Cedar Kvist

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Cedar Kvist

Cedar Kvist

Health disco academic program
healthy disco cohort year

My name is Cedar, I am a sophomore nutrition major with a pre-health option in the College of Health.   

Experience with URSA/Healthy Ambassadors   

My experience in the URSA Engage and Healthy Ambassadors has been impactful and very rewarding. I didn’t come to Oregon State knowing that I wanted to be a part of research, but I am so glad that I did. I have learned so much from participating in URSA, and exploring my interests has been a wonderful experience.   

Research project  

I worked with Dixie Jackson and Molly Kile at the OSU ASPIRE Children’s Environmental Health Center. I am passionate about health and nutrition and knew that I wanted to implement this theme into my research. Although I had the freedom to choose my research question, I needed to relate it to children's environment. Developing my question was the hardest part of this experience. I received lots of help developing my question and had to revise it multiple times to get it to its current form. I looked at the connection between the Breakfast After the Bell program and Oregon elementary school attendance levels.   

About research   

I chose a research question that related to nutrition since that is where my interests lie. I was curious about school closure due to COVID-19 and how this affected communities that relied on schools for nutrition. It took some time to identify my final question. I was having trouble connecting nutrition to children's environment; I originally wanted to focus on children's health in relation to COVID-19. Researching the Breakfast After the Bell program made it easier to quantify the effects on attendance, because there was data on both variables.

Cedar Kvist

Experience with research   

My first experience with research was great! Through this experience, I realized I would like to be a part of research in the future. I expected research to be hard to manage simultaneously with school. After this experience, URSA is very manageable, and mentors are very supportive if you are having difficulties. I was surprised by how helpful and supportive mentors were in completing my first research project.   


At first, I was nervous to begin research because I had never done anything like URSA before. I was getting discouraged because I did not feel like I was progressing as fast as I should have. I realized that everyone goes at their own pace, and I still managed to complete all the steps I needed to within the 15 weeks.  


My experience doing URSA has been very positive! I see myself continuing to do research and completing my thesis by the time I graduate.

Why did you choose the College of Health at OSU to pursue your studies?

I moved to Oregon during the summer before my sophomore year of high school and quickly realized that Oregon had become my new home and I wanted to continue my education in the state. After thoroughly considering several schools within Oregon, it was evident that Oregon State University had the strongest nutrition program available and was closely aligned with my educational goals. The College of Health offers resources to prepare me for a future career in the health field and create lifelong connections with peers and faculty members who share my interests and goals.

What sparked your interest in health?

I grew up very health-oriented and knew that I wanted a major to reflect my interests. I chose nutrition as my major because I value healthy eating and wanted to promote health and wellness through education specifically to those in underserved communities. Overall, nutrition is a major component of living a long and healthy life and is something that everyone deserves to be knowledgeable about.

Why are you interested in research?

After obtaining a general background in nutrition, which included taking several nutrition science courses, I wanted to apply what I had learned to real life. I will be able to obtain firsthand experience and learn several different research methods to develop my personal and professional goals, aiding me in any future career.  

What research will you be working on and with whom?

I am currently working with Dixie Jackson through the ASPIRE Children's Environmental Health Center. I get to develop my own research question that is centered around children's environmental health.

What are your future career and/or academic plans?

I am choosing the nutrition and health sciences option offered with my nutrition major because I hope to find a health care role where I can serve my community. I will attend graduate school and continue to learn and research nutrition and other fields that pique my interest such as epidemiology. Currently, I am working to complete my honors associate degree as well as my thesis project. Starting my second year at OSU I am excited to explore my interests and spend my time working and attending classes that relate to my passions.


The Healthy Discoveries undergraduate research program is made possible with the generous support of the Patricia Valian Reser Fund for Experiential Learning.