Interns and Students

Much of our work couldn’t happen without the students from UNC-Chapel Hill and beyond who join our team as interns, youth ambassadors, and child nutritionists to work on nutrition education materials, cooking programs with kids, and more.

Learn about some of our recent intern team members below. If you’re interested in being a part of the team, contact Jessica Soldavini.


Spring 2024


Neha Balakrishnan

Degree Program: BSPH in Nutrition Science and Research

Hometown: Charlotte, NC

Why I chose to get involved with CHI: I am passionate about promoting healthy eating habits as a means to reduce the occurrence of chronic illnesses.

Fun Fact: I am an avid hiker!

Avni Bannuru

Degree Program: BSPH in Nutrition Health and Society

Hometown: Cary, NC

Why I chose to get involved with CHI: The CHI perfectly combines my passions for cooking, nutrition education, and local service!

Fun Fact: I wrote a cookbook when I was in 8th grade!

Rachel Capao

Degree Program: Master of Public Health in Nutrition

Hometown: Sugar Land, TX

Why I chose to get involved with CHI: Since food is so integral to life, I believe that everyone should have access to healthy food in their community. CHI has done an amazing job at educating and providing healthy meals to students, which I’m excited to be a part of.

Fun Fact: I have a dachshund named Ollie.

Mansi Choudhari

Degree Program: BSPH in Nutrition Science and Research

Hometown: Charlotte, NC

Why I chose to get involved with CHI: I am passionate about proper nutrition and love working with children!

Fun Fact: I have lived in 6 states!

Geanna Gallegos

Degree Program: Master of Public Health in Nutrition and Dietetics

Hometown: Los Angeles, CA

Why I chose to get involved with CHI: I am committed to helping increase access to healthy food and nutrition education to promote a balanced lifestyle.

Fun Fact: I have a culinary background and worked as a cook for 8 years.

Kevin Giang

Degree Program: BSPH Nutrition Health and Society

Hometown: Gastonia, NC

Why I chose to get involved with CHI: Iā€™m always looking for opportunities to further educate myself and others on public health issues regarding food security and accessibility.

Rebeca Hernandez-Castellanos

Degree Program: Human Development and Family Studies

Hometown: Siler City, NC

Why I chose to get involved with CHI: I’m excited to learn about the impact of CHI and food access in communities!

Fun Fact: I’m a big coffee lover!

Yu-Ha Kim

Degree Program: BSPH Nutrition Science and Research

Hometown: Raleigh, NC

Why I chose to get involved with CHI: I am passionate about anything and everything related to food, especially nutrition education!

Fun Fact: I am passionate about anything and everything related to food, especially nutrition education!

Carolena Moscatello

Degree Program: BSPH Nutrition

Hometown: Cary, NC

Why I chose to get involved with CHI: To promote nutrition education in the community.

Fun Fact: I speak Italian!

Ana Zurita Posas

Degree Program: Bachelor of Arts in Education in Human Development and Family Science with a second major in Geography

Hometown: Bladenboro, North Carolina

Why I chose to get involved with CHI: I am passionate about public health education and advocacy and their role in building resilience among children and families.

Fun Fact: In 2022, I traveled to 15 cities across Europe in 2 weeks.

Abby Settlemyre

Degree Program: Master of Public Health in Nutrition

Hometown: Hickory, NC

Why I chose to get involved with CHI: I chose to get involved with CHI because I really enjoy nutrition and have a desire to help others.

Fun Fact: I am on the softball team at Carolina.

Mattie Wright

Degree Program: Pre-Bachelor of Public Health in Nutrition

Hometown: Redding, CT

Why I chose to get involved with CHI: I believe that everybody deserves to be educated about their nutrition and have access to healthy foods–CHI is helping to make this right a reality!

Fun Fact: I used to hate pickles!


Previous Semesters


Summer 2023

Mansi Choudhari

Degree Program: Bachelor of Science in Public Health in Nutrition

Hometown: Charlotte, NC

Why I chose to get involved with CHI: I am passionate about proper nutrition and love working with children!

Fun Fact: I drive an orange car!


Ellen Druebbisch

Degree Program: Master of Public Health in Nutrition and Dietetics

Hometown: Jamestown, NC

Why I chose to get involved with CHI: Nutrition education is so important to the health of every person and I am excited to be able to share my passion for nutrition with kids and families to help them live a happier and healthier life.

Fun Fact: I love to travel and find the best food in town!


Damian Ganoe

Degree Program: Masters in Health Sciences

Hometown: Raleigh, NC

Why I chose to get involved with CHI: To help those struggling with food insecurity. 

Fun Fact: I also love teaching group fitness at the Kraft YMCA!


Kevin Giang

Degree Program: BSPH Nutrition Health and Society

Hometown: Gastonia, NC

Why I chose to get involved with CHI: I’m always looking for opportunities to further educate myself and others on public health issues regarding food security and accessibility.


Manasik Mohamed Idris 

Degree Program: Master of Public Health in Global Health

Hometown: Raleigh, NC

Why I chose to get involved with CHI: I am passionate about nutrition and healthy eating.

Fun Fact: I write spoken word poetry.


Ashley Leonard

Degree Program: Bachelor of Science in Public Health in Nutrition, Minor in Exercise and Sport Science

Hometown: Southern Pines, NC

Why I chose to get involved with CHI: My interest in nutrition began in the classroom and I want to be able to inspire others to get involved in the field as well!

Fun Fact: My favorite food is pasta.


Kathryn Lerman

Degree Program: Master of Public Health in Nutrition

Hometown: Providence, RI

Why I chose to get involved with CHI: I am passionate about increasing access to nutrition education and improving the nutritional health of our community! 

Fun Fact: I am a dual citizen of the United States and Canada.


Jessica Manion

Degree Program: Master of Public Health in Nutrition 

Hometown: Charlotte, NC 

Why I chose to get involved with CHI: I am very interested in food insecurity and how it affects health and social stigma in both adults and children. CHI focuses so much on how to provide healthy meals for those who are struggling with food insecurity, and I want to be a part of that. 

Fun Fact: My entire camera roll is just pictures of my pets! 


Jemya D McClendon

Degree Program: Master of Public Health in Nutrition and Dietetics

Hometown: Aurora, IL

Why I chose to get involved with CHI: I chose to get invovled with CHI because it is at the intersection of nutrition advocacy and community engagement.

Fun Fact: I love to cook and try making new foods. 


Anni Oranjian

Degree Program: Master of Public Health in Nutrition 

Hometown: Queens, NY 

Why I chose to get involved with CHI: I am passionate about nutrition education within the pediatric population and hope to learn more about how to increase access to nutrition education within the community.

Fun Fact: I can write with both my right hand and left hand.


Sarah Rothstein

Degree Program: Master of Public Health in Nutrition and Dietetics

Hometown: Arlington, VA

Why I chose to get involved with CHI: I believe food is a human right!

Fun Fact: I have a twin sister!


Alexa Stachowski

Degree Program: Master of Public Health in Nutrition

Hometown: Buffalo, NY

Why I chose to get involved with CHI: I want to learn more about the work happening here at UNC through the Carolina Hunger Initiative!

Fun Fact: I have a twin brother. 


Zhibei Wang

Degree Program: Master of Public Health in Nutrition

Hometown: Nanjing, China

Why I chose to get involved with CHI: I chose to get involved with CHI because I love cooking and eating healthy. I want to make a positive impact on food insecurity and promote access to healthy food for all individuals and families.

Fun Fact: I can make Nanjing salted duck, a traditional Jiangsu cuisine that requires a lot of patience and attention to detail.


Korie Whited

Degree Program: Master of Public Health in Nutrition

Hometown: Mebane, NC

Why I chose to get involved with CHI: Working with CHI aligns with my passion for finding innovative, sustainable solutions that improve food access and create meaningful changes in the lives of those facing hunger and nutritional challenges.

Fun Fact: I enjoy dog training with my yellow lab named Kenan.


Anna Wilgenburg

Degree Program: Master of Public Health in Nutrition and Dietetics 

Hometown: Grand Haven, MI

Why I chose to get involved with CHI: To work with and make an impact on the North Carolina community, especially in the form of nutrition education and advocacy for those experiencing childhood food insecurity. 

Fun Fact: I have three younger brothers and a golden doodle named Hugo.

Fall 2022

Fall 2022


Jennifer Beightley

Degree Program: Master of Public Health in Nutrition

Hometown: Roscoe, IL

Projects: School Meals for All NC Campaign and College Student Food Security

Why I chose to get involved with CHI: Food security is crucial to a person’s ability to realize their life goals and dreams, and I wanted to learn how to help create food secure environments for North Carolinians.

Fun fact: If I could hike every single day, I would! My favorites include Dragon’s Back in Hong Kong, hiking all the sand dunes in Provincetown, MA, Castle Mountain Lookout Trail in Banff National Park, Canada, and every trail in South Mountain State Park in NC. 


Alicia Gunawan

Degree Program: MPH in RD

Hometown: Seattle, WA

Projects: Nutrition Education Resources


Julia Hedelman

Degree Program: Master of Public Health in Nutrition 

Hometown: San Francisco Bay Area, California 

Projects: Cooking Matters

Why I chose to get involved with CHI: I am excited to work with CHI because its mission aligns closely with my passions for health equity, community engagement, and making good food!

Fun fact: For fun, I temporarily decided change my name to Peppa from first to eighth grade. It stuck for all those years!


Reagan Hunt

Degree Program: Bachelor of Science in Biology

Hometown: Clayton, NC

Projects: Cooking Matters

Why I chose to get involved with CHI: I chose to become involved with CHI because my passion for cooking and nutrition started at an early age, so I want to help young students do the same.

Fun fact: I have been in the kitchen set of the Today Show!


Reva Kodre

Degree Program: Bachelors in Nutrition Science and Research

Hometown: Chantilly, VA

Projects: Cooking Matters

Why I chose to get involved with CHI: Learn more about and get experience in playing a role in diminishing food insecurity and promoting healthy eating habits.

Fun fact: I’m on a South Asian dance team called Tar Heel Raas!


Daiana Mendoza

Degree Program: Bachelors of Human Development and Family Science and Bachelors of Public Policy

Hometown: Fuquay-Varina, NC

Projects: Cooking Matters

Why I chose to get involved with CHI: I love working with children and I also love eating healthy! Being able to combine the two and teach others about how cool food can be is so fun!

Fun fact: I was born on Halloween!


Albert Pan

Degree Program: Bachelor of Science in Public Health ā€” Nutrition

Hometown: Crestwood, KY

Projects: School lunch debt policy research

Why I chose to get involved with CHI: I wanted to positively impact school meals and learn more about school lunch policies. 


Susannah Pazdan

Degree Program: Master of Public Health in Nutrition 

Hometown: Greenville, SC

Projects: Cooking Matters and Nutrition Education Resources

Why I chose to get involved with CHI: I chose to get involved with CHI because of the Cooking Matters at Home and Cooking Matters for Kids classes. I hope to work in community nutrition after graduation and CHI’s involvement in the Cooking Matters programs was super exciting for me!

Fun fact: I have an identical twin sister!


Katelyn Rodriguez

Degree Program: BSPH Public Health Nutrition

Hometown: Queens, NY

Projects: Cooking Matters

Why I chose to get involved with CHI: I wanted to be more involved in children’s nutrition and learn about current nutritional programs. 

Fun fact: I can solve a Rubick’s Cube!


Charlotte Rogus

Degree Program: Master of Public Health in Nutrition

Hometown: Corning, NY

Projects: Cooking Matters

Why I chose to get involved with CHI: I chose to get involved with CHI because I am passionate about nutrition education and want to increase access to nutrition education for community members.

Fun fact: I am a triplet! I have two sisters ā€” one identical to me and the other fraternal.


Despina Saffo

Degree Program: Master of Public Health in Nutrition

Hometown: Wilmington, NC

Projects: SNAP E&T Report and Nutrition Education Resources

Why I chose to get involved with CHI: I choose to get involved with CHI because I believe they do incredibly valuable work to connect people to healthy meals, and their work with children builds healthy habits that will last a lifetime!

Fun fact: My family is from Ikaria, Greece which is a “blue zone” known for long and healthy lifespans!


Ashka Shah

Degree Program: Master of Public Health in Nutrition / Registered Dietitian

Hometown: Greensboro, NC

Projects: Cooking Matters

Why I chose to get involved with CHI: Everything about nutrition fascinates me and I would love to spread the joy of nutrition, food, and cooking to the world šŸ™‚

Fun fact: I’m a big foodie and share all of my adventures, recipes, and grocery finds on Instagram (@visualvegantaste)!


Andrea Wang

Degree Program: BSPH in Nutrition (health and society)

Hometown: Danville, CA

Projects: Cooking Matters

Why I chose to get involved with CHI: I hope to apply my knowledge to help kids learn about nutrition and promote healthy eating habits.

Fun fact: I don’t eat any kind of mushroom.


Katie Wolf

Degree Program: Master of Public Health in Nutrition and Dietetics

Hometown: Charlottesville, VA

Projects: Cooking Matters

Why I chose to get involved with CHI: I am working with CHI for my public health dietetic internship with the hopes of becoming a Registered Dietitian!

Fun fact: I have a beagle named Peanut.


Yasmine Wehbi

Degree Program: Bachelors of Public Health ā€” Nutrition Science and Research 

Hometown: Charlotte, NC 

Projects: Cooking Matters at Home 

Why I chose to get involved with CHI: Have a passion for teaching and educating people on how to live and maintain healthy lifestyles in a fun way. 

Fun fact: Went hiking almost every day of summer 2021 in northern Brazil. 


Spring 2022

Spring 2022


Claire Blackman

Degree Program: Bachelor of Science in Chemistry

Hometown: Pfafftown, NC

Projects: Cooking Matters for Kids

Why I chose to get involved with CHI: I chose to get involved with CHI because CHI actively works to provide nutrition education and healthy meals, and I love that I am able to contribute by sharing my interest in nutrition with kids in a fun and engaging way. 

Fun fact: I have been to 40 of the 50 states!


Elizabeth Giering

Degree Program: Master of Public Health in Nutrition

Hometown: Irvine, CA

Projects: Cooking Matters at Home, Harvest of the Month, social media

Why I chose to get involved with CHI: I applied to an MPH program because at the time, I wanted a career in public health nutrition, specifically involving nutrition education. While my career goals have changed, my passion for nutrition education and addressing food access disparities hasn’t. CHI gives me a wonderful opportunity to pursue my passions while helping others. 

Fun fact: I was a competitive figure skater for most of my life. I still ice skate, and hope to compete again soon!


Keerti Kalluru

Degree Program: Bachelor of Science in Public Health Nutrition and Bachelor of Arts in Human Development and Family Studies

Hometown: Cary, NC

Projects: Cooking Matters for Kids, Cooking Matters at Home, project on nutrition education resources for adolescents, Project Dash

Why I chose to get involved with CHI: I chose to get involved with CHI through my HDFS internship because I wanted to get experience working with children and families while learning more about community-based nutrition programs!

Fun fact: I lived in India for 7 years


Jennie Norka

Degree Program: Master of Public Health in Nutrition 

Hometown: Chicago, IL

Projects: Cooking Matters at Home, Cooking Matters for Kids, PORCH Fresh

Why I chose to get involved with CHI: I was excited to join CHI to work with and teach community members of all ages about nutrition and enhance their ability to access nutritious food and eat healthy meals!

Fun fact: I like to say I have three pets: my cat, my dog, and my three-year-old sourdough starter!


Albert Pan

Degree Program: Bachelor of Science in Public Health ā€” Nutrition

Hometown: Crestwood, KY

Projects: School lunch debt policy research

Why I chose to get involved with CHI: I wanted to positively impact school meals and learn more about school lunch policies. 


Delaine Perez

Program: Master of Public Health ā€” Registered Dietitian Program

Hometown: Fort Myers, FL

Projects: Harvest of the Month, Nutrition Education Resources, Social Media

Why I chose to get involved with CHI: I chose CHI because of the incredible work they do to connect children to nutritious meals and provide nutrition education to families and their children.

Fun fact: My all-time favorite food is tacos. I love how versatile they can be.


Hundley Rhyne

Degree Program: Bachelor of Arts in Human Development and Family Studies 

Hometown: Lincolnton, NC

Projects: Nutrition education resources 

Why I chose to get involved with CHI: As a future high school math teacher, I wanted to expand my knowledge on CHI and learn about the resources available in the communities around us. 

Fun fact: I am a North Carolina Teaching Fellow!


Isabel Rodriguez

Degree Program: Master of Public Health in Nutrition/RD 

Hometown: Miami, FL

Projects: Cooking Matters for Kids

Why I chose to get involved with CHI: I love working with children and I am interested in promoting healthy behaviors from a young age. 

Fun fact: My first time seeing snow was when I moved to North Carolina.


Yasmine Wehbi

Degree Program: Bachelors of Public Health ā€” Nutrition Science and Research 

Hometown: Charlotte, NC 

Projects: Cooking Matters at Home 

Why I chose to get involved with CHI: Have a passion for teaching and educating people on how to live and maintain healthy lifestyles in a fun way. 

Fun fact: Went hiking almost every day of summer 2021 in northern Brazil. 


Spring 2021

Summer 2020