Jafar Ali Ajaj Jaafar
Degree: Master in Dietetics and Nutrition
College: Robert Stempel College of Public Health & Social Work
Jafar Ali Ajaj Jaafar grew up in a small town in Lebanon where his family grew olive and apple trees, and ate healthy meals packed with whole grains, meats, fruits and vegetables. His family worked in agriculture and were advocates of eating natural foods.
When Jafar hit his teen years, he met with a dietitian to help him through some nutrition challenges. The dietitian taught him about the positive impact that eating a well-balanced meal can have on a person’s overall health. This experience inspired Jafar to later pursue a degree in nutrition and secure a job as a sports nutritionist in Lebanon. Hoping to one day live in the United States, Jafar set his sights on getting his master’s degree from Florida International University. This would allow him to obtain a Registered Dietitian license, opening doors to employment in the states.
At FIU, Jafar sought opportunities that would build upon his understanding of dietetics and nutrition. He worked as a volunteer on the Snackability research project, which aimed to help university students create healthier eating habits. As the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Jafar was tasked with recruiting participants through social media and university outreach. He also managed the control group of the trial and analyzed the data from the recruitment process, which he later presented at the annual conference of the American Society for Nutrition.
Jafar hopes to use his knowledge to help people — just like that one dietitian helped him. His ultimate dream is to support people who are battling eating disorders, specifically men, who may not feel comfortable speaking out about the health challenges they are going through.
By Stephanie Rendon
Senior Account Manager
Robert Stempel College of Public Health & Social Work