Student Spotlight: Jackson Long – Applied Nutrition Program

Jackson Long, a Master of Science in Applied Nutrition student from Boulder, Colorado, is passionate about plant-based eating and living a healthy lifestyle.

Jackson’s interest in nutrition was piqued during his time as a competitive cyclist, as he sought out the optimal diet for his athletic performance. His initial interest in nutrition gradually grew into a passion for helping others on their own health journeys, which ultimately led him to UNE.

Jackson Long, avid bicyclistFrom Competitive Cycling to Nutrition

Growing up in Sun Valley, Idaho, Jackson participated in and loved outdoor sports from a young age. He spent much of his free time skiing and then later got into cycling. This passion for physical fitness led Jackson to study integrated physiology at the University of Colorado in Boulder.

While finishing up his undergraduate degree, Jackson became curious about how his diet affected his overall health. With a particular interest in the vegan diet, he enrolled in the Plant-based Nutrition Certificate program offered by eCornell and adopted a vegan diet. While on the diet, Jackson explained: “I started to notice positive changes in my health, both physically and mentally.” He was hooked on plant-based eating and wanted to share it with others.

Why UNE?

After graduating from college in 2016, Jackson decided to pursue a master’s degree in Nutrition to immerse himself fully in the field and gain a broad background in Nutrition. With a growing interest in entrepreneurship and the desire to work as a nutrition consultant or coach in the future, Jackson also felt that earning the degree would boost his credibility with potential clients.

Jackson was drawn to UNE partially because of the Applied Nutrition program’s optional focus area in Nutrition and Disease Prevention. Additionally, the fact that UNE’s Master of Science in Applied Nutrition degree is online was a major selling point as it would allow him the flexibility to work while earning his degree and not be tied down by the time constraints of traditional in-person courses.

Jackson Long, Student in the Master of Science in Applied Nutrition programFavorite Class

Jackson is enjoying his graduate nutrition courses. His favorite class so far has been ‘Nutrition Across the Lifespan.’ Jackson expanded “I like the idea of being able to meet people where they are in their life according to their age, lifestyle and activity level.”

Jackson also appreciates the flexibility of the program. He mentioned that so far, he has been able to choose his own topic for research projects in certain courses which has allowed him to dive deeper into his own fields of interest, such as the plant-based diet. While UNE’s degree does not encourage a focus on any one diet, the ability to choose his own research topics has been a huge bonus for Jackson.

What’s Next?

Jackson recently launched a business with a friend called Thought for Food Lifestyle. The company’s goal is to help people transition to a healthier lifestyle through converting to a plant-based diet and emphasizing physical activity. Jackson also started a podcast as a fun way to connect with people in the wellness space and discuss plant-based nutrition.

Aware of the stigma often associated with veganism, one of Jackson’s goals is to limit the dogma around the vegan diet and allow for more fluidity to meet people where they are. He explained, “We’re more about creating positivity and not being judgmental.” The plan for the company down the line is to provide consulting and coaching services for clients who are looking to transition to plant-based living.

Jackson is looking forward to continuing his coursework in the Master of Science in Applied Nutrition program and feels that deepening his base of nutrition knowledge will ultimately make him a more effective practitioner.

If you are interested in earning your Master of Science in Applied Nutrition, 100% online, please contact an enrollment counselor 1 (855) 751-4447 email

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