A Lasallian education and a focus on nutrition

March 2, 2022

Stasia Nguyen

For Stasia Nguyen, ’23, education is a foundational component of her life—from as early as she can remember, really. 

“I was taught at a very young age that education provides opportunity,” said Nguyen, a nutrition major at La Salle. “My parents didn’t have an opportunity to attend college. My job has always been to go to school, do well, and make them proud, and that’s what I’m doing today.” 

When Nguyen’s journey at La Salle is complete, she will have earned undergraduate and graduate degrees in nutrition.

Neither would have been possible without scholarship support, she said. Nguyen, of Freehold, N.J., is a first-generation American who will be the first person in her family to finish college. She’s the recipient of a Founder’s Scholarship at La Salle, which provides financial support and peace of mind.

“I worked hard to get into college and receiving that scholarship, it was more than I ever could have asked for,” Nguyen said.

“Getting into college and getting the Founder’s Scholarship,” said Stasia Nguyen, ’23, “it almost felt unreal to me. It was a huge relief for me and my family and, really, just an exciting moment.”

Nguyen’s story, around financial need, is not unique to La Salle students, with 96% of the University’s undergraduate students receiving institutional aid of some kind. La Salle’s 9th Day of Giving, scheduled for Tuesday, March 22, serves as an annual appeal to the University’s community of students, employees, alumni, and broader network to contribute to the success of current and future Explorers.

“Getting into college and getting the Founder’s Scholarship,” said Nguyen, “it almost felt unreal to me. It was a huge relief for me and my family and, really, just an exciting moment.”

Upon graduating from La Salle, Nguyen is committed to breaking stigmas around dietetics.

“There’s a stereotype that this line of work is focused solely on meal-planning,” she said.

That’s why she desires a professional opportunity centered on nutritional education, one in which she can work with people and what she referred to as “their relationship with food.” It’s a concept she became passionate about after a first-year pre-requisite nutrition course as a student in La Salle’s School of Nursing and Health Sciences.

“Speaking broadly, people today are busy. Very few people have what they would call a great relationship with food,” Nguyen said. “We sit down to watch TV and we snack. Why? Because we think that’s what we’re supposed to do. And that’s OK. It’s important to know that we can nourish the body, satisfy cravings, and energize ourselves without feeling bad or feeling guilty. That’s what it means to nurture a relationship with food.”

Nguyen credits the faculty in La Salle’s Department of Nutrition for stoking her interests, further cultivating her passions, and guiding her toward success.

“The community here at La Salle, it’s just amazing,” she said. “I enjoy our students. You meet so many people from all over the map. And the faculty, they promote learning in a comfortable way. This is where I was meant to be.”

—Christopher A. Vito