Andreína Thielen Martin
Cal State LA student to study food systems
for global health at Cornell University
By Margie Low
Cal State LA News Service
Living in Los Angeles, Andreína Thielen Martin has long been interested in the city’s dynamic fusion of food and culture. She is fascinated by how they become connected when nurturing communities.
She recognizes the importance of educating people about food sovereignty, culinary praxis, urban gardens and food as preventive medicine.
This May, Martin will earn her Bachelor of Science in Nutritional Science from California State University, Los Angeles. She plans to attend Cornell University and pursue a Master of Public Health (MPH) with specialization in “Food Systems for Global Health” in the fall.
With the enriching experience attained at Cal State LA, Martin says she is looking forward to attending classes at the Ivy League institution.
“Cal State LA has served as a strong foundation for my personal and professional life—through invaluable friendships and exploration of complementary academic and career interests,” she says.
While attending Eagle Rock High School, Martin was an All City 100 meter, 200 meter, and relay competitor. Martin and her relay team were among the top in Los Angeles in 2013 and competed in the elite Penn Relays.
Relying on the persistence and determination she displayed on the track, Martin is focused on reaching her career goal of becoming a university professor. She is interested in teaching and conducting research on food justice, food sovereignty, and sustainable agriculture and agroecology in Latin America.
After graduating from high school, Martin applied to Cal State LA because she was enticed by the rigor of the University’s Honors College program, as well as the variety of majors and minors to choose from to achieve her academic and career objectives.
Honors College provides students access to seminar-style classes that emphasize discussion and critical thinking, as well as opportunities to pursue research with the University's best faculty.
“I chose to major in nutritional science to gain the credibility as a future registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN)—and Cal State LA has a Didactic Program in Dietetics, which prepares students for the national certification,” says Martin.
Born in the U.S. and raised in Venezuela, Martin also decided to minor in Spanish, which she says will be beneficial in Los Angeles.
In 2014, Martin was one of five students selected from Cal State LA for a full scholarship to participate in a study abroad program in Hong Kong and Xi’an, China. The program is a partnership between Cal State LA and the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. For three weeks, she studied Buddhism, Daoism and Chinese Culture.
“This study abroad opportunity allowed for personal growth and acceptance, reminding me that love thrives all around the world,” she says.
Additionally, Martin participated in a joint program between Cal State LA and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s office to educate Angelenos about the civic process. Known as Civic University, the program helps community members understand the inner workings of city government and become more involved in their neighborhoods.
“During this workshop, I truly began to understand how L.A. City government works and how my voice could be heard,” says Martin.