Student Fellows Program
Healthy Community Outreach Program
In 2019, the OSU MFC Healthy Community Outreach Program created a summer fellows program for students in the OSU College of Public Health and Human Sciences.
Offered in partnership with OSU Extension offices, these paid positions provide funding and career training opportunities for students to work in communities across Oregon to improve health, nutrition and the food environment.
This competitive fellowship program provides CPHHS students with direct experiences in public health, serving as “boots on the ground,” gathering information and collaborating with existing community agencies to better the health and nutrition of local people.
Fellowship Site & Program(s): Multi-County – Master Food Preserver’s Media Projects
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Joy Wait-Cusic
Born on the East Coast, in Syracuse, New York, Galen Bizovi’s family then moved to Portland, Oregon, where they still reside today.
Galen is entering her fourth and final year in OSU’s Didactic Program in Dietetics, and dreams of becoming a practicing dietitian at a hospital or providing in-home diet consultations for elderly or disabled populations.
She was particularly drawn to this fellowship position because of its content: food preservation. Galen has been preserving foods with her family since she was 4 years old and is passionate about sharing the art and science of preserving foods at home. She would love to bring more attention to the work of Master Food Preservers, one of the many amazing volunteer programs offered by OSU Extension.
When asked what she is looking forward to most in this fellowship position, Galen says, “I am looking forward to creating connections with the community members, faculty, and volunteers that work with the Master Preserver Program. I am hoping to learn more in depth about community outreach and social marketing campaigns to increase awareness and participation.”
Galen’s passion for health is palpable, and as she pursues her career as a dietitian, she already has some sound advice to share for a life of health: “Enjoy what you are doing and eating, while balancing your nutritional needs and you should be fine….If you want to eat healthier then incorporate more fruits and vegetables, of different colors. Try and eat the rainbow.”
When asked about exercise, she adds, “Move your body as often as you can, break up your day with short walks, squats, or even stretching and it will benefit you greatly.”
Great ideas Galen, and good luck as you help promote food safety and preservation around the state and beyond.
Fellowship Site & Program(s): Hood River, Oregon – StrongWomen Program
Faculty Mentor: Lauren Kraemer
Aurore Morley was a natural fit for this year’s fellowship in Hood River, Oregon with the StrongWomen Program. Born in France and raised in Oregon, Aurore has dual degrees from Oregon State in French and Public Health. Her passion for health and fitness was born from her own practice of yoga, which started out as a hobby and has blossomed into a budding career. Aurore began teaching yoga at a community college years ago and knows the importance of fitness and balance in her life. In fact, she told us, “I remembered how stressful my classes were…while earning my degrees, and I thought that students could really benefit from early morning yoga classes to get them in the right headspace before more demanding classes.”
In the years that followed, Aurore has taught a variety of yoga and strength classes, and has worked with people from all walks of life, including: students, athletes and seniors. Her vast experience leading fitness classes helped prepare her for her fellowship work with the StrongWomen / StrongPeople Program with the OSU Extension Service in the Columbia River Gorge (and beyond). The StrongWomen / StrongPeople program is an evidence-based community nutrition and physical activity program.
Aurore is certainly an expert when it comes to fitness, and when asked for her best tip for sticking with exercise she says: “explore different types of exercise to find the kind you love the most…. we tend to stick with what we enjoy. Schedule time for exercise into your week so that you prioritize [your]self. Otherwise it is easy to not do it or make excuses. Give yourself visual reminders around your house...for me, that means leaving a yoga mat unrolled in my office and bedroom and weights out so that it is more convenient to get on my mat and practice.”
Aurore is also a lover of the outdoors and tries to get her 10,000 steps in each day, walking her dogs and enjoying the outdoors. If you ask her why, she’ll simply say, “exercise and sunshine are good for the body and the soul.”
When it comes to nutrition, her advice centers around creating good daily habits, like drinking lots of water. Aurore’s personal philosophy for healthy eating is simple, “What you do 90% of the time is what matters...I strive to eat healthy foods that I love most every day, but allow myself treats here and there if I feel like them.” With all this sage advice and experience, it is no surprise that Aurore’s future plans include growing a wellness business that offers affordable fitness and nutrition programs.
Thanks to you Aurore, for bringing your expertise to this fellowship and best of luck in all your endeavors!
Fellowship Site & Program(s): Redmond, Oregon – Farmer’s Market & Kids on the Move
Faculty Mentor: Katie Ahern
Hailing from Long Island, New York, Luna Nelson is currently enrolled in the nutrition program at OSU with a focus in dietetics and brings a depth of experience to her fellowship in Central Oregon. Prior to coming to OSU, Luna served as a dietetic technician, where she worked in nutritional counseling and foodservice management in the healthcare field, conducting nutritional screening, assessments and counseling of patients. These experiences led her to work at a diverse medical campus, where she acted as a patient advocate or intermediary between patients and the kitchen staff and dietitians throughout patient stay.
Luna is also an advocate for food-security and worked as a student technical assistant conducting research with a small team at OSU in collaboration with University of Arizona. This team worked to create a national, systematic inventory of food and housing insecurity support programs at hundreds of universities and colleges.
In addition to this work, Luna has volunteered for years at a variety of food pantries, including the HSRC food pantry located right on OSU’s Corvallis campus. She has also volunteered with the Power of Produce Club at the Albany Farmers Market. In this work, she found that what kids got to taste test often influenced what they bought with their tokens. These small victories always brought Luna a sense of joy and accomplishment.
With all this experience, it is no surprise that Luna was selected as one of our HCO fellows this year. She is stationed this summer in Deschutes county, where she will be working on a variety of health promotion projects including work at the local farmer’s market, and helping to implement Kids on the Move, a research based physical activity curriculum for kids 0-5 years and their caregivers. This work will hopefully help to fuel her passion to facilitate healthier eating habits through promoting a more positive, friendly and healthful food culture. When asked what she hopes to gain through her fellowship work, Luna says, “[I am] hoping to really learn how to do program planning and how to best deliver nutritional education to the public.”
Luna brings a practical approach to healthy eating every day. Rather than limiting or restricting foods in her diet, instead she asks herself, “how can I include more veggies in this?” When it comes to being physically active, she is a big proponent of seeking out enjoyable activities, and bringing a friend along to increase the fun, because, she notes “if it’s not fun.…or enjoyable it’s not sustainable.” With this positive attitude we know that her work in Redmond will be a success.
When she graduates, Luna is hoping to pursue a career in community nutrition, specifically she hopes to continue her work in the pacific northwest delivering nutrition education programs to the community.