When COVID-19 threatened the viability of summer internships, faculty rallied so that students wouldn’t miss out on these critical learning experiences.
Determined to find ways to continue supporting undergraduates in OSU’s College of Public Health and Human Sciences, the Moore Family Center for Whole Grain Foods, Nutrition and Preventive Health offered a paid summer fellowship program in partnership with the Oregon State University Extension Service.
Through this hybrid internship, Extension Family and Community Health faculty mentored students from diverse backgrounds on working in rural and underserved communities to improve health, nutrition and the food environment.
“As a mentor, it is always rewarding to watch the professional growth that occurs during their experience and applying the knowledge gained in the classroom to real-world outreach education,” says Katie Ahern, OFNP education program assistant in Extension’s Deschutes County office. Katie served as a fellowship mentor for both Food Hero and Kids on the Move, a program that encourages physical activity in children.
Two other Extension sites and mentors included Lauren Kraemer, assistant professor of practice in Hood River County and the Columbia River Gorge region, who led the Strong Women/Strong People Project; and Joy Waite-Cusic, based primarily in Benton County, who directed a Master Food Preserver digital media campaign.
“The fellowship was very rewarding,” says Aurore Morley, a fourth-year student studying public health who worked with Lauren Kraemer on the Strong Women/Strong People project. “I got to work with real people to help improve their program. I learned valuable skills that will be useful in my public health career.”
This fellowship opportunity is available through the Moore Family Center each year. Jenny Rudolph, Moore Family Center endowed outreach coordinator, can be reached for more information.
Read the full bios and learn more about the summer fellows’ projects on the Moore Family Center website.