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College of Human Ecology

K-State public health nutrition students to present posters on community assessments of select Kansas counties

Tuesday, November 7, 2006

MANHATTAN -- Students from Kansas State University hope to show the public some of the nutrition- and health-related issues facing Kansans.

Public health nutrition students from the College of Human Ecology at K-State will be presenting poster sessions from 1-3 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 15, in the Hoffman Lounge of Justin Hall. The event open to the public.

The students have conducted community assessments of select counties in Kansas as part of a class assignment and will be available to discuss their findings during the presentations. Fifteen different poster presentations will be available for viewing. Valentina Remig, class instructor and assistant professor of human nutrition, said students hope visitors will learn more about Kansas and specific nutrition- and public health-related topics.

For the projects, students were assigned a county in Kansas and asked to identify a nutrition or public health issue within that county. Students gathered information by conducting interviews and using online sources, visiting the county, and reading local or online newspapers. Students were then asked to make recommendations regarding the public health or nutrition issues they identified. After making recommendations, students designed a plan for putting their recommendations into action.

Counties for which presentations will be available include Atchison, Barber, Cheyenne, Cherokee, Coffey, Greeley, Marion, Morton, Riley, Russell, Scott, Sheridan and Smith. In addition, one presentation will assess rural western Kansas counties.

"Although the projects for each county are designed around the same questions, each presentation will be very different because the issues in the communities in the different counties will differ greatly from one another," Remig said. "The counties assigned to students were spread throughout the state, so we should have diversity in the types of issues and targeted populations that the projects are dealing with."

To complete their projects, students had to turn their words into a professional poster that contained all of their findings.

"One of the benefits of this project is the continued professional development of the students. Students really searched hard to get the data. The posters and the presentations will help them prepare for their careers. They will be able to interact with total strangers and answer questions about their work," Remig said.

"These students have learned to pay attention to things that most students don't even know about, like overall employment in a county, or youth projects or services. This has really been a valuable experience for them and visitors' interaction with them regarding their research is only going to give them more experience," she said.

This article was posted on Tuesday, November 7, 2006, and is filed under College News, Food, Nutrition, Dietetics and Health.