Center for Public Health Nutrition

Student Projects

By connecting students with community agencies, CPHN extends the benefits of university resources beyond the campus, and provides students with service learning opportunities. Students have completed thesis projects, practicum and fieldwork experiences, and course projects that address the needs identified by our government and community partners.

List of Thesis & Dissertation Projects

Public Health Nutrition Course Projects

Lunch Time at School: How Much is Enought? (2014-2015)

| Full Report | Policy Brief for Administrators | Policy Brief | Presentation |

Students partnered with the Seattle Public School District Nutrition Task Force in an effort to evaluate current elementary school lunch timing patterns. Students interviewed principals, survey kitchen managers, observed cafeterias during lunch time, and conducted plate waste assessments at local elementary schools. From this evaluation, they developed recommendations and created policy briefs targeted for school administrators.

Seattle Healthy School Zones (2013-2014)

| Full Report | Policy Brief | Policy Issue King County |

“Healthy School Zones” are vitally important to the health of students. In this project, students evaluated target school zones in Seattle and analyzed strategies that help create an environment where the healthy choice is the easy choice, reducing risk factors for chronic disease. Based on the results students created a set of policy recommendations that work in concert to constitute a comprehensive plan for Healthy School Zones. The project focused on three main topics: nutrition, tobacco and physical activity.

Free Water Access on the University of Washington Campus (2012-2013)

| Full Report | Presentation (PPT) |

The purpose the project was to assess publicly accessible sources of drinking water in various University of Washington Seattle campus buildings. Students evaluated the ease of using the fountain, quality of the water, and the appearance of the fountain. They reviewed current public health practices and policies to better understand the barriers and solutions to issues that may prevent access or use of free drinking water sources on campus. Students also devised a promotional campaign to support the policy recommendations to increase usage of public water sources by students, university employees, visitors, and other stakeholders.

Farm to School: Key Findings of 2011 WSDA Survey (2011-2012)

| Policy Brief for Schools | Policy Brief for Advocates | Full Report |

The purpose of the project was to inform the development of Farm to School initiatives to increase the use of Washington grown foods in Washington's schools. Students used existing survey data to describe the current state of farm to school activities and capacities as well as interest in building stronger programs in schools across the state. They developed recommendations for next steps, promising opportunities and subjects needing further research.

Evaluating King County School Nutrition Wellness Policies (2008-2009)

| Policy Brief | Full Report |
This project provided the King County Board of Health School Obesity Prevention Committee with up-to-date information about the school wellness policies that have been developed in each of the 19 school districts in King County. Challenges and successes associated with the implementation of the wellness policies were also explored so that the committee can make informed recommendations for action to the Board of Health.

Start Strong: Walk to School and School Breakfast Program (2007-2008)

| Summary Paper | Final Report | Presentation (PPT) |
This project conducted a mid-term evaluation of a nutrition and physical activity intervention in four elementary schools. The long term purpose of the full evaluation of this program is to assure that school environments and policies are optimally designed to support healthy food choices and physical activity. Students planned, conducted and analyzed information about student participation in walking to school and school breakfast programs and the perceptions of parents and school staff from four Seattle elementary schools.

Eat Better, Feel Better Project: Program Evaluation (2006-2007)

| Briefing Paper | Final Report | Presentation (PPT) |
This project evaluated the impact of a multi-component nutrition intervention at T.T. Minor elementary school in order to support future program improvements, direct policy development, and encourage continued funding for such programs.The evaluation process included key informant interviews with school personnel and parents/guardians, lunchroom observations to assess fruit and vegetable intake, and student surveys. Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary school served as a control. The results of this program evaluation were presented in a briefing paper, report, and presentation.

Food Insecurity and Obesity in WIC Clients(2005-2006)

| Assignment | Final Report (PDF) |
This project examined the relationships between food insecurity and overweight in English-speaking WIC clients. The purpose of the project was to obtain information that could be used to design food assistance programs that reduce the prevalence of obesity while encouraging food security.  Students worked with Public Health-Seattle & King County nutritionists to organize and conduct and analyze focus  groups of WIC clients.  Students developed a report, a briefing paper and an abstract that were presented and disseminated to state and local WIC administrators. 

Basic Food Program and WIC (2004-2005)

| Assignment | Final Report (MS Word) | Presentation |
Students identified barriers to participation in Washington State's Basic Food Program (BFP) and developed tools to increase the proportion of eligible WIC clients who participate in the BFP. Products included: (1) Report about attitudes toward and barriers to the BFP for both WIC staff and clients; (2) PowerPoint training module for WIC staff that outlines the benefits, eligibility requirements and available resources of the BFP, and (3) Training sessions for WIC staff that resulted in increased participation in the BFP.