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Chapter Report 2016-17

Omicron Beta Alpha has completed the annual chapter report for 2016-17. Chapter Report B outlines chapters activities completed during the academic year.

This chapter report outlines chapter activity for the year 2016-17

Name of Human Sciences Unit:

Nutritional Sciences

Name of Administrator:

Kevin McCarthy

Chapter Vice President:

Valerie Ortiz

Name of Adviser:

Nurgul Fitzgeraqld

Number of Kappa Omicron Nu student members at end of academic year: 38, including 28 initiate members.

Omicron Beta Alpha held 9 meetings this year.

1. Meetings for the year, identifying Required Program:

I. June 28, 2016, Officer Meeting:
a. Discussed the membership process, timetable, preparation for the Induction Ceremony and major activities for volunteering/service, fundraising, and scholarship for the 2016-2017 term.
II. October 4, 2016, General Meeting:
a. Overview of KON’s activities in leadership (volunteering/service; fundraising), research, and scholarship (tutoring, mentoring) and membership benefits. The certificates for the new members were presented to those who could not attend the Induction Ceremony.
b. Selected Chairs and designated the Chapter Officers as liaisons for the service/volunteering, fundraising, scholarship and research committees.
i. Scholarship (tutoring & mentoring): Michelle Sweeney (Officer Liaison), Melissa Savin and Kelly Payne (Co-Chairs).
ii. Service/volunteering: Valerie Ortiz (Officer Liaison), Jamie Schroeder (Chair).
iii. Fundraising: Taylor Modafferi (Officer Liaison), Jessica Geiger and Lauren Visconti (Co-Chairs).
iv. Research: Nicole Ramos (Officer Liaison), Kyra Tywanick and Sarah Lam (Co-Chairs).
III. November 1, 2016, General Meeting:
a. Updates on KON’s activities in leadership (volunteering/service; fundraising), research, and scholarship (tutoring, mentoring).
b. Reviewed upcoming events (Healthy Food Access Workgroup meeting, Snack Box, Fall Bake Sale, New Brunswick Community Farmers Market volunteering, tutoring schedule).
IV. January 31, 2017, Officer Meeting: Reviewed progress and discussed the plans and action steps for the upcoming events (Bake Sale, Nutrition Q&A Panel, tip sheet development for nutrition majors, an educational session on interviewing skills, Rutgers Day and Community Food Forum activities).
V. February 6, 2017, General Meeting:
a. Updates and reporting on KON’s activities in leadership (volunteering/service; fundraising), research, and scholarship (tutoring, mentoring).
b. Reviewed and planned for upcoming events (Community Food Forum, Snack Box, Winter Bake Sale, tutoring).
c. Discussed having a designed t-shirt sale for fundraising. Also discussed organizing a Q&A Panel event and developing a tip sheet for Nutrition Major students to help them be better prepared for their senior year and beyond.
VI. March 7, 2017, Officer Meeting:
a. Reviewed progress and plans for the upcoming events (General Meeting, Nutrition Q&A Panel and Tip Sheet development, Rutgers Day, t-shirt sale, KON end-of –the-year Breakfast and Awards). Discussed the possibility of applying for a small grant (Get Fruved).
VII. March 21, 2017, General Meeting:
a. Updates on KON’s activities in leadership (volunteering/service; fundraising), research, and scholarship (tutoring, mentoring).
b. Discussed the plans for upcoming events (Gardening Day for the New Brunswick Community Farmers Market, Snack Box, Rutgers Day Dog Treat Depot, Q&A Panel, KON Breakfast and Awards).
c. Decision was made to co-sponsor a guest speaker, Dr. Michael Hamm, who was invited to give a campus-wide special seminar titled, “Can We Feed 9 Billion People Sustainably?” on March 28, 2017.
d. The small grant opportunity for a collaborative project (Get Fruved) was discussed and a decision was made to apply for it.
VIII. April 27, 2017, Officer Meeting:
a. Discussed and reviewed the participation points to determine the Chapter awards for the 2016-2017 academic year.
b. Discussed the Rutgers Day activities and determined the prices ($18 for members and $20 for non-members) for the KON t-shirt sales.
c. Discussed the likely candidates for next year’s Chapter Officers and reviewed the steps for election (to be held during the KON Breakfast in May 2017).
d. Discussed the need to raise the Chapter membership fees because of increasing fees of KON overall.
IX. May 9, 2017, Officer Meeting:
a. Reviewed the budget, and discussed action steps about new member invitations, Induction Ceremony preparation, New Brunswick Community Farmers market volunteering, and preparing for Get Fruved grant implementation.

2. Campus or community projects, activities, or events:

The Chapter included 38 members. The meetings were conducted in the evenings to enable members to participate after their classes. Email communications were kept active throughout the year to inform and engage the members. In addition, the Chapter leadership initiated a series of recorded, informative interviews that can be posted online to help spread the message about KON. Based on the participation levels in various KON activities, members received Chapter awards at the end of the spring semester.

I. Induction Ceremony: Students who met the eligibility criteria were invited to join the Omicron Beta Alpha Chapter of KON. Students who decided to join (and their guests) were invited to the ceremony, which included a dinner. During the ceremony, KON’s history and mission, and Chapter’s activities were emphasized. The honorary speaker for the event was Ms. Margaret McKay who is the Director of the Dietetic Internship Program at Rutgers. In addition to the Chapter members and their guests, seven of the Nutritional Sciences Department faculty also attended.

II. Research:
a. The research committee members worked with the faculty advisor and the principal investigator of the Hub City Fresh Healthy Corner Store Initiative, Dr. Nurgul Fitzgerald. The members completed the Human Subject Certification course and participated in conducting the study to examine whether addition of food tasting events were linked to any changes in the corner store customers’ awareness of the promotional materials and purchasing behaviors in the corner stores in New Brunswick, NJ. An abstract of the resulting work was submitted to the New Jersey Academy of Nutrition and Dietetic Association’s Annual Conference.
b. The Chapter (represented by incoming Vice President Kayla Castellitto and Dr. N. Fitzgerald as the sponsor) has applied for and been approved to receive a $3,000 grant from the University of Tennessee to implement a portion of their USDA-funded, Get Fruved intervention at Rutgers. The project aims to promote healthy eating, physical activity and stress management through campus-wide collaborations, advocacy, and social marketing during the 2017-2018 school year.
III. Leadership:
a. Chapter leadership: The members volunteered to chair each pillar of the Chapter’s activities, and the Chapter Officers provided leadership for each of these pillars (volunteering/service, scholarship, fundraising, research).
b. Volunteering/service:
i. The KON members volunteered at the city-wide, Community Food Forum of the New Brunswick Community Food Alliance (on February 25th), which is a community-based food policy council. The members provided nutrition-related information and activities (Healthy Corner Store information; shopping healthy; Food Jeopardy) to the participants. The activities were very well attended both by adults and children.
ii. Members participated in the nutrition education outreach (summer through fall of 2016) and Community Garden activities (spring 2017) of the New Brunswick Community Farmers Market.
c. Fundraising:
i. Snack box: The members provided healthy snacks for the Snack Box throughout the academic year.
ii. Bake sales: Chapter members hosted two bake sales (in November 15, 2016 and February 21, 2017).
iii. Rutgers Day: Chapter members baked and sold dog biscuits at the university-wide event. In addition, specially designed t-shirts (with nutrition-related message and KON Chapter branding) were sold during the Rutgers Day.
d. KON Breakfast and Award Ceremony: The Chapter Officers organized a breakfast at the end of the spring semester to share and celebrate the progress that KON members have made. The Chapter Awards were presented, and next year’s Chapter Officers were elected at this event. The faculty and staff of the Department of the Nutritional Sciences also attended, which gave the KON members an additional opportunity to establish stronger communications with the department faculty.
IV. Scholarship:
a. Eight Chapter members delivered about 40 hours of tutoring and mentoring sessions to the other Rutgers undergraduate students in the subject areas such as general biology, nutrition and health, and introduction to foods.
b. Senior members of the Chapter developed a “tip sheet” for the Nutrition Majors to help nutrition students better prepare for their education path at Rutgers and beyond (eg, dietetic internship applications). Senior members also held a related Question and Answer session.
c. Chapter Officers organized an event where a staff member from the University’s Career Services delivered a session on interviewing skills to help students as they prepare to apply for internship positions.
d. Based on the participation in the Chapter’s activities, a point system was used to reward the members with most contributions. Six members received the Scholarship Awards for highest level of contributions to KON’s mission, and five additional members received the Recognition Awards for their substantial contributions.
e. Based on the results of the Hub City Fresh study, Nicole Ramos and Jamie Schroeder presented a research poster at the New Jersey Academy of Nutrition and Dietetic Association’s Annual Conference on April 28, 2017 (co-authors: A. Sugrue, S. Lam, N. Fitzgerald).
f. The Chapter co-sponsored a special seminar speaker, Dr. Michael Hamm (from Michigan State University), who was invited to give two talks on sustainability and dietary guidelines. His talks were very well attended and contributed to the Chapter member’s, other students’ and faculty members’ knowledge and professional growth.

3. Tentative plans for next year

The Chapter will continue with the types of activities that worked well during the previous years. In addition to continuing the members’ involvement in the Hub City Fresh Healthy Corner Store and New Brunswick Community Farmers Market Nutrition Education Programs for research and volunteering, the Chapter now has a grant (Get Fruved) to implement during the 2017-2018 school year. These activities will require substantial time commitment and collaborations with the other campus organizations, and will be great opportunities for members to get hands-on experience and develop their leadership skills further.

Student Organization Effectiveness Rubric

Chapter Effectiveness Benchmarks
Registration with appropriate institutional office: 5
Participation in institutional training for student groups: 4
Procedures for election of officers: 5
Officer training plan: 4
Structure for selection and initiation of members: 4
Structure for member input into setting goals for chapter activities: 5
Process for planning annual activities to respond to goals: 5
Participation in national conference: NA

Learning Benchmarks
Co-curricular activities that enhance academic goals: 5
Activities respond to shared goals: 5
Participation in National Required Program initiative: 5
Effective leadership: 5
Social Responsibility: 5
Sense of Civic Responsibility: 5

Faculty Support Benchmarks
Value for student organizations: 5
Professional/technical support to student organizations : 5
Faculty Participation in chapter activities : 5

Evaluation Benchmarks
Yearly evaluation of chapter activities: 4
Yearly evaluation of programming: 4

Intrapersonal Benchmarks
Realistic self-appraisal, self-understanding, and self-respect: 5
Commitment to ethics and integrity : 5

Interpersonal Benchmarks
Meaningful Relationships: 5
Collaboration: 5