A Dad’s Career Switch Nutritional Ecology Scholarship Supports a Dream to Work | Teachers College Columbia University

Skip to content Skip to main navigation
News & Events Header

Teachers College Newsroom

Skip to content Skip to content

A Dad’s Career Switch

Nutritional Ecology Scholarship Supports a Dream to Work for Social Change

When Art Gillman began contemplating a mid-life career switch, he dreamed of a path that would feed his passion for social change. Interested in combatting the national obesity epidemic, the 45-year-old father of two young children decided to pursue an advanced degree in nutrition at Teachers College.

“It is a balancing act juggling work, family and school, but I love the challenge,” says Gillman, who started the program in the fall of 2014.

A research coordinator at Columbia University Medical Center, Gillman took advantage of employee tuition exemption benefits offered through his job. But last summer, his dream was almost derailed. The research grant that funded his position fell through. Suddenly Gillman no longer had a job or tuition benefits.

While he scrambled to find employment, TC came to his aid. He was awarded the Nutritional Ecology Scholarship just in time for the 2015-16 school year.

“This scholarship is a wonderful gift and a blessing in my time of need,” Gillman says. “I am eternally grateful for the donors’ generosity.”

The Nutritional Ecology Scholarship honors Professor Joan Dye Gussow (Ed.D. ’75), whose groundbreaking work in nutrition has shaped the history and politics of food in the United States. The scholarship fund assists masters or doctoral students with a demonstrated interest in studying the links between food, nutrition and ecology. Gillman is the fifth student to benefit from the scholarship fund. Previous recipients include students Carrie Russo and Katie Leonard, who are participating in TC’s dietetic internship this year.

Established in 2012 by Linford Lougheed (Ed.D. ’77), the scholarship is also generously supported by Valerie Cooke (Ed.D. ’87) and other former students of Gussow’s. More than a dozen alumni and friends have responded to a challenge match by Lougheed, with the goal of raising at least $500,000 in honor of Gussow.

“A generation of nutritional ecology scholars would definitely have an impact on education and policy,” Lougheed says. “There has to be an awareness of what good eating habits are so food outlets can be responsive to demands for nutritious food.”  

Gillman entered the program with the goal of battling the obesity epidemic—a health issue that cuts across every segment of the American population. But after taking courses in nutritional ecology and community nutrition with Gussow and Pamela Koch, executive director of the Laurie M. Tisch Center for Food, Education & Policy, he’s shifted his focus toward food insecurity issues and would like to work for an organization with an anti-hunger initiative.

“Even though I pressed the proverbial pause button and stepped away from these socially conscious issues for years, the topics covered in both courses have reignited a fire inside of me,” Gillman says. “Joan’s and Pam’s enthusiasm, passion and lifelong dedication to tackling these bigger-picture issues is awe-inspiring.”

Support the Nutritional Ecology Scholarship Challenge and honor the legacy of Joan Gussow.

--Mariko Thompson Beck

Published Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2016

A Dad’s Career Switch

Nutritional Ecology Scholarship Supports a Dream to Work for Social Change

When Art Gillman began contemplating a mid-life career switch, he dreamed of a path that would feed his passion for social change. Interested in combatting the national obesity epidemic, the 45-year-old father of two young children decided to pursue an advanced degree in nutrition at Teachers College.

“It is a balancing act juggling work, family and school, but I love the challenge,” says Gillman, who started the program in the fall of 2014.

A research coordinator at Columbia University Medical Center, Gillman took advantage of employee tuition exemption benefits offered through his job. But last summer, his dream was almost derailed. The research grant that funded his position fell through. Suddenly Gillman no longer had a job or tuition benefits.

While he scrambled to find employment, TC came to his aid. He was awarded the Nutritional Ecology Scholarship just in time for the 2015-16 school year.

“This scholarship is a wonderful gift and a blessing in my time of need,” Gillman says. “I am eternally grateful for the donors’ generosity.”

The Nutritional Ecology Scholarship honors Professor Joan Dye Gussow (Ed.D. ’75), whose groundbreaking work in nutrition has shaped the history and politics of food in the United States. The scholarship fund assists masters or doctoral students with a demonstrated interest in studying the links between food, nutrition and ecology. Gillman is the fifth student to benefit from the scholarship fund. Previous recipients include students Carrie Russo and Katie Leonard, who are participating in TC’s dietetic internship this year.

Established in 2012 by Linford Lougheed (Ed.D. ’77), the scholarship is also generously supported by Valerie Cooke (Ed.D. ’87) and other former students of Gussow’s. More than a dozen alumni and friends have responded to a challenge match by Lougheed, with the goal of raising at least $500,000 in honor of Gussow.

“A generation of nutritional ecology scholars would definitely have an impact on education and policy,” Lougheed says. “There has to be an awareness of what good eating habits are so food outlets can be responsive to demands for nutritious food.”  

Gillman entered the program with the goal of battling the obesity epidemic—a health issue that cuts across every segment of the American population. But after taking courses in nutritional ecology and community nutrition with Gussow and Pamela Koch, executive director of the Laurie M. Tisch Center for Food, Education & Policy, he’s shifted his focus toward food insecurity issues and would like to work for an organization with an anti-hunger initiative.

“Even though I pressed the proverbial pause button and stepped away from these socially conscious issues for years, the topics covered in both courses have reignited a fire inside of me,” Gillman says. “Joan’s and Pam’s enthusiasm, passion and lifelong dedication to tackling these bigger-picture issues is awe-inspiring.”

Support the Nutritional Ecology Scholarship Challenge and honor the legacy of Joan Gussow.

--Mariko Thompson Beck

How This Gift Connects The Dots
 
Scholarships & Fellowships
 
Faculty & Programs
 
Campus & Technology
 
Financial Flexibility
 
Engage TC Alumni & Friends