Summer 2015

Commencement 2015

Cristiana Falcone Sorrell, N01, F01, predicts that innovation in healthy food will be the next big thing

Previous Next

From left, master's degree recipients Erin Foster West, Abraham Faham, Emily Dimiero and Brittany Cooper. Photos: Ian MacLellan

The exuberance of the graduates at the 34th commencement ceremony of the Friedman School infused Cristiana Falcone Sorrell, N01, F01, as she addressed the audience in Cohen Auditorium on Tufts’ Medford/Somerville campus on May 17.

150517_15782_IMC_NutritionCommencement_119.jpg“The sparkle in your eyes, the energy you are emanating now—it is contagious!” she said as she pulled out her phone and took a selfie with the cheering graduates.

Falcone Sorrell received her Master of Arts in Humanitarian Assistance from the Friedman and Fletcher schools in 2001. She is the senior advisor to the executive chairman of the World Economic Forum and a member of the Friedman School’s Board of Advisors.

Being Italian, she said, has meant that food has always had a strong presence in her life. Her grandmother’s first question to her was always, “Did you eat?” followed by, “What did you eat?”

“So I am biased,” she said, “but if you ask me what is the next big thing, I say food. Not a smarter social app or some stellar hyperconnected wearable material. Innovation will come from food—natural, slow-grown, powerful, sustainable food to keep us healthy, ignite our brain, protect the environment, grow our economy, make us happier and renew an ancient bond between all of us and our planet.”

Dariush Mozaffarian, M.D., Dr.P.H., expressed his delight in taking part in his first commencement as dean of the Friedman School. “I will always remember the many of you whom I met: your diverse and deep interests, your energy, your drive, your focus on making a difference,” he said.

The school awarded 99 degrees, including 10 doctorates. One Ph.D. went to Daniel Hatfield, N11, N15, an Albert Schweitzer fellow who created a successful running program for sixth-grade boys in East Boston, empowering even kids who could barely walk a mile to run a marathon’s worth by year’s end.

“Those moments of greatest discomfort are the ones that foster the greatest growth,” Hatfield said. Nutrition challenges such as the impending shortfalls in the food supply and unprecedented rates of preventable chronic disease, he said, “won’t be solved by staying in our comfort zones, or by hovering around the periphery, or by getting close to opportunity and then passing on it.” Take shots when you have them, he advised, even when you might miss.

Top Stories

Shifting America’s Diet

Factions continue to duke it out over what the nation’s dietary guidelines should be, but the scientists have had their say: less meat, less sugar, and please, eat your veggies

Breaking the Veiled Ceiling

Yasmin Altwaijri is blazing a trail for epidemiology and for Saudi women in science

Enough Food for All

The answer to how to feed the growing global population has to include small-scale agriculture, not just factory farms

Feed Your Stem Cells

Is nutrition the future of brain health? Neuroscientist Dennis Steindler says yes

Editor's Picks

Not Supersized, but Still Not Good

A hundred extra calories a day can pile on 10 pounds in a year

Eat, Sleep and Be Healthy

Well-rested adults tend to eat better, study finds

Scared Straight

Inmates take a hard look at their delinquent diets

Me and My Study

Research volunteers embrace life in the cohort

Why So Good?

The science behind yogurt’s aura of health