College of Health Solutions graduate looks to ‘fill those gaps' in the nutritional picture

May 9, 2023

Editor's note: This story is part of a series of profiles of notable spring 2023 graduates.

College of Health Solutions graduate Sarah Uehara has learned the value of taking a holistic approach to health in her time at Arizona State University. College of Health Solutions graduate Sarah Uehara Sarah Uehara is graduating with a master’s of science degree in nutritional science. She is being honored as the College of Health Solutions’ Outstanding Graduate Student. Download Full Image

Uehara, from Kaneohe, Hawaii, is graduating with a Master of Science in nutritional science. She is being honored as the college’s Outstanding Graduate Student.

She said it’s important to see the full picture when looking at health issues.

“Seemingly non-health-related factors such as location can play a major role in food choices, for example, which can in turn lead to health outcomes,” Uehara said. “I would say that my perspective has broadened rather than changed.”

Uehara said her interest in nutrition started before she chose to attend ASU.

I always enjoyed learning about textbook nutrition topics, but learning about health disparities and seeing that gap in health care, food access, etc., really made me want to become a dietitian to help fill those gaps,” she said.

Question: Why did you choose ASU?

Answer: I chose ASU to complete my master's as well as my dietetic internship, but I was drawn to the research emphasis of this program. Being able to contribute to the growth in the field of nutrition, even in a small way, was something I really wanted to be a part of.

Q: Which professor taught you the most important lesson while at ASU?

A:  Dr. Punam Ohri-Vachaspati has been an incredible mentor throughout my time at ASU. She has pushed me to put out my best work and gain confidence in myself, but she has also helped me to expand my way of thinking when it comes to health solutions and addressing nutrition issues whether it be at the greater policy level or at the individual patient care level.

Q: What’s the best piece of advice you’d give to those still in school?

A: Make the most of every opportunity you're given even if you don't think it's relevant to you. It's too early to count anything out.

Q: What are your plans after graduation?

A: Currently, I'm planning on moving to Oregon right after graduation. I'll be taking my RD exam in the next few months, so hopefully I'll be a registered dietitian looking for a clinical job in a hospital very soon! 

Q: If someone gave you $40 million to solve one problem on our planet, what would you tackle?

A: I'd like to work on making fresh food accessible to people. Bringing fresh food options to rural communities is just a start, but I think it's a good first step in working towards creating healthier communities!

Weldon B. Johnson

Communications Specialist, College of Health Solutions

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Sedona Forum brings leaders together for civil discourse

May 9, 2023

The 10th annual event is hosted by ASU's McCain Institute

At a time where polling continues to show a divided electorate and that a majority of Americans are not in favor of either party’s front-runner for the 2024 presidential nomination, the ASU McCain Institute’s 10th annual Sedona Forum was a beacon of hope for civil discourse, unity and shared purpose.

“As we face increasingly complex challenges and threats to democracy around the globe, this year’s convening of the McCain Institute’s Sedona Forum came at a critical time," said Evelyn Farkas, executive director of the McCain Institute. 

The two-day event, held May 5–6 at the Enchantment Resort in Sedona, Arizona, drew lawmakers, journalists, military leaders and business executives from across the country and around the world.

This year’s theme, “Indispensable Power,” was an examination of the diplomatic, military and economic means employed to protect democracy, human rights and the global competitive edge. CBS News served as a broadcast media partner, and POLITICO served as digital media partner.

The weekend panels were a who’s who of national leaders from both political parties, the U.S. military, national media, international diplomats, and McCain Institute experts and leaders. 

"The theme for this year’s Sedona Forum reflected Sen. John McCain’s belief that America is an indispensable power in the world,” Farkas said. “We were proud to facilitate thoughtful conversations about how to harness our values and resources to advance freedom and prosperity.”

The forum began Friday afternoon with a welcome from Farkas and Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs, who described the late Sen. McCain — the institute’s namesake — as someone who “embodied the Arizona way of doing things, a maverick who wasn’t afraid to speak his mind and buck tradition.”

The first event of the forum was an interview with U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, conducted by Margaret Brennan, CBS News’ "Face the Nation" moderator and chief foreign affairs correspondent. It aired as part of Sunday’s "Face the Nation" episode.

The 40-minute interview focused on negotiations to raise the country’s debt limit, which faces a June 1 deadline, and covered topics ranging from democracy and partisanship to immigration.

“It’s so great to be at a forum that celebrates so much of what Sen. McCain stood for, which is straight talk,” Brennan said. “We do that on ‘Face the Nation’ every Sunday, and we looked at the records — and in the 69-year history, John McCain had the top number of appearances on the broadcast 112 times.”

Sinema acknowledged that is a record she is unlikely to beat, but she said that McCain’s commitment to country over political party is something she does hope to emulate.

“The last floor speech that Sen. McCain gave, he talked about the concern he had with the ‘partisanship at every cost' mentality that had taken over Congress and much of our political system …” Sinema said. “In his decades of service, as you mentioned, he was a man of strong opinions, often voted with his party, but was unafraid to stand alone and break with his party when he thought he was doing something right. But he always did it with dignity and honor and respect of others.

Following the Sinema interview, Hobbs was interviewed by CBS correspondent Major Garrett. They discussed Arizona’s unique place in the election denialism debate, as well as water policy and homelessness.

A dinner on Friday night was punctuated by a conversation with Admiral John Aquilino, the 26th commander of the United States Indo-Pacific Command, the nation’s oldest and largest combatant command. It was hosted by Josh Rogin of the Washington Post.

Saturday’s agenda included former U.S. presidential candidate and current U.S. Sen. Mitt Romney, who was introduced by ASU President Michael Crow. Romney spoke about the threats and opportunities facing the United States in the 21st century.

Individuals and groups were also recognized over the weekend.

Arizona Congressman Juan Ciscomani presented Kelvin Beachum, offensive tackle for the Arizona Cardinals, with the Sedona Forum’s “In the Arena” award for his work in World Vision, a group that works to provide clean water access. The Award for Courage and Leadership was given to the women of Iran and accepted by Lily Pourzand, an Iranian refugee and activist.

Top photo: The Sedona Forum, hosted by the ASU McCain Institute, drew lawmakers, journalists, military leaders and business executives from across the country and around the world to Sedona, Arizona, on May 5–6. Photo by Stephen Jaffe