Kristi Cheng accepted the Loma Linda University School of Public Health President’s Award at the school’s commencement ceremony on June 11. The award honors one student from each of the university’s eight schools and one from the Faculty of Graduate Studies each year.
Cheng, who earlier received the university’s Selma Andrews Scholarship, entered the School of Public Health Nutrition and Dietetics program in September 2015. She had graduated magna cum laude from the University of California, San Diego, earning a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry and cell biology.
Cheng is an engaged learner with strong communication skills, and she served as a research assistant at Loma Linda University for several major studies that required collection of accurate, research-level data.
Her literature review added data to an ongoing study on the “Effect of Egg Consumption on the Risk of Type 2 Diabetes.” Cheng recruited study participants and assembled microbial kits.
She provided research data for a randomized trial on the effects of a unique dietary soy supplement in reducing the risk of heart disease.
Additionally, she led a team for a community project that assessed nutrition of produce at local farmers’ markets and submitted a report that earned her a commendation from Dr. Robin Nishiwaki, San Bernardino County’s nutrition program director.
Cheng planned and taught cooking and nutrition classes for LLU’s Summer Camp Operation Fit. The camp teaches youths ages 9-15 about healthy eating habits and active living. She was also treasurer for the campus Phi Upsilon Omicron honor society for nutrition and dietetics students.
As a volunteer at the Fontana Unified School District, she guided the Foodservice group to provide nutritious meals to students. Additionally, she volunteered her time at the LLU gift shop, during the Healthy People Conference, and at the Drayson Center’s Employee Benefits Fair.
At UC San Diego, Cheng took part in various studies as a research assistant and then a senior research assistant. Among them was a double-blind study on the causes and treatment of breast cancer.
She also earned Provost’s Honors at UCSD, and the Thurgood Marshall College Honors. That award is presented for “students of exceptionally high academic achievement.”
—By Jim DeTar