Kendra Oo, RDN, is a graduate student in DHN. Originally from Burma, Kendra transferred to UK four years ago. Kendra is a member of both the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the Bluegrass Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. 

What is your research topic and why was it chosen?

As I am passionate about fighting hunger and food waste, I am interested in exploring ways to combat those issues. I was one of the founding members of the Campus Kitchen at UK that aims to reduce food waste and fight hunger through sustainable solutions.

For my undergraduate research, mentored by Dr. Tammy Stephenson, I conducted a study called, "Sustainable Approaches to Fighting Hunger: Development and Evaluation of an Innovative Gleaning and Nutrition Education Program Among Food Insecure Children in Lexington, Kentucky” I presented a poster of this study at various conferences including FNCE 2017 and the Poster-at-the-Capitol in Frankfort, KY as well as led a speaker session about it at the Summit Squared. 

This undergraduate research led me to my current graduate research on food insecurity among college students at the University of Kentucky that attempts to understand barriers that UK students encounter and help identify resources related to food access and food insecurity on campus. This project is also mentored by Dr. Tammy Stephenson.

What are your future career goals?

As a registered dietitian, I want to advocate for food insecurity and food waste issues while pursuing a career in the dietetics field. I enjoy counseling individuals and guiding them to the right path of incorporating healthy eating habits in their lives. After gaining a few years of work-related experiences, I hope to pursue a doctorate in public health or nutrition.