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Michelle DuVall

Michelle DuVall
Human Nutrition and Foods
Class of 2020
Bridgeport, West Virginia

What is your favorite quote?

"When one door closes another opens. But often we look so long so regretfully upon the closed door that we fail to see the one that has opened for us."  - Helen Keller

What book would you recommend and why?

The Harry Potter series is something that I would highly recommend. It tells the story of good versus evil where good actually wins in the end. It is also a story that shows that knowledge is very powerful. We should never stop learning.

What do you love most about your major?

I love that in my major I am learning so many skills and soaking in the knowledge that I will need to help others in my future career as a dietitian. I worked in a different career field for 20 years before I returned to school to obtain this degree, and one of the reasons that I really wanted a change was so that I could play a positive role in others' lives as I didn't always have that opportunity in the past.

What are your career goals?

I am looking forward to entering grad school after graduation, applying for a dietetic internship and ultimately becoming a licensed dietitian. I am not sure specifically which area I will focus on just yet, but I have a good feeling that I will find a position where I can feel challenged and also excited about helping others with their health and nutrition goals.

What has been your greatest challenge, and how did you overcome it?

I was a little apprehensive about going back to school 20 years after I finished my associate's degree. I was afraid that the younger students wouldn't be relatable for me at this point in my life. I was also worried that trying to be in college, working, commuting, and taking care of a household and family would be too difficult. It turns out that I have met so many wonderful people during my journey here at WVU. Everyone has been kind, helpful, and being around young students energizes me. I couldn't be more excited about my decision. It also helps that I have been able to attend two classes with my oldest son. I never thought that would happen, but it has been fun!

Tell us about your experience with research or an internship?

I have had the fortunate opportunity to work with Dr. Melissa Marra and her research team here in the Human Nutrition and Foods department within Davis College. Not only do I learn something new every day, I also get to see real life examples of how what I am learning can be applied in research and in life. I have also been involved in the Area Health Education Centers (AHEC) Scholars program. This has given me even more opportunity to work in the surrounding community, experience professional field experience, and give back to others.

What are your hobbies?

When I am not studying or working, I enjoy spending time with my husband and two teenagers, cooking, hiking, tennis, traveling, and also taking classes in Taekwondo. It is a wonderful experience not only for getting in a good workout, but it is also something that really calms my mind.

What advice would you give to incoming students?

New students should get to know others on campus. Meet other people who are in similar majors or who have similar interests. There are so many ways to get involved. Also, professors are wonderful resources and not only do they have so much knowledge to share, but they also have life experiences which can help you out along the way.