Featured Scholar: Jill Goldstein

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Featured Scholar: Jill Goldstein
Watson, Sara
Place of Publication:
Gainesville, Fla.
University of Florida
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University of Florida
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University of Florida
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Featured Scholar:
Jill Goldstein

2000 - 2001 University Scholar
Mentor: Christiaan Leeuwenburgh
College of Health and Human Performance

Often when children mature into adults they forget about the people who helped them
grow up. This is not the case, however, for UF graduate Jill Goldstein. Jill grew up a small
town in South Florida and has always had a close relationship with her grandparents. This
closeness was part of the reason she decided to pursue a career in the medical field.
"I've always liked older people because they know so much and have a lot of wisdom to
share. My interest in the aging process and learning new ways to help people live longer
is my way of making sure my grandparents are around for a long time."

When applying to colleges Jill knew where she wanted to go and only sent an application
to UF. Her older sister was already a Gator, so it was an easy decision for Jill. Once she
started classes, however, the decisions grew harder. "I've always known that I wanted to
be a doctor, but I wasn't sure about what major to choose." Jill started out as
microbiology major but decided this field was too broad. She wanted to specialize in
human anatomy, and, at the beginning of her junior year, Jill switched to exercise
physiology in the college of health and human performance. "The professors in this
college are amazing because they teach us how to apply studies and concepts to
humans. We're more like a family over here, which is a nice feeling to have when you're
away from home and studying all the time."

One thing that did not change when Jill changed majors was the amount of time she
spent immersed in her studies. "During college, I have spent about 50 percent of time
studying, and the other 50 percent volunteering. Working with people and learning how
to treat them is the only way to know if becoming a doctor is what you really want to
do." Jill has volunteered at Hospice and in the operating room at the Veteran's Affairs
Hospital. She also worked at a clinic for obese children at Shands Hospital, teaching kids
and their parents about the importance of exercising and eating healthy.

Jill's research with the USP has also addressed nutrition and the aging process. "I was
interested to see if specific nutritional interventions will slow cellular damage and prevent
certain conditions. Basically, we wanted to see if certain foods, such as blueberries,
would protect cardiac and skeletal muscles from aging or deteriorating." Before working
on her own research project, Jill had assisted graduate students in the lab and learned
some time-saving techniques. "I've learned everything from lab protocol and research to
computer programs and analyzing results."

Spending 30 hours a week in the lab was a routine part of Jill's schedule before she
graduated last semester. She continues to volunteer 10 hours a week and is also busy
applying to medical schools. Even though her hectic schedule does not allow for much
free time, Jill says she would not want it any other way. "I really enjoy school. Yes, it is
stressful, but I enjoy pushing myself to the limit. Hopefully it will all be worth it in the

Photo by Allyson Beutke


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