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Spotlight: Extension Nutritionist and RSDP Board Member Craig Hassel

By Elizabeth Braatz, Student Writer — Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships (RSDP)

What do the UMN Center for Spirituality and Healing, Inter-institutional Consortium for Indigenous Knowledge (Pennsylvania), Cultural Wellness Center (Minnesota), White Earth Tribal Council, University of Minnesota Extension Health and Nutrition, Woodlands Wisdom Nutrition Project, a medicinal herb network, and Northeast RSDP have in common?

One person: Dr. Craig Hassel. Dr. Hassel is an Associate Professor and Extension Nutritionist at the UMN Twin Cities. Dr. Hassel is extremely involved with connecting community members, and he has worked for, partnered with, or volunteered for all of the organizations listed above.

Craig Hassel standing next to Paul Schultz in a school hallway
Dr. Craig Hassel and Paul Schultz of White Earth Indian Reservation present their work
at the 2006 Society for Nutrition Education Annual Conference in San Francisco
The Northeast Regional Sustainable Development Partnership (RSDP) was delighted to have Dr. Hassel’s experience and input on the board. With his connections to the community and insights on food systems, Dr. Hassel primarily worked with RSDP on food system initiatives.

“One of the things that instantly attracted me to RSDP was how the RSDP philosophy is consistent with my own academic work,” Dr. Hassel reflected. “What I think most stands out to me is RSDP’s commitment and passion in the Greater Minnesota community and their ability to bring out that passion and the resources that exist in the community. … The Regional Partnerships are a mode for [researchers to have] community engaged [scholarship].”

Dr. Hassel’s commitment and passion for the community are continuing to help RSDP. In the words of Northeast RSDP Executive Director Okey Ukaga, “Craig is one of the few people who naturally appreciates not just the wisdom within the academic [world], but also and more importantly the wisdom outside academics. He brings that to every project [and] process that he’s involved in, and we appreciate it. It’s [still] helping us enhance our programs [today].”

This is an excerpt from a longer article, available here: RSDP Happenings - Spotlight: RSDP Faculty Board Members.

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