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Support for Internships Gives Friedman Students Invaluable Field Experience

About her

Hanqi Luo, N10, spent the past summer helping UNICEF bring basic medicine to sick children in Ethiopia, where malnutrition is responsible for more than half of all deaths among children under five years old. She was shocked to see children with diseases like edema, in which fluid trapped in the body's tissues causes the skin to swell. She recalls skin peeling off and flies swarming around children's malnourished bodies.

Treating these children was overwhelming at first, she admits. "I caught on fast, and my supervisor let me oversee the treatments on my own," she says with a smile. Luo, of Beijing, did her summer internship as a graduation requirement for a master's degree at the Tufts University Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy.

The gift she received

Her internship-and the vital experience she gained-was made possible by donors like the Robert and Margaret Patricelli Family Foundation, which has made a two-year commitment to support internships for Friedman students.

"I was an internship recipient myself, so I know the difference a paid internship can make between taking a non-relevant job, working for free, and going into further professional school debt, and being treated as a true team member in a study or program that directly impacts people's lives," says Margaret Patricelli. "My husband, Bob, and I are grateful to have this opportunity to support projects that stabilize or enhance the nutrition and health of populations at risk."

Why she's grateful

Since returning from Ethiopia, Luo has landed an interview for a nutritionist position with an international agency dedicated to fighting malnutrition. "Without this internship experience, I wouldn't have discovered the confidence in myself to be able to handle these types of situations in the field," she says. "It changed my life."