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Three Graduate Student Updates

Grad Student Takes on New Role in FD

Youjie Zhang has worked with the Applied Research and Evaluation (ARE) Team in Family Development since February 2015 in a role supporting Marla Reicks, Ph.D., on a questionnaire validation project for SNAP-Ed outcome measurements among third, fourth, and fifth graders. On June 17, Youjie will take on a new role with the ARE Team supporting the Latino Fathers Promoting Healthy Youth Behaviors project. (This is the project that recently received an AFRI grant from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture: Family Development Receives Nearly $1 Million NIFA Grant.)

Youijie holds a master's degree in nutritional sciences from Rutgers University in New Jersey. She is pursuing a doctorate in nutrition with the University of Minnesota Department of Food Science and Nutrition. Her areas of focus are evidenced-based nutrition education program design and outcome evaluation.

Grad Student from CEHD Joins FD

Isabel Lopez recently joined FD as a graduate assistant in FD, where she's working on the adaptation of the Padres Informados, Jóvenes Preparados curriculum under the AFRI grant (see above). Isabel previously was a graduate assistant with the College of Education and Human Development (CEHD) working on a grant project focused on evaluating the effects of community engagement on underrepresented students in college.

Before joining the University of Minnesota, Isabel taught English to high school and middle school students in Mexico City. She earned a bachelor's degree in psychology from the Universidad de Baja California in Mexico. She is pursuing a doctorate in educational psychology from the University. Her areas of focus are social-psychological interventions in education, community engagement, and community-based research.

Grad Student to Make Maps

Nicole Helgeson is joining Family Development June 15 as a graduate research assistant to perform GIS (Geographic Information Systems) mapping to aid work in Health and Nutrition. The idea is to help educators better understand the communities they serve and target programs to residents’ specific needs.

In addition to a bachelor’s degree in geography and international studies from University of Wisconsin-River Falls, Nicole has a certificate in geomatics — the study of managing geographic data — from Catholic University of Chile in Santiago. She worked in Chile for five years.

Nicole is fluent in Spanish and proficient in GIS mapping software. She will work full-time this summer and part-time starting this fall when she will begin a GIS master’s program.​
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