Alumni Spotlight

Sarah Hale Addams

Sarah Hale Addams
Family Literacy Coordinator/Adult Education Instructor - Regional Office of Education #33
BS - Biochemistry '09 | MS - Sports and Health Sciences '12

Why did you choose the University of Memphis?

I chose the University of Memphis because the master's program in Environmental Nutrition seemed to be the perfect program for continuing my education. In addition, the program is offered online, and that was a big part of my decision.

Why did you choose your major?

I chose my major for a few reasons. Expanding my knowledge in sustainability, community education and healthy food systems, to name a few, was part of the reason for choosing a major in Environmental Nutrition. My passion for learning more about sustainable food systems and agriculture started during my undergrad at Portland State University. I majored in Community Health Education and minored in Environmental Sustainability. The Environmental Nutrition masters program at the University of Memphis seemed like a perfect combination of my undergrad major and minor programs. 

Was there any particular faculty or staff member from our college that made an impact on you and how/why?

Absolutely. Dr. Robin Roach made a major positive impact on me. Dr. Roach was a great mentor from the beginning of my time at the University of Memphis. She was always available for guidance during the program and still is, even after graduation. I feel like Dr. Roach always took the time and made an effort to get to know her students and their strengths.

How did our college prepare you for your career?

The courses in my program covered a wide range of environmental issues that are areas of concern in today's society. In addition, the fact that the program is open internationally gave a worldwide perspective, which was very beneficial to my future career endeavors.

What is a day in the life of your career like?

I am currently working as the Family Literacy Coordinator for a regional office of education in Illinois. The position is not exactly in my field. However, I have been able to incorporate many sustainability and environmental nutrition lessons into my curriculum. I provide books and activities to students enrolled in the Adult Education program and their families. I have done several activities that have included gardening, sustainable food sources, recipes, a cultural cookbook and Zoom cooking classes. 

What’s your favorite memory from the UofM and/or the College of Health Sciences?

This is a really excellent program. Enjoy it! Use all of the resources that your professors and peers have to offer. I learned a wealth of information in many different areas during my time in the Environmental Nutrition program.

What advice would you give current or incoming students?

Go after your dreams and never settle. I truly believe anything can be achieved if we put our minds to it. Work hard, stay focused, lean on your family/friends when you need them, take care of yourself and always stay humble.

Why would you recommend the College of Health Sciences?

I would recommend the College of Health Sciences because of the different programs offered and because the faculty is great at what they do.

Did you do an internship? If so, where and what was it like?

I did do an internship at Knox College in Galesburg, IL. I worked on the campus farm. Some of my duties included working with undergrad students on the farm planting, weeding, harvesting and helping to teach about companion planting and permaculture methods. I also worked with the head chef in the cafeteria to monitor and combat food waste. I also created a guide to eating and cooking on a budget. This guide included a list of free resources for students who were not able to afford food at any given time while on campus.