Rachelle LaCroix Mallik ’06 B.S.

Which groups or activities were you most involved in at ASU? What did you gain from that involvement?

As a pre-health student, I got involved with the American Medical Students Association and served as the PR officer my senior year. It was a great way to meet other students with similar career interests and participate in health-related community service activities. I also was a choir member in the Sun Devil Singers for several semesters. I'd been in choir since the fourth grade, so I loved getting to be able to sing again during my time at ASU, plus I made friends with whom I still keep in touch today! I have enjoyed continued involvement with ASU as an alumna. I served as the representative for the ASU Alumni Association’s international connection group while I was living in Australia for the past two years, and I joined the local alumni chapter when I moved to Chicago in October.

How did your education at ASU prepare you for your current job or career?

To complement my pre-med studies, I chose human nutrition as my major, which ended up becoming my profession! The nutrition-focused science courses (macronutrient metabolism, A&P, medical nutrition therapy, etc.) were challenging subjects, but the practical, applied nature helped me to better understand chemistry and biology. I still reference information I learned as an undergrad in my daily work! In addition, the theoretical courses I took as an Honors College student honed my critical analysis skills, which I found incredibly valuable for my graduate studies, as well as my perspective today as a practicing dietitian.

How did ASU help you succeed in life?

When I started as a freshman at ASU, I didn't know that I wanted to be a dietitian. It was through my studies that I discovered this passion, and I am fortunate to have a career in a field that I am passionate about. One particular course at ASU (The History and Evolution of Human Food, taught by Dean Mark Jacobs) was an impetus for pursuing a master’s degree in food studies from New York University. After I did that, I was able to visit Dean Jacobs' class in 2012 to talk about my career as a dietitian and food studies scholar! I am also grateful for the quality education I received at an affordable price. I didn't start my career thousands of dollars in debt!

What advice would you have for today’s students?

Be open to opportunities. Take advantage of the resources that a large, research university like ASU offers, from clubs for every interest to free tutoring services. Don't worry if you haven't decided on a major when you start university, but think about what interests you and how you can turn that into a career. ASU also has career services to help you make that decision.

Break out of your comfort zone. Being a university student is a unique time in your life to meet new people and explore who you are. I graduated from a public high school with a class of 34 students in the Hamptons in New York and went to Arizona State University, which had 50,000+ students on its campuses, and was located on the other side of the country. That alone was a huge transition, but even if you grew up near campus, it's rewarding to expand your horizons by experiencing different people, classes and activities.

What are three “can’t-miss” ASU experiences every Sun Devil should participate in?

  1. Live on campus for your first year if possible. As an out-of-state student, that made me feel like part of the ASU community.
  2. Study abroad. You won't regret it. I spent a summer in Paris and the Loire Valley with the Honors College. Incroyable!
  3. Walk or run up "A" Mountain, explore Mill Avenue/Tempe by bicycle, or take a pedal boat trip on Tempe Town Lake. ASU’s campuses are located near many attractions in the Phoenix metropolitan area. You’re never far from sports, museums, and amazing food – not to mention sunny, warm weather almost year-round. Take advantage of it!