Change Makers: Policy, Systems, and Environmental (PSE) Work to Promote Healthy Eating and Physical Activity in Jefferson County

Worksite Location
Jefferson County
Project Dates
June - early August 2020
Faculty Sponsor
Tisa Hill, Division of Nutritional Sciences
Field Mentors/Supervisors
April Bennett
Project Summary and Intended Outcomes

Two new grants - The Change Club Project and Eat Smart New York - are being initiated in Jefferson County in 2020. Both projects-Identify primary community partners for new PSE projects being initiated in the county in Spring 2020. These initiatives will be participant driven and could range from fruit and vegetable prescription programs, farm to worksite or community site, peer-led obesity prevention, and built environment projects.

-Determine current health and wellness activities among community members and primary community partners.

-Design an evaluation plan for current and future PSE activities in the community.

Roles and Responsibilities

The intern’s main responsibility will be to: identify community partners; collect data to evaluate engagement in health and wellness activities; and document efforts, outputs, outcomes, and any available impacts from the various PSE projects. To do this the intern will work with April Bennett to assess what data needs to be collected and how the data collection will occur. This data collection will be informed by two new grant opportunities just beginning in Jefferson County - The Change Club Project and Eat Smart New York. The intern will engage with community residents and community organizations to recruit for participation, collect data, and begin chosen PSE initiatives.

Qualifications and Previous Coursework

The student is expected to be highly motivated, possess strong verbal and written communication skills and be able to work independently with minimal direct supervision. He/she must appreciate, understand, and adhere to strict confidentiality protocols. Interest in public health approaches to preventing unhealthy weight gain is recommended. Comfort with word, excel, and report design is desired.

Benefits and Skills

Increased understanding of the specifics and complexities of an environmental approach to obesity prevention.

Gained understanding of Cornell Cooperative Extension and the role of collaboration in promoting community change for public health.

Increased skills in communicating with various stakeholders through written reports.

Gained skills in qualitative research methodology, i.e. interviewing key informants and analyzing data.