Tina grew up in North Richland Hills, Texas, and graduated from Stanford University in 2014 with a degree in human biology. She conducted research on the supplemental poverty measure and the Healthy Families (CHIP) program in California through the Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality. She helped pilot a student-run women’s shelter by spearheading fundraising efforts and served for four years as the financial officer of Night Outreach, a student organization devoted to issues of homelessness and poverty in the Bay Area. Tina also volunteered as a Vietnamese interpreter at a student-run free health clinic in San Jose, bridging cultural and language barriers between the volunteer medical staff and low-income Vietnamese patients.
Field placement: Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank
Tina implemented a pilot project with community health centers to add an assessment of food security status to regular patient health screenings. She created a hunger and health training session for health providers, introduced food security questions into the patient assessment process, and created a resource toolkit for patients to access government and charitable food assistance resources. Tina also evaluated the pilot project to assess its effectiveness and determine the best ways the Food Bank and health centers can collaborate in the future.
Policy placement: Food Research & Action Center
Tina worked with the Early Childhood Programs team on the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) and WIC. She worked to advance policy goals through the regulatory process by developing model comments in response to USDA’s proposed meal pattern and nutrition standards rules for CACFP. Her work on WIC included developing an online toolkit for anti-hunger advocates to maximize the value of the Healthy WIC Food Package and increase access to healthy food in all neighborhoods. She also developed an advisory group of federal officials, national WIC organization staff, and state advocates.