For Cruz Aleman, a senior majoring in nutrition and dietetics and Spanish, community involvement is a family affair. The Portage, Michigan native’s grandfather emigrated from Mexico and became a leader in his community. That story inspires Aleman as he strives to help alleviate food insecurity, protect the environment, and improve the treatment of farm workers.

When exploring colleges and universities, Aleman wanted a campus where he could be part of a close-knit community and still have access to the resources a larger school provides. His search led him to Ball State, where he is involved in the Dietetics Association, Latino Student Union, and Student Voluntary Services and feels right at home.

There are different outlets here for everyone—like art exhibits downtown where students can show their work and the restaurant that holds poetry readings. There’s just a really strong sense of community here. When you live here, and put your roots here, you get committed. That’s why I really enjoy volunteering, meeting faculty, and meeting people who are just passionate about Muncie.

This summer, Cruz was one of only 12 U.S. students to be awarded a Cultural Vistas Fellowship. Through this internship/cultural exchange program, he spent two months in Argentina immersing himself in food sustainability issues and food culture. The experience will serve him well as he pursues a career in the nonprofit sector working to support sustainable food systems in struggling communities.

About Cruz

Class of 2017
Hometown: Portage, Michigan
Majors: Dietetics and Spanish
Activities: Dietetics Association, Phi Epsilon Omicron, Latino Student Union, Student Voluntary Services


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Like Cruz, do you want a school with a strong sense of community, where you can volunteer and meet other passionate people?