Global Ambassador: Elizabeth Kielb

Elizabeth Kielb is from Michigan. At Purdue, she is pursuing a PhD in Human Development & Family Studies. 

Ambassador Q & A (Questions and Answers)


Why did you choose Purdue?

I have wanted to come to Purdue since I was a little kid. I toured Purdue with my older brother when he was doing college tours, and just felt at home. I applied early admission to Purdue for undergrad and was incredibly excited when I was accepted. I found my home here, with mentors and a department that truly care about me and want me to succeed, so I decided to stay for a graduate program, one of the best decisions I ever made.

Please briefly describe your research.

My research is on the impact of nutrition in infancy and early childhood on obesity and temperament related risks. I am specifically interested in the impact of parents, and the decision-making process for how and why they offer their children certain foods.

How did you decide what to study?

I worked in a few different research labs to figure out what I was interested in and gain experience first. When my current mentor came to Purdue in Fall 2019, I was so excited about her research with infant and early childhood nutrition, I knew it was a good fit to help me funnel my specific interests even further. I was an obese child, and learning about the predictors and risk factors for obesity and other temperamental factors related to food has been so insightful for myself on a personal level as well!

What was your process for selecting a graduate school?

I looked at the faculty lists at a many schools and looked to see if anyone was doing the type of research I was interested in. Once I had a list of faculty, I used an Excel document to write out other details of the school, such as “safe campus” or “free parking” etc. That helped me narrow schools down because I had some non-negotiables for things I was looking for in a school. Once I had that smaller list, I reached out to those faculty members about my interest in their work, and asked if they were interested in taking students. From there I was able to meet with professors to see if the school/department/program was a good fit for me.

Where do you spend most of your time on campus?

In my lab! I work in a computer lab/office, so I have my own space that I decorated and put my own touches on. Usually when I’m not in classes or teaching, I’m in my lab/office even if I’m not working on lab tasks. I share space with a few other graduate students who are my best friends, so I like being there just to hangout even if I don’t have specific tasks to do. I also find that if I am just in my office, I will be more productive.

How did you decide where to live? 

I wanted to be off campus, so I looked for apartments a little further away. I asked other grad students in my department how they found housing and what might be good areas to live before I signed a lease, that was really helpful.

What does your typical day look like?

My typical day usually starts early with a class or two. I like scheduling my classes for first thing in the morning. After a class or two, I usually come to campus to my lab to work. I work in two different lab spaces, one in Fowler Memorial House and the other in Lambert Fieldhouse. Luckily both of my labs have coffee shops right across the street, so I like to grab a coffee at Starbucks (across from Lambert) or Copper Moon (across from Fowler) before heading in to work. I typically work in at least 3-hour blocks, and work for me is often administrative tasks, small group meetings with undergrads working in my lab, and overseeing video or transcript coding. If I’ve had a long day, I love going to the Chipotle on State street on my way home, its right down the road from my lab in Fowler so it’s super convenient! On days I’m not teaching I try to come home around 5 PM, and get organized with whatever homework, lab work, of grading I need to do.

How do you de-stress in your free time?

I love working out. Part of my TA assignment this past year and a half has been to teach PES 111: Lifetime Fitness, and I love teaching fitness classes and sharing my love of fitness with others. The Co-Rec is such an amazing facility, I like working out there and taking the Group-X classes whenever I can, it’s such a good stress reliever.

How do you keep yourself organized?

I use a physical planner and Outlook Calendars! I also use post-it notes for everything. For me, having reminders and notes for myself to complete tasks is necessary. I also schedule all my meeting in Outlook, so that I get a reminder before each meeting.

What are you hoping to do after you graduate from Purdue?

I am hoping to go on to a post-doctoral fellowship in early childhood nutrition! My end-goal is to eventually join a faculty at a university and continue my research.

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