Hey! My name is Penina Langer -- Welcome to my website!
I am a senior at Queens College (CUNY), majoring in Nutrition and Dietetics and minoring in Computer Science.
Studying nutrition in college is not something that I could have ever imagined doing. To be honest, it kind of fell into my lap. I started off as a Computer Science major and an Economics major, with a Business minor, but about half way through it all I decided that the tech and business world was just not for me. I’ve always loved numbers, so I debated studying math or accounting. Nothing felt right. All I wanted to do was help people. I couldn’t decide what my next step should be, but then one night my mom suggested that I study nutrition. I automatically shut the idea down, but I couldn’t stop thinking about it. To make a long story short, I decided to declare myself a Nutrition and Dietetics major and fell in love. I love that it incorporates numbers and provides a way to help people and truly impact their lives. Deciding to pursue a career as an RD was one of the best decisions I have ever made.
Through my coursework as a student, my favorite classes have been the ones that are hands on. I love the way that baking a cake becomes a science experiment, breading chicken becomes a lab assignment, and the way that the science behind food explains so much about it. I find it fascinating that the amylose that I learned about in Food Science 101 is connected to the amylase I learned about in Biochemistry. Every time I go to a different class, I find a new way that all my courses connect. These connections prove to me every day that my education is giving me an understanding of food that will establish a solid foundation for my future career in the dietetics field. Everything that I have gained through my classes has provided me with a desire to learn more. I am constantly reading nutrition related articles and books, trying to learn as much as I can.
One of my favorite things about the field is how much detail matters. It is prevalent in every aspect of the major. Whether it be in a food science lab where the measurements of a cake can make or break the result, or calculating a patient’s calorie needs to make sure they do not become malnourished, or when reading and summarizing research, noticing the nuances in the details can make a huge difference. The need for attention to detail is everywhere!
I truly believe that one of the most important things I can do with nutrition education is to educate others by making nutrition accessible. There is a huge lack in nutrition knowledge, and it is hard for people to make changes without understanding why these changes are important. I want to use what I gain as an RD to pay it forward and allow others to learn about nutrition.
In my free time, I really enjoy exploring different aspects of the dietetics field.
- I have volunteered in nutrition related projects including working at Beth Warren Nutrition, where I had the opportunity to perform nutrient analysis of recipes, write blog posts, and assist Warren with supplemental materials for her book, Secrets of a Kosher Girl.
- I assisted the professor of the Food Science course with editing her lab book and integrating Kosher, Halal and vegan recipes into each week’s lab. I also updated the weekly order forms
- I worked with SIMMER TIQC to co-create Seasonal Sammy, a free app designed to introduce young users age 4-7 to the concept of seasonal food and nutrition education through engaging coloring content led by Sammy, a cute and quirky NYC rat and his best friend Penelope the pigeon. The app is available now for download on iOS!
- I interned for the Good Housekeeping Institute, where I worked closely under the Nutrition Director, Jaclyn London MS RD CDN. In my role as an intern, I have performed research for upcoming stories and features across Good Housekeeping media platforms. Some topics I have researched include but are not limited to: pulses, organic foods and cranberries.
- I work as a lab assistant (Spring 2019, Summer 2019, and Fall 2019) for an Introduction to Food Science course. I work closely with the professor, other lab assistant and students to ensure a safe and productive classroom environment. Some of my duties include completing purchase orders, maintaining cleanliness of the kitchens and classrooms, and organizing storage and equipment areas. I also assisted students during class time with obtaining supplies, food, and equipment.
If you made it this far, thank you for reading and learning about me!
I feel so lucky to be a part of the nutrition and dietetics community, and I am looking forward to continuing my education and career!