The Doctor is in

Today, more than ever, students are always trying to find a way to meet new connections and find new opportunites. Well I am here to tell you, Dr. Steve Alas is one connection you need, and the opportunites he provides can open doors never before known to students.

Dr. Alas is an associate professor and director of the SEES program. He has been teaching molecular biology at Cal Poly for almost 10 years now. Dr. Alas is a former research fellow for City of Hope cancer center and postdoctoral fellow at UCLA. He received his PhD in cancer research from UCLA, and his Bachelor’s of Science in biological science at Cal Poly Pomona. As director of the SEES program Dr. Alas oversees advising, mentoring, academic excellence workshops, science courses, research funding, research opportunities and computer facilities for under-represented minority students and first-generation college students majoring in the sciences. He is also the coordinator for the CSU-LSAMP program at Cal Poly Pomona, which is focused on broadening student involvement in the STEM core courses. Dr. Alas is also director of the SEES Health Professionals Project, funded by The California Wellness Foundation. The program focuses on under-represented juniors and seniors that will enter the health professions. As director of the Hearst SEES Apprentice Program, Dr. Alas is able to provide research opportunities to undergraduates entering the STEM fields. Students are funded to perform research with faculty at Cal Poly Pomona, Western University of Health Sciences, City of Hope National Medical Center and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).

Dr. Alas continues to work with outside sources to fund grant and scholarship programs, like the ones stated above. His expertise in research, teaching, and mentoring have allowed Dr. Alas to build a vast network of industry connections that can provide opportunites to students to gain valuable experience. Most of the programs tha Dr. Alas oversees are well funding and provide paid experience opportunities to students to do research of their choice. These programs help expose students to industry leaders and allows the students to display their skills, innovative ideas, and inventions, which many times lead to career job offers. Dr. Alas continues to put students first and is a great resource for grant and scholarship funding.

Why not set up an appointment with Dr. Steve Alas and see how he can open new doors for you. It’s never to late to make that connection.

I Want to Make an FN Friend!


Yeah, yeah I know my play on the department club abbreviation is lame, but hey, it’s FN funny, okay? (Yes, I will wear out this pun by the end of this post). By the way, just in case you didn’t know, FN stands for Food and Nutrition Forum which is the premier club on campus. Now I may be partial, but Food and Nutrition Forum is the best club out there– hands down. This year is a change over year with many new faces and many old; including mine (yeah, I know what you were thinking….31 is old).

What does this mean? Well, it means… well, more friends, new relationships, and new connections. Dr. Martin F. Sancho-Madriz and Dr. Bonny Burns Whitmore are our advisers and they FN rock. With so much to do as a student, it helps to have a resources  available outside of class that help with FN everything.  This year our timely club meetings will really bring to the forefront subjects and information that will be pertinent to all students in our department, not just a few FN cliques. At club meetings we will be hearing from current professors in our department and other professionals, with information that could lead to that dream job we FN dream about constantly. So you need to be there to network with these great connections. Don’t FN miss out!

With a student body in our department at it’s highest peak, there is no shortage of new study buddies, volunteer friends, and intern connections. Branch out and meet someone new. You never know where it may lead you. As princess Jasmine would say, “its a whole new FN world”, or Ariel, “I want to go were the FN people are”. . . anyways you get my point. Now get out there and find an FN friend or two!

Fed Up with Fiascos


20 minutes had gone by. Natasha sat, stunned, in her genetics class. Still reeling from the disastrous day; she had no choice but to accept defeat. First hiccup- forgotten ingredients (goat cheese, Serranos, and lemon juice). Second malfunction- the coconut  black beans were burned. Third fail- rice, the back up plan, was supposed to be boiling on the stove, but the open flame had gone out for an unnoticed 15 minutes. Fourth catastrophe- due to the uncooked rice, and the kitchen manager’s incessant fixation with not serving under cooked food again, the lunches were late to the meeting. Fifth utter devastation- there was not enough food to go around! Heartbroken was a better representation of her feelings. Uncertainty had definitely stirred the pot of madness into a grave tragedy.

While one door closed, the food was cooked to perfection, 5 more indeed opened- with time management and unpreparedness behind them. Natasha needed a drink. Although learning about the TATA box and its role in gene transcription was holding her hostage. To take the most from this experience though, the flustered student had to examine what went wrong. But first, an apology was billowing up inside. There was no excuse for such a poor display of kitchen management. The club members, trying to enjoy a fun meeting, were deprived of a nice meal for nearly 20 minutes! Completely unacceptable, and most definitely frowned upon in this establishment. Not to mention, Bernadette and the merry band of volunteers were also let down.

A full over haul was necessary. Everything needed to be reconsidered. The plan had always been that the FN 358 food service class would take over the actual cooking in winter and spring quarters. But Natasha’s attempt at managing the production was poor, to say the least. After days’ worth of Debbie-downer symptoms, the kitchen manager finally felt ready to move forward.


As each day presents a chance to do better than the day before, so the next few days would be spent researching ways to improve. After hard work by the volunteers and Bernadette, Natasha felt that prepared food would be most welcomed for the subsequent meeting. The end of the quarter usually brings with it the craze of final projects, grade scrounging, and utter exhaustion. With that being said, an affordable and rather easy to produce meal was just what the stressed students needed. Most restaurants  provide large party catering, but that darn lurking budget would forever limit the possibilities; Just another lesson in frugality and real world experience. Which actually brings up another topic to be discussed- starvation and hunger. However, that tangent will be saved for another day.

Back to catering- the kitchen manager loves to veer from the crowd, so Subway was not an option. Investigation into Chipotle, Quiznos, Olive Garden, Twisted Sage Café, T Philips, and Costco was conducted over a two day period. Boxed lunches were most definitely out of the question- a range of $6.99-$8.99 per person was inconceivable. Olive Garden was somewhat reasonable, though; for just over $200, they could provide 7 gallons of soup and 84 bread sticks. (Oh yes, the weekly e-board meeting brought about an agreement of serving 80 lunches each meeting. Natasha had been adjusting the amount of food produced because there were always left-overs. But the boo-boo at the last meeting meant a standard serving size had to be decided upon.) In the end, good Old Costco proved to provide the best bang for the FN Forum buck. Come hungry to see what the kitchen manager, Bernadette, and the trusty troop of volunteers came up with at this Thursday’s meeting…


Hello! My name is Kayla Gahuman and I am chair of the Peer Mentoring Program. I would like to welcome all you, whether you’re a new or returning student into the department. The Peer Mentoring Program is not only for new students, it is for ALL students seeking guidance throughout the 2013-14 academic year.


Here are some events that are right around the corner. These great opportunities to get involved and meet your peers:

1. Pumpkin Festival pumpkin

Pumpkin Bread Baking:

  • When: Monday, October 14th – Friday, October 18th
  • Shifts: 1-3 pm, 3-4pm and 4-6pm
  • Where: Los Olives Dining Bldg. 70

Pumpkin Painting and Carving:

  • When: Friday October 18th at 11:30
  • Where: 7-113

Pumpkin Festival:

  • When: Saturday, October 19th  – Sunday, October 20th from 6am-6pm
  • Where: Cal Poly Pomona Farm Store (Bldg. 211), near parking lot U

Volunteering to help with Pumpkin Festival is a great opportunity to meet your peers,  build friendships  and gain food service skills that you can put on your resume.

*To volunteer please contact: Amy Ngo, FN Forum Pumpkin Festival Chair.

2. Health Fest at Cal Poly Pomona

  • When: Tuesday, October 29th from 11am-1pm
  • Where: University Park (in front of Bronco Student Center)
  • We will be promoting healthy eating, living and wellness.
  • To volunteer please contact: Cat Park, FN Forum Publicity Chair.

3. Meatless Monday Campaign Meatless Monday 2

  • When: Every Monday from 11:30-1pm
  • Where: Los Olivos Dinning Commons (Bldg. 70)
  • Participate in tabling and answering questions about nutrition with a Peer Health Educator from the Wellness Center. You will also get to enjoy the meatless entrees served on that day!
  • To volunteer please contact: Karina Diazinfante or Nancy Gamboa, Meatless Monday Representatives.

4. Volunteer Fair at Cal Poly Pomona

  • When: Tuesday, October 15th 2013 from 10:30am-1pm
  • Where: University Park (in front of Bronco Student Center)

2013-2014 Peer Mentoring Program’s Workshops

Attending workshops are great ways to receive free & beneficial information, that can be used during and after your time here at Cal Poly Pomona.

Fall Quarter

Registration Workshop

  • Provide students with information regarding their “course plan”
  • Tips on how to study for certain FN courses
  • Step by step Bronco Direct tutorial

Winter Quarter

“How To” get involved Workshop

  • Inform students how to get involved on and off campus
  • How to join a club or honor society and which ones may be right for you
  • Discuss the importance of volunteering and the benefits
  • Listen to guest speakers share their experiences

Spring Quarter

Resume Workshop

  • Importance of an exceptional resume
  • Components of a great resume
  • Important information from the Career Center

Peer Mentors 2013-2014 

Peer Mentors 2013-2014

For those of you who are FN/FST majors and have not received an email from a Peer Mentor and would like to be apart of the Peer Mentoring Program,  please contact me at 

Kayla Gahuman

Peer Mentoring Chair, Foods & Nutrition Forum 2013-2014

California Polytechnic University, Pomona CA

Vegetarian Recipes- FN Meeting on May 23

I am so glad to hear everyone enjoyed the sandwiches at my first meeting as kitchen manager. It’s funny though, I haven’t heard any feedback on the Brussels sprouts. Hmm, I wonder why? Oh well, we’ll work on that next year! As you all know, I am very passionate about my food! So I intend on sharing any and all information about it with you. If there is anything I forgot to add or any questions you have, please don’t hesitate to contact me.  Also, look for pictures of the actual preparation and product next year.

vegetarian heart

Benefits from this lunch:

  • Whole grains and vegetables provide fiber 
  • Multiple servings of vegetables allow for a variety of nutrients, including Vitamins A and Cantioxidants, and polyphenols (For more information on polyphenols visit the following article written by Andrew Grover:
  • Each recipe is low in fat
  • Suitable for weight management diets
  • Protective benefits for immune system, metabolic syndrome, and cardiovascular problems 

At the May 23 meeting, I adapted recipes from the 6th International Congress on Vegetarian Nutrition menu. I, along with a couple other girls in the club, volunteered to work with Chef Betty Crocker and got the chance to make wonderful food while exposing people to the benefits of vegetarianism. Although I changed some of the ingredients, the main idea stays the same:

Roasted Vegetable Sandwich


Whole Wheat Sandwich Rounds (Costco)

White Mushrooms (Costco)

Red Onion (Trader Joe’s)

Zucchini (Trader Joe’s)

Spinach (Costco)

Instructions: Slice mushrooms, red onions, and zucchini evenly; combine  with olive oil, salt, and pepper; add to baking dish and roast until tender or to desired degree of doneness.

Muhammara Spread

roasted red peppers


Jarred roasted red peppers, drained (Trader Joe’s)

Fine fresh bread crumbs (the Food Service class made these out of baguettes from Costco)

Walnuts, toasted lightly and chopped fine (Trader Joe’s)

Garlic cloves (Costco)

Pomegranate molasses (Found at Mission Ranch Market, Mission Viejo; Can also be found at most Middle Eastern Markets)

Fresh lemon juice (lemons from Sprouts)

Ground cumin (Trader Joe’s)

Dried hot red pepper flakes (Trader Joe’s)

Extra-virgin olive oil (Costco)

Instructions: In a food processor blend together the peppers, bread crumbs, walnuts, garlic, lemon juice, pomegranate molasses, cumin, red pepper flakes, and salt to taste until the mixture is smooth and with the motor running add oil gradually. Begin forming your sandwich first by spreading the muhammara on both slices of bread, then add roasted vegetables (mushroom, onions, and zuchinni), and top with spinach. Enjoy!

To see the recipe, click here:

Brussels Sprout Slaw


Olive Oil



Cayenne Pepper

Brussels Sprouts


Cider Vinegar

Lemon Juice

Whole Grain Mustard

Maple Syrup

Instructions: Preheat an oven to 350°F. Using the grater attachment of a food processor, shred the Brussels sprouts and radicchio. Transfer to a large bowl and stir to combine. In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar, lemon juice, mustard and maple syrup. Slowly whisk in olive oil and season with salt and black pepper. Add half of the dressing to the Brussels sprout-radicchio mixture and toss well to combine, adding more dressing as needed. Let stand for 15 minutes to slightly wilt the Brussels sprouts.

To see the Brussels Sprout Slaw recipe, click here:

Relay for Life: Leukemia

It is FN Forum’s first year hosting a booth at Cal Poly Pomona’s Relay for Life on May 18-19, as well as representing the cancer Leukemia.   The information provided is a brief overview of the cancer  along with accompanying  general nutrition information.  Remember to discuss any complications with your healthcare team.

What is Leukemia?

Leukemia is a cancer that affects the blood (specifically white blood cells) and the spongy part of the bone marrow, which is where the blood is formed.

bone marrow

Types of Leukemia

There are many types of cancers classified under Leukemia; the four most common are listed below:

Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) Often seen in adults aged 60 and over.  AML develops from changes in DNA of developing cells in the bone marrow.  Leukemic cells multiply once in the bone marrow and inhibit the production of normal cells.

  • Signs and Symptoms aches in the arms, legs or back, bruises with no clear reason, pinhead-size red spots under the skin, slow healing of cuts/bleeding, tired or no energy, swollen gums, unexplained weight loss

Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) Most commonly seen in children, ALL develops when lymphoblasts (white blood cells) grow larger and out of control, blocking the production of normal cells.

  • Signs and Symptoms aches in the arms, legs or back, bruises for no clear reason, enlarged lymph nodes, fever, headache, pale skin, tired or no energy, unexplained weight loss

Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (CML) CML begins as a mutation to a single stem cell in the bone marrow causing production of many CML cells than normal cells.

  • Signs and Symptoms discomfort or “dragging” feeling of upper left side (enlarged spleen), tired or no energy, unexplained weight loss

Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL) The most common type of Leukemia seen in adults, similar to ALL, however the CLL replace normal cells over a longer period of time and generally not as severe as ALL.

  • Signs and Symptoms discomfort or “dragging” feeling of upper left side (enlarged spleen), tired or no energy, unexplained weight loss

Nutrition Information

No diet or food is known to cause, prevent, or treat cancer, however eating the right foods and exercising can help one to stay stronger during and after treatment.  According to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society a balanced diet of nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat proteins such as fish and lean meats is recommended.  Be sure to discuss with your  registered dietitian on specific dietary guidelines as Leukemia and treatment including a Bone Marrow Transplant  greatly affect your immune system and the types of foods you are able to eat.

Helpful Links

Pictures from event coming soon…

FN Forum celebrates National Nutrition Month

In an effort to promote National Nutrition Month and health on campus, FN Forum hosted a mini health fair at Cal Poly Pomona during U-hour this past Tuesday, March 5, 2013.  Take a peek at what we did to celebrate healthy eating!

Cereal Serving Size Challenge (Stephanie Serpas)

A booth dedicated to promoting serving size awareness, specifically with cereals. Students chose from the many cereals displayed on the table and demonstrated for us what they normally served themselves in one meal. They served themselves the cereal of their choice into a bowl of their choice. Then, we taught the students how to look for the serving size on the Food Label and have them re-serve themselves the same cereal, but this time using a measuring cup.

Objective: Promoted food label reading, particularly in breakfast cereals, with the college student population.

Feed the Need Food Drive (Sarah Spence)

Eating healthy also affects the under-nourished. Just as we need to raise awareness about the health risks of poor diet, we need to raise awwareness about the diet of the poor. There was an informational poster reporting statistics for hunger in California. One example is that 16.7% of Californians are food insecure. That equates to roughly 6 million people hungry, and 1.7 million of those reside in Los Angeles county! We also included a collection box which suggested donations of dry, shelf-stable goods such as cereal, pasta, rice, beans, preserves, and canned fruits and vegetables.

Objective: To raise awareness of the need for healthy options to nourish those struggling to feed themselves and their families.

Peer Mentoring Program: Wheel of Wellness and Recipe Cards (Kellie Yamahata)

The Mentoring Program created a series of Recipe Cards, which were personally chosen and custom made by several of the mentors in the program. The recipes chosen ranged from healthy vegetarian Stuffed Red Peppers, to delicious traditional Spaghetti with Meat Sauce.

The Recipe Cards were ultimately used as prizes for a “Wheel of Wellness” game. The “Wheel of Wellness” proved to be a big hit for everyone. Spinning the wheel allowed an individual to land on a specific color and that color corresponded to a topic. The topics up for grab varied from basic nutrition to food safety. Getting two out of three questions right won the students a Recipe Card with a yummy and healthy dish on it.

Objective: Provide new information regarding food and nutrition as well as healthy recipes to take home and share.

Portion control (Cipriana Huerta) was also tackled by using food models to demonstrate correct portion sizes in our every day foods.

Here are some photos from our mini-health fair (source: Kelly Schlegel)

Los Angeles Food Bank (Stephany Esqueda)

On Friday, March 6 we continued celebrating NNM as fellow students also volunteered at the Los Angeles Food Bank: When I first heard about national nutrition month I heard a lot about teaching people to eat healthier. Most of what was being done was to encourage people to change their habits and include healthier options in their daily lives. We aimed to show the students at our school that making such changes, even if small, could greatly affect their lives. However, we did not really talk about the families that were struggling with food insecurity. The families that struggle to get food on the table. National nutrition month should also be about helping people obtain the nutrition that they need. That is why I chose to have the club volunteer at the LA Foodbank. The LA Foodbank helps many people and organizations by putting food on the table. We all know that there are people struggling but to see the amount of food that is put together and sent out is something different.

Objective: Bring awareness to food insecurity.

Political Involvement (Rebecca Tsaur)

On Tuesday, March 12 PAC has invited special guest speaker Fatinah Darwish, RD, Public policy chair of the Los Angeles District of California Dietetic Association of AND will talk about the importance of political involvement as a RD, because of nutrition in public policy as well as elevating the RD career, and her personal experience.

Objective: Bring awareness to the ties between nutrition and public policy.

These are just some ways FN Forum has been celebrating National Nutrition Month “Eat Right, Your Way, Every Day!”

National Nutrition Month: Photo Challenge

Voting is open!  Get your vote in by March 20 @ 6pm!

In honor of National Nutrition Month, FN Forum is holding a National Nutrition Month Photo Challenge. The goal of the challenge is to share pictures that promote informed eating choices, physical activity, and healthy habits.

Pictures can be taken through Instagram, camera phones, digital cameras, etc. Send your picture to Joyce at by 11:30pm of that day with the subject title: NNM Challenge along with your name, school email, and optional description of photo, and it will be uploaded here. The photo challenges are located on the Food Digest calendar as well as the Upcoming Events sidebar. Creativity is encouraged!

To make things more fun, this will also be a competition between Cal State San Bernardino’s Nutrition Association and FN Forum. FN Forum members will vote for their favorite Nutrition Association photos and vice versa. This is to prevent members from voting for their own photos or their friend’s photos. Voting will occur on this page (will be opened shortly after challenges have finished on March 15th) and a winner will be chosen from the top three photos from each club.

The winners receive Starbuck’s Gift Cards!

The challenge officially starts on March 1st and ends on March 14th.

Cal Poly Pomona Photos

CSU San Bernardino Photos

CLOSED – Voting!

Thanks to everyone that participated in our first NNM Photo Challenge!  Now it’s time to vote for your favorite photos.

  • Pick three favorite photos of your choice.
  • All three photos you vote for must be from the OTHER school i.e. if you are from Cal Poly you must pick three photos from San Bernardino!
  • Fill out the form below to vote.  Your email must be your school email.
  • May only vote once!
  • You may still vote even if you did not participate ~ so ask your school friends to vote too!
  • Day #, Entry # = use your mouse to hover over the images above, they each have a corresponding Day # and Entry #.  ex) Day  1 Entry 1
  • Vote will not count if school email is not used and/or three photos from the other school school are not chosen.
  • Voting ends March 20 @ 6pm!

About Phi Upsilon Omicron

What is Phi Upsilon Omicron (Phi U)?
Phi Upsilon Omicron is a national honor society in Family and Consumer Sciences that was founded in 1910 at the University of Minnesota


What Does Phi U Do?

– Recognize and promote academic excellence
– Enhance qualities of leadership by providing opportunities for service
– Encourage lifelong learning and commitment to advance family and consumer sciences and related areas Continue reading “About Phi Upsilon Omicron”