Board of Directors
Michelle and Angela met during their first year at UC Santa Barbara and connected through their passion for the importance of good nutrition. Their personal experiences with food as a remedy for mental and physical healing led them to contemplate not only food’s relation to the individual but to larger systems of public health and environmental sustainability. In the following year as second-year undergraduates, they took this idea and turned it into a tangible nutrition education program.
After many long nights developing the first iteration of the nutrition curriculum, they piloted the 7-week lesson plan in a 1st-grade classroom at Washington Elementary School in Santa Barbara during Spring 2014. Over the next two years, they worked countless hours to establish a solid program foundation at UC Santa Barbara and the surrounding community so that they could ensure a lasting education model. KIN has since grown to teach beyond the classroom and in other environments, including local libraries, after-school programs, clinics, remote Zoom lessons, and Boys and Girls Clubs.
In Spring 2020, Michelle and Angela set out to create a comprehensive fifth-grade food sustainability curriculum, touching on a range of topics at the intersection of nutrition, health, and the environment. The intent of this curriculum is to bridge the gap between these often disparate fields and that, moving forward, nutrition will be viewed through a multi-sectoral lens to improve our public health and ecological systems. This food sustainability curriculum has been piloted virtually in Santa Barbara classrooms and will begin its first in-person pilot in Fall, 2023.
Over time, KIN has evolved into a leadership development program, heavily empowering university students from all backgrounds to become advocates for health and the environment in their respective communities. Michelle and Angela found that this model is effective and innovative as university students are mobilizing other university students to teach and mentor youth in their communities. In this, KIN is a platform to increase the representation of the younger generations to advocate for issues that will hold more weight and have greater impacts on their future.
Ryan Kokoska is a 4th-year Medical Student at Indiana University School of Medicine, but in the KIN world, she is well known for her nutrition name, Sweet Potato! She went to UCSB to play soccer and quickly joined KIN in 2016. She then founded the Indiana KIN Chapter in 2021 to share the amazing lessons with kids in her hometown. As a doctor, she will apply her lessons from KIN to every patient encounter.
Jayson Toweh is a Stanford Ph.D. student focusing on identifying the health, environmental, and social impacts of climate change and creating co-benefits from developing sustainable energy transition. Previously he has worked with the U.S. EPA, The World Bank, and serves on Harvard's Board of Overseers. His interest and work in health and well-being brought him to work with KIN helping support their mission and group. Jayson is from Atlanta, GA, and resides in Palo Alto, CA, with his dog Jojo.
Rosie is a Registered Dietitian with a passion for community health, equitable nutrition education, and sustainable food systems. She obtained her Associates degree in Culinary Arts at SUNY SCCC in Schenectady, NY and a Bachelors in Culinary Nutrition at Johnson & Wales University in Providence, RI. Her passion for community-based interests brought her to volunteer for KIN to assist with program development, outreach, and partnership building. Rosie lives in Troy, NY with her husband Ian and pet turtle, Turtleman.
Stephanie is a 4th-grade general education teacher who enjoys having an inclusive classroom. She obtained her Masters in Education at Mills College and her Bachelor of Science in Biology with a minor in Earth Science at UC Santa Barbara. While at UC Santa Barbara, Stephanie became a founding member of KIN, was their Director of Development her senior year, and taught their classroom program. In her free time, Stephanie loves playing soccer, hiking, and seeing friends.
Natalie is an advocate for environmental justice and a researcher in food history and education. With a B.A. in International Relations from the University of California, Davis, she pursued her Master's in History and Education at Teachers College, Columbia University. Her focus includes community-led food justice movements, inclusive nutrition education, and food's role in social justice, with a particular interest in school food programs. Currently, she is pursuing a graduate certificate in food studies from UCLA, where she first learned about KIN and joined the KIN team.
Kaitlin is a medical student at Indiana University with a passion for promoting health through nutrition and lifestyle. Her time working with patients has shown her the many moving parts that make up someone’s health, many of which are related to the environment around us! Prior to medical school, her time studying Biological Engineering ignited an interest in food security and food systems. She loved learning about sustainable agriculture and how to optimize food production to feed our growing society. Getting involved with KIN has brought her background in agriculture and engineering full circle with her medical training. KIN's Food Sustainability Program, reinforces the connection between a person’s health and the environment/food they have access to. She is excited to work with KIN to help educate the next generation on how to not only care for their own health, but also the health of the planet.
Hi y'all! My name is Suhritha and I'm from Dallas, TX. I first became involved with KIN as an instructor during my undergrad at UC Berkeley and am so happy to be continuing to volunteer with KIN today! I just completed my Master's in Human Nutrition at Columbia University and hope to incorporate the principles of nutrition education into the medical field as a future physician. In my free time I love to read, hike, camp, and explore new restaurants in New York CIty.
Kids In Nutrition (KIN) is committed to a society in which all people are treated equally, opportunity is justly distributed, and all voices are heard. We affirm and seek diversity in gender, race, color, ethnicity & national origin, age, sex, class, religion, ability, life experiences, and background as both a positive contribution to our organizational environment and a critical asset for informing and enabling our work. With this in mind, we are committed to maintaining an environment that recognizes, understands, respects, and encourages the unique contributions of each member and we approach every organizational decision with a commitment to diversity.