Extension Educator, SNAP-Ed
Extension and Outreach - Interdisciplinary Programs
520 Bevier Hall MC-184
905 S Goodwin Ave
Urbana, IL 61801
In 2015, Whitney Ajie began the role of project manager for the ABCs of School Nutrition grant project for University of Illinois Extension, leading coordination of training and professional development for school nutrition professionals across Illinois in partnership with the Illinois State Board of Education.
Before this role, Whitney served as an Extension Educator for the Illinois Nutrition Education Programs serving Logan, Menard, and Sangamon counties from 2013-2015. She concentrated on creating or improving wellness policies and programs that served low-income or limited-resource communities, primarily communities with high proportions of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients. Her duties included partnering with local agencies and schools to better serve limited-resource communities in regard to health and wellness, and to facilitate research-based programming that helped families improve their food choices, food shopping and preparation skills, and physical activity. She also concentrated on changing the school and community nutrition environments by getting involved with school and community gardens, farmers markets, and providing education and leadership to change school and classroom wellness policies and nutrition practices.
Whitney earned her B.A. degree in Anthropology from Harvard University. Before beginning graduate school, she served as a substitute teacher and private tutor in her hometown of College Station, Texas. While nutrition and physical activity had always been a lifelong priority, this experience sparked her interest in education. She then continued on to complete her Master of Science degree in Nutritional Sciences, with a focus on Nutrition Education, from the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. She is a member of the Society of Nutrition Education and Behavior.
Whitney strongly believes that it is possible to change to a healthy lifestyle by incorporating small changes little by little. She also believes that eating healthfully can be affordable and easy and is an advocate and collector of quick, low-budget meals. She loves sweets and desserts and therefore advocates that all foods can fit into a healthful diet if moderation is practiced! She also loves cooking, hiking, BBQ, road trips, festivals, farmers' markets, and living in a state with all four seasons!
Connect with Whitney on social media: Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn | Blog | Instagram
Are you Illinois school foodservice staff? Connect with U of I Extension via ABCs of School Nutrition & Team Up ILLINOIS!
Sangamon County Excellence in School Wellness Award
Logan County Excellence in School Wellness Award
We Cook! Family Nutrition & Cooking Educational Program
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