The classes Abby Shimon, \'16 nutritional science, took at Iowa State University are proving beneficial in her current role as an extension assistant for the Nutrition Education Program at the University of Nebraska - Lincoln. Contributed photo
The classes Abby Shimon, \'16 nutritional science, took at Iowa State University are proving beneficial in her current role as an extension assistant for the Nutrition Education Program at the University of Nebraska - Lincoln. Contributed photo

Classroom assignments have real world impact for Iowa State alumna

Less than one year after her graduation from Iowa State University, one alumna already is seeing the impact of the college classes she took.

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Abby Shimon

Abby Shimon (’16 nutritional science) works for the University of Nebraska – Lincoln, as an extension assistant for the Nutrition Education Program (NEP) in the Omaha area. She helps families and youth with limited resources learn and use practices that will lead to improved nutritional and financial management decisions. The lessons she leads include topics on how to read nutrition labels, meal planning, food safety and the importance of physical activity.

One of the classes she took at Iowa State has proven beneficial in her current position. The class was FSHN 463 – Community Nutrition, taught by Dr. Ruth Litchfield. For this class, one of the group assignments involved identifying an issue in an Iowa county and writing a grant proposal to help address that issue. For the county Shimon’s group was assigned, they decided to focus on teenage pregnancy and the need for proper nutrition not only for the expectant mother, but for the child after it is born.

One of the classes Shimon recently lead consisted of a group of teenagers who were either pregnant or already had a child.

“It was an amazing experience because I was able to gain insight from my group project proposal and incorporate parts of that into my classes along with my curriculum,” Shimon said. “When doing assignments in college, sometimes we don’t realize how they will help us in the future. Dr. Litchfield did a great job of preparing me for my job with community nutrition at University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension.”

The community nutrition course was not the only class Shimon took that has aided in her professional career. Another one of Litchfield’s classes has played a strong role in her success as an extension professional.

“The way I educate children about nutrition is different from how I educate adults, and classes I took with Dr. Litchfield about communicating messages/community nutrition have helped a lot,” Shimon said.

Shimon encourages current students to try out different aspects of nutrition and make connections with various people in the field.

“It’s always helpful to shadow people when you aren’t sure what you want to do and make connections with nutrition professionals because they may be your connection to something else in your future career,” Shimon said.

CONTACTS:

Abby Shimon, ’16 nutritional science, abby.shimon@unl.edu

Whitney Sager, communications coordinator, Iowa State University, 515-294-9166, wjsager@iastate.edu

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