Associate Professor of NutritionJoined USJ: 1986
Everyone Needs to Know
Margery Lawrence thought her future would be in psychology – until she took a nutrition course in college. She instantly knew that would be her life’s work. When the coursework turned to science – the core of nutrition – she flourished, and very quickly appreciated that “this is something that everyone needs to know something about.” As a teaching assistant in biology, she discovered a love of teaching, and soon brought nutrition and teaching together as her career path.
Stressing Fact Over Fiction
Lawrence points out that nutrition is “very personal and emotional” for people, which makes changing habits so challenging. Sound education has never been more important, especially with so much inaccurate information so readily available on the internet. “People feel they know more than they do,” she observes – a theme she stresses early on to her students, highlighting the importance of staying up-to-date on the latest scientific discoveries in the discipline as a means of improving understanding and assuring that people have accurate information when making nutrition decisions.
Lawrence places high value on USJ’s “science-based nutrition degree” which, because it includes a minor in biology, “provides graduates with a solid foundation” and a range of career possibilities – from the very competitive registered dietitian designation to careers in nutrition education and food management. She is impressed with USJ students, especially adult students who often balance family, job and education. And she relishes the opportunity to share her knowledge of the field: “I get excited when I learn something new,” she says. “I just have to share it – so I go to work.”
Ph.D., University of Connecticut
M.S., Rutgers University
B.A., Clark University