Starting this semester Keene State College is offering a new addition to Healthy KSC: The Way to Wellness through an opportunity for students to focus on their nutrition.
Healthy KSC has been promoting wellness and making healthy choices in the KSC community and is now offering nutrition coaching for students through Human Resources [HR], according to their website. Abby Patterson, the KSC dietetic intern, is available to students, faculty and staff for individual nutrition education once a week.
In the past, KSC faculty and staff have taken advantage of this opportunity for advice and guidance, but this is the first semester HR is opening this up to students.
Karen Crawford, the assistant director of Human Resources who focuses on Healthy KSC’s workplace wellness initiative, said, “Students can work with the intern on portion control, weight loss, setting goals and answer any questions they might have on nutrition or health.”
Crawford continued, “It’s a great program that has taken off, and employees have been taking advantage of it.”
She continued, “Some have even come back a second and third time to follow up.”
“The idea behind the coaching is that people will have the resource if they don’t have anyone else to discuss their health questions with, want someone to help plan or reach their wellness goals or someone to hold them accountable for what goals they’re trying to reach,” she explained.
Nutrition major Lauren Lenk said she thinks this is a great opportunity that students should take advantage of.
She said, “Healthy KSC is a great idea for students simply because there are so many people out there that don’t have enough knowledge about health and nutrition, which is resulting in unhealthy behaviors.”
Lenk also said, “As a nutrition student I think that nutrition is definitely something people should become aware of, because how we treat ourselves now will further influence our health in the future.”
Brenna McCabe, a senior at KSC, said, “I think Healthy KSC is an awesome way to go.”
She continued, “I think it would be very beneficial to have a nutrition coach to help students out because most students might not know the correct way to start a healthy lifestyle, or don’t have the right knowledge to maintain it for long-term results.”
Stephanie Chmielecki is the intern program director for the dietetic internship.
She explained, “In the past we have offered nutrition coaching through Body Works, which served the student population, but referrals didn’t come consistently and there was no dedicated space for this to work.”
Chmielecki hopes that the changes that have been made to the nutrition coaching done through HR will bring better luck for Healthy KSC.
“Now we have a dietetic intern who has a set schedule, which they are offered a private place and offers more consistency for students,” Chmielecki said. She said that appointments can be less than a half an hour, or up to an hour depending on what students are looking to talk about.
Chmielecki also said she recommends making an appointment to speak with Patterson when she is available once a week for the rest of the semester.
Lenk explained, “Eating right and staying active allows us to become healthier, more energized and obtain better focus which could also help students academically.” Chmielecki said she has high hopes for the nutrition coaching offered through Healthy KSC and believes that it will be successful.
“By having something like this available on campus, students that are away from home and not participating in family meals can have help navigating options,” she said.
She continued, “Or if students are off campus it might be their first time cooking for themselves and they might want some guidance with that.”
Crawford said students are encouraged to make appointments by visiting the KSC announcements page for a better, healthier year.
Jess Byrne can be contacted at email@example.com