University of Minnesota Extension
Menu Menu

Extension > Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds, Healthy Learners > January 2016


On this blog, we share regular updates about the Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds, Healthy Learners partnership between Extension's Children, Youth & Family Consortium and Bruce Vento Elementary School.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Goodbye Nora, Welcome Maks!

By: Nora Fox and Makshita "Maks" Luthra

With the beginning of a new year comes exciting changes and updates to the Bruce Vento project. One such development is the addition of our newest team member, Makshita "Maks" Luthra, as the new graduate research assistant!

From Maks

My name is Makshita (or Maks) and I am a dentist and a graduate student at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health, pursuing a master’s degree in Public Health Administration & Policy. Prior to enrolling for the graduate program, I practiced at a charitable dental hospital, served as a community health educator and worked as a healthcare management associate with a consulting firm in India. I also volunteered with a non-profit organization dedicated to conducting extensive analysis and research on the needs of institutionalized children. I assisted young girls in identifying their strengths, motivated them to achieve their goals and facilitated their journey toward an independent and sustainable life.

I enjoy working with diverse communities and my research interests focus on health disparities, community health needs assessment, school health education, program monitoring and evaluation, and improving care processes and outcomes. I have accepted the position of graduate research assistant to begin immediately and am excited to join the team!

Monday, January 4, 2016

What's Cookin' at Bruce Vento?

By: Judy Myers

Lotus root.
Imagine moving to a new country and visiting the market for groceries — nearly everything looks unfamiliar. What is opo squash or lotus root and how does one use either of these to cook for children more accustomed to macaroni and cheese? This is often the challenge for immigrant families, especially when they depend largely on food pantries or boxes of food from organizations such as Second Harvest Heartland.

So we held a team meeting with Bruce Vento social workers Marisa Biolo and Michael Carlson, school principal Scott Masini, assistant principal Fhonda Hicks, family liaison coordinator Cyndy McRae, U of M Extension educators Jennifer Ogren and Shirley Vang, and Rebecca Mino from Second Harvest.

We discussed how sometimes families either do not pick up available food boxes or throw away portions of the box because they do not know how to use the contents. To address this, we developed a four-month plan to provide food tastings, cooking demonstrations, cooking classes, and colorful cards with pictures and preparation suggestions of common fruits and vegetables typically found at Cub Foods.
  • © Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved.
  • The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer. Privacy