Creating educations videos for the public, writing consumer friendly food and nutrition brochures, and conducting nutrition related media interviews, these are just a few of the exciting projects that students enrolled in F&N 424: Nutrition Communications get to participate in through out the year! F&N 424: Nutrition Communications prepares foods and nutrition students to take all of the knowledge gained in the classroom and effectively communicate it to peers, clients and patients, employees, and the public. Students learn that effective nutrition communicators focus on the needs of their audience. Students learn how to create meaningful, accurate, timely, and memorable messages, and they practice the effective use of oral, electronic, and written communication channels.
Instructor Barb Mayfield, MS, RD, was a former Purdue F&N major (BS79) and fondly remembers this class as not only her favorite while a student, but also the one she used the most in her career as a nutrition educator and communicator. Prior to joining the faculty in the spring semester of 2000, Barb worked in a variety of positions, including public health, private practice, writing and consulting, and has been president of her own nutrition education company, Noteworthy Creations, Inc., since 1992. Barb enjoys using past and current examples of her work in the classroom.
There are many components to the class that teach students how to effectively communicate nutrition information. Students learn how to perform a needs assessment to determine the needs of their audience. They learn how to effectively research the literature and interpret it to their peers and the public. They practice presentation skills and the use of visual aids and audience participation. Projects include a professional presentation utilizing Power Point, a media interview, a food demonstration, a group media project creating an educational video, and writing press releases, abstracts, newsletters and brochures.
The culminating project asks students to utilize communication techniques to develop and implement a community presentation. They are required to select an audience, conduct a needs assessment, conduct research of the topic and organize and plan an effective presentation. Students are encouraged to utilize visuals, involve the audience and develop effective evaluation tools for use during the presentation. Some example audiences include: young children, teen athletes, new moms, and, adults in fitness programs. Some example topics that students use to present include: dietary supplements and nutrition for athletes.
In the words of a former student, “I can honestly say, F&N 424 has been one of the most beneficial classes that I have taken here at Purdue. I learned so much about communication and presentations. These are things that I will take with me and use long after my college days are complete.” For more information about the communications class contact Barb Mayfield, MS, RD, at firstname.lastname@example.org.