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Professor Involves Students in Health Promotion Research

“Nutrition was my first love,” says Anastasia Snelling who began her career as a nutritionist for a medical center. “But I quickly became frustrated in a clinical setting. I wanted to take my work—providing weight management skills, proper nutrition, and promoting healthy habits—outside the walls of the hospital and into the community.”

She enrolled in AU’s health promotion management program, went on to pursue a PhD in counseling and development, and eventually became a professor in AU’s Health Promotion Management Program (HPM). The program provides a multidisciplinary academic track for students interested in health promotion.

 

Giving Students Golden Opportunities

Snelling involves her graduate students in community health projects designed to provide a comprehensive plan to reduce child obesity. “What our program trains you to do is to look at a problem from all angles. For example, in our school project, not only do we need to expose the children to good nutrition, we have to try and reach the parents as well. Plus we have to make school lunch options the healthiest they can be.”

Snelling’s graduate students assist with researching and analyzing results such as the effects of the current nutritional school lunch guidelines on students. Graduate students in the program have the opportunity to gain experience in other organizations as well. The program helps oversee fitness and health promotion for U.S. Postal Service’s corporate headquarters.

Graduate students have the opportunity to apply for paid fellowships helping to develop onsite health programs, newsletters, and fitness initiatives for U.S. Postal employees. “It’s a fantastic experience for our students. The hands-on experience they receive from internships in the area allows them to emerge from the program ready to be directors of health promotion for major corporations.”