Ashley Mills


Practicum site: Rudd Center for Food Policy in Hartford, however, I traveled to Storrs, Vernon, Avon, and Plainville to work on my two projects. (2019)

Project description: My first project involved assisting a (UConn) PhD candidate (working at RUDD) to measuring strength and clarity of school wellness policies using parameters set by the whole school, whole child, whole community mode. My second project involved evaluating the healthfulness of foods offered at local food pantries and accounting for differences in use of nutrition signage. Through this work, I conducted pantry assessments and engaged in client interviews. As well, I helped to organize scheduling among research assistants working at the pantry. It was most rewarding to work in an interdisciplinary team in evaluating policy that I could encounter in future work environments. As someone who was interested in work in an academic setting, I found school and wellness policies to be interesting. Additionally, direct contact with community members and greater awareness of the strengths and implications of food/nutrition labels were most valuable. My practicum work was strongly related to personal, academic, and career interests.

Some advice for students…If engaging in community work, ask specific questions about the chance of scheduling changes for the Practicum. After starting my work, I found that I needed to have flexibility in my schedule for various meetings, trainings, and community work for my projects.

Ashley Mills
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