Supervisor: n.- a person who oversees a person or activity. Although this may formally explain Peggy Policastro’s role as director of the IFNH Student Ambassador program, it only brushes the surface of what she really does. This past spring during National Student Employment Week, Peggy Policastro, nutritionist for Rutgers Dining Services and the director of behavioral nutrition with the Institute for Food, Nutrition, and Health (IFNH), was named the 2018 Rutgers Supervisor of the Year. This prestigious award is given each year to a supervisor who goes above and beyond for their student employees, which is exactly what Policastro does each and every day.
Policastro was nominated by the IFNH Student Ambassadors and Rutgers Healthy Dining Team students. At the reception, part of the nomination letter that exemplifies Policastro’s dedication to her students was read to the audience attending the ceremony:
Peggy is a supervisor, mentor and role model to me and all of us on HDT and the ambassador program. The time, effort, and dedication Peggy puts into her students goes above and beyond her responsibility as our boss. Year in and year out, Peggy works with students to help them reach the potential they may not even know they have. To Peggy, we are not just another student she over-sees. She works with us in every aspect of our life to make our college career worth every penny. I am who I am today because of Peggy, and I will continue to beam with Rutgers pride after I graduate because I firmly believe having Peggy as part of the faculty and staff is what makes this University so special.
Policastro has been a key member of the IFNH Leadership Team since its inception. The time and effort she puts into her position is inspiring and the success of students she has overseen for the past 20 years at Rutgers is reflective of the impact she has on their future careers.
She is the advisor/supervisor for both the Rutgers Healthy Dining Team (HDT) and The New Jersey Institute for Food, Nutrition, and Health (IFNH) Student Ambassador Program. These two unique programs provide the opportunity for students to ascertain skills that aren’t taught in a classroom setting. Student Nutritionists on the HDT educate their peers on how to eat healthy on campus. This entails creating and executing nutrition education activities in the dining halls, writing and distributing nutrition newsletters, conducting and presenting nutrition research at local and national levels, and working collaboratively on many special projects throughout the year. IFNH Student Ambassadors, represent the IFNH at conferences and community outreach programs, provide tours of the award winning IFNH building, and attend professional skills workshops and present research projects at local, state and national conferences.
Editor’s Note: For more IFNH News and Events go to their webpage.