Collaboration for Health, Activity, and Nutrition in Children's Environments (CHANCE) and Adopting Healthy Habits (AHH) Best Practices: Documenting efforts and preparing for the future

Worksite Location
Based on campus in the Division of Nutritional Sciences, however, intern will visit 6 CCE associations (Jefferson, Herkimer, NYC both Brooklyn and Queens, Orange, Schenectady, Suffolk) for minimum of 1-2 day visits during the summer
Faculty Sponsor
Jamie Dollahite, Professor, DNS
Other Campus-Based Mentors/Supervisors
Tisa Fontaine Hill, Extension Associate, DNS
Field Mentors/Supervisors
Amanda Root, Nutrition Program Leader in Jefferson County Cornell Cooperative Extension; Linda Robbins, Nutrition Program Leader in Herkimer County Cornell Cooperative Extension
Project Summary and Intended Outcomes

CHANCE, initiated in 2005, and its companion project, AHH initiated in 2011, are multi-sector childhood obesity prevention efforts led by Food and Nutrition Education in Communities in DNS and implemented by nutrition educators in 6 Cornell Cooperative Extension associations across New York. The goal of CHANCE and AHH is to prevent unhealthy weight gain and promote healthy eating and activity habits among low-income children through dialogue and collaborative action with parents and other influential adults who shape the environments where children live, learn and play. FY2015 marks the final year of special project funding for these efforts after which they will continue under typical nutrition education efforts, such as EFNEP, in CCEs across the state. An important outcome is the development of a set of best practices and accompanying programming materials and a detailing of specific staff roles to provide guidance for this future work. To this end Tisa Hill is currently leading data collection efforts, including monthly logs reporting current activities at each, yearly work plans outlining yearly site specific goals, surveys to assess staff roles and related self-efficacy, and statewide assessments of related outputs and outcomes across sectors. Additionally, 4 workgroups have been formed of involved nutrition education supervisors and frontline staff who will be identifying and collecting relevant materials. Workgroup topics include: (1) working with schools, (2) securing sustainability through funding and partnerships, (3) effectively leading and supporting community coalitions, and (4) partnering with local community based organizations.

Roles and Responsibilities

The student intern will be responsible for supporting these 4 workgroups through organizing conference calls and tracking and organizing relevant materials. The intern will also travel to sites as needed to document specific activities and efforts as appropriate through photographs and interviews with CHANCE/AHH staff and partners. Additional activities may include: editing final reports from each workgroup, creating success stories and impact reports on efforts identified as particularly critical to CHANCE/AHH success, and helping with data analysis on qualitative and quantitative data on CHANCE/AHH collected by campus staff. These results will be presented to the CHANCE/AHH staff at the final meeting of the project in September 2015. Additional dissemination will occur across the CCE system as well as Cooperative Extension and other nutrition education and public health academics and providers regionally and nationally.

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.

Other qualifications:
-Interest in public health approaches to preventing unhealthy weight gain.
-Strong oral and written communication skills.
-Comfort with word, excel, and report design.
-NS 2450 or similar course that includes experience with qualitative research

Benefits and Skills

Experience with the environmental approach to obesity prevention
Understanding of CCE and the role of collaboration in promoting community change for public health
Experience with writing reports and organizing materials for use by multiple audiences
Understanding of and experience with qualitative methodology, i.e. interviewing and data analysis