Use of Social Media and Mobile Technology

Worksite Location
Intern will be based on campus in the Division of Nutritional Sciences, but will work closely with CCE St. Lawrence, CCE Erie, CCE Suffolk, and CCE NYC. Field work of a minimum of 1-2 day visits during the summer would be necessary
Faculty Sponsor
Joan Paddock
Other Campus-Based Mentors/Supervisors
Jamie Dollahite; Michelle Scott-Pierce
Field Mentors/Supervisors
Zahrine Bajwa, Suffolk Co.; Shelia Bass, Erie Co.; Kristin Colarusso, St. Lawrence Co.; Carol Parker, CUCE-NYC; Yvonne Bravo, CUCE-NYC
Stipend Amount
$4,000
Project Summary and Intended Outcomes

Use of social media and electronic communication is being investigated to facilitate and extend the reach of program staff to low-income participants in EFNEP and SNAP-Ed. Preliminary survey and focus group data indicate a keen interest by participants to remain connected to CCE nutrition programs and receive additional information from the program after graduation. Based on these findings, a social media platform will be identified and piloted to test the usefulness of social media tools for sharing nutrition information.

Roles and Responsibilities

The student intern would assist in the creation of social media tools and resources to provide nutrition content to EFNEP graduates and other interested low income consumers. The intern would work closely with campus staff and county nutrition supervisors to develop and then monitor use, acceptability, and feasibility of these tools. The student would participate in development of the electronic platform, identification of subject matter, and evaluation protocols for this pilot. Interaction with county extension staff via onsite visits will be necessary and include observation of frontline educators providing nutrition education, discussions with frontline staff, and interviews with participants to confirm the approach of the pilot to engage and generate interest in nutrition education messages and materials delivered via social media and mobile technologies.

Qualifications and Previous Coursework

Must be a full-time CHE freshman, sophomore or junior. Graduating seniors are not eligible. Must meet NYS Department of Motor Vehicle requirement, if applicable.

An introductory nutrition and communication course are required. Experience with qualitative research, such as occurs in NS4250 or a similar course are highly desirable. A keen interest in the adaptation of technology to extend education to the public and facility with electronic media are essential. Ability to work independently on assigned tasks with guidance from mentors is preferred.

Benefits and Skills

The student will gain first hand exposure to the issues of working with CCE associations and staff; participate in the creation of new and innovative strategies for nutrition education dissemination to low-income program participants, and gain skills in social media design and evaluation while working independently with the oversight of a project team.