enjoys helping students become active in college culture.
"I originally didn't want to go to USI. Like so many local students, I wanted to get out of Evansville. But once I heard Dr. Rochon speak about his love of USI, I knew I made the right choice. I'm a strong believer that USI is something special."

"My best advice to any college freshmen would be to just put yourself out there and try new things. Take a class that is interesting to you, but not related to your major. There are over 150 student organizations on campus, find one that fits you, or start your own," said Sarah. "There are so many wonderful things to experience and learn while in college. Don't miss out on all the opportunities. Don't graduate with regrets"

Sarah and her roommate laughing during a photoshoot for the Housing and Residential Life brochure.

Although Sarah concedes it's not possible for everyone, living on campus gave her the full college experience and just a small sample of what adulting looks like. "I've had to prioritize my time, I've had to set my own goals and figure out ways to accomplish them," she said. It also gave her a good way to stay involved and meet many people right away.

"My dream career would be a sports dietician on a college campus or a college professor."
Sarah doing a Zoom presentation on food prep during COVID-19.

Sarah particularly enjoyed the creativity a major like Nutrition offers: from preparing an international feast for the USI community to writing a script for a Zoom presentation. Every year, the NUTR 381: Quantity Food Production students plan a signature event, a sit- down formal international meal, which includes presentations about the food and countries selected.

Nutrition students, in conjunction with Urban Seeds and the Nourish Community Food Buying Club produced healthy eating zoom videos. Sarah's concept drew inspiration from the weekly food preparation she had done since high school (and still does). Although she loves speaking in public, and enjoyed the research that went into the video, she admits the hardest part was memorizing her script. You can catch her tips here: https://www.usi.edu/health/food-and-nutrition/healthy-eating-resources/ The videos were submitted to the United Nation's Food and Agricultural Division to promote World Food Day and International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste.

Sarah’s group chose to utilize a Mediterranean theme for the Quantity Food Production annual event, a formal international meal, with Sarah designing the invitation. The event is usually a sit-down meal, but with COVID-19 restrictions, it was made into a carry-out event.

Sarah laughs when asked if, as a nutrition major, she judges what other people eat. "There's memory and healing with food. Being a nutrition major has made me more aware of the science and the heart that goes into what we eat. It's all a matter of finding the right balance. Everything has a place and a purpose. Even snow cones," she said.

Sarah enjoying the tradition of free snow cones during USI's annual SpringFest.
Created By
Barbara Goodwin


Barbara J. Goodwin