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Montana Team Nutrition presents information on school gardens

In August, 17 K-8 teachers from across Montana attended a summer workshop called the “Science of School Gardens,” presented by the MSU Science Math Resource Center (SMRC), housed in the College of Education, Health and Human Development. The two-day workshop centered on creating gardens at their schools and also incorporating math and science concepts for designing, building, harvesting and sustaining the gardens.

Day one started at MSU with information about starting a school garden, and then the group walked to Bozeman’s Irving Elementary School, which has a school garden being maintained by parents and Gallatin Valley Farm to School during the summer. Aubree Roth, coordinator of Montana Team Nutrition’s Farm to School Program, and Erin Jackson of GVF2S, presented information and lessons including recipes, nutrition, and farm to school curriculum, with the educators. Day two included a tour of MSU’s Plant Growth Center, where director David Baumbauer shared information on soils, water quality, planting indoors, and fertilizers (chemical and organic). At the end of the workshop, teachers set goals for the coming year, which they wrote down on a postcard. SMRC sent them those postcards in September to remind them what they need to do to begin planning their school gardens.

Ehsan Salam, program coordinator for SMRC, said the workshop’s goals were to provide hands-on learning so that teachers could take the idea back to their schools, and that teachers would transfer their new plant science knowledge to their students.

To help defray costs to the teachers, SMRC paid for their travel, per diem, food, lodging (dorms) and registration fee. Organizers Salam and  SMRC assistant director, Michelle Akin, will assess the workshop and plan for next year, hoping they can secure a grant or sponsorships.

Exercise Physiology and Nutrition student receives scholarship to research abroad

Linnea Zavala was the recipient of an EHHD Student Travel Scholarship, which provides funding to undergraduate and graduate students who are presenting at professional meetings and conferences. 

Originally from Red Lodge, Montana, Zavala attended the International Society of  Biomechanics in Sports (ISBS) conference in Cologne, Germany, in June 2017 and presented her research on “Directional Compression and  Muscle Activity in a Retired World Cup Alpine Skier.” The presentation was based on a case study that came out of a master student’s thesis  looking at possible beneficial effects of a specific compression tight on fatigue in recreational skiers.

“This was my first big conference and it was really eye-opening to see what’s going on internationally in the field of biomechanics,” said Zavala,
who was already in Europe on a study abroad experience at the University of Salzburg in Austria.

Dr. John Seifert, associate professor of health and human performance, said, “Linnea gained valuable experience in presenting research results at an international conference. Being able to deliver a quality presentation will help Linnea in her studies at MSU and her goals of moving to a PhD. Program.”

Linnea received a bachelor’s degree from Whitworth University in engineering physics, but enrolled at MSU last year as a post-bac student  when she decided to pursue further credits so she could enter graduate school for a master’s in exercise and nutrition sciences. She has always been interested in human movement from her years as a ski racer and felt the program in biomechanics at MSU was a great fit. While in Europe, she also attended workshops at Olympic training venues, met scientists from around the world, and received essential advice for her master’s thesis and career via a mentoring program.

Child Development Center Reaccredited

The MSU Child Development Center passed its reaccreditation with the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) this month. NAEYC sets professional standards for early childhood education programs and represents a mark of quality for early childhood education. The MSU Child Development Center is one of two programs in Bozeman to have this indicator of excellence and is one of eleven in the entire state of Montana!

Counseling Program Obtains Eight-Year Re-Accreditation

The Health and Human Development Counseling program recently received a re-accreditation of eight years for their three CACREP- (Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs) accredited programs: Marriage, Couple, & Family Counseling; Mental Health Counseling; and School Counseling. CACREP accreditation is vital and assures students in the program that they are receiving a quality education in counseling.  Additionally, CACREP accreditation is becoming important nationally as legislative decisions regarding third-party reimbursement for Tri-care has been linked to graduation from CACREP-accredited programs.

Dietetics and Dietetic Internship Accredited

November 3, 2015 -- Anne Cantrell, MSU News Service

The Didactic Program in Nutrition and Dietetics in the Montana State University College of Education, Health and Human Development and the Montana Dietetic Internship at MSU recently received full accreditation by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics, or ACEND.

Both programs were accredited for seven years.

Accreditation is important to the students in the programs, as well as to the state of Montana, according to Alison Harmon, interim dean of the MSU College of Education, Health and Human Development.

“In order for our graduating students to be eligible to become credentialed registered dietitian nutritionists and licensed practitioners, our undergraduate program and dietetic internship must be ACEND accredited,” Harmon said. “Having accreditation at MSU is a service to our students and supports the food and nutrition profession in the state of Montana.”

The MSU Didactic Program in Nutrition and Dietetics is an option within the food and nutrition major at MSU and has a strong foundation in food and nutrition, food service management and science, according to Melody Anacker, director of the program. It is the only dietetics program offered within the state of Montana. 

“The MSU Didactic Program in Nutrition and Dietetics prepares graduates to be successful in obtaining accredited supervised practice programs, such as the Montana Dietetic Internship,” Anacker said. “Our program is a student-centered curriculum that promotes an understanding of sustainable food systems in relationship to health. It also fosters a strong commitment to the community through service learning and engagement.”

The Montana Dietetic Internship at MSU is a non-degree practice experience for graduates of the Didactic Program in Nutrition and Dietetics. After completing the internship, students are eligible to take the national board exam to become certified as a registered dietician.

The internship program began in 2011 with 14 interns; since then it has grown in numbers and now has 20 interns this year, according to Coleen Kaiser, director of the Montana Dietetic Internship.

Kaiser said interns complete several weeks of the internship in Bozeman and the surrounding area and then proceed to complete the majority of their rotations in one of five locations: Billings, Great Falls, Helena, Kalispell and Missoula. Each intern also completes a two-week rotation at a critical access hospital in a rural community, such as Livingston, Big Timber, Miles City, Anaconda, Whitefish, Conrad, Browning, Ronan or Polson, among other sites. 

“The strength of the Montana Dietetic Internship is rooted in a complex collaboration among multiple healthcare facilities, state and private agencies, and MSU faculty and administration,” Kaiser said. She added that the program currently has contractual relationships with 62 sites in Montana, involving approximately 75 preceptors. 

Accreditation for the dietetics option at MSU and the Montana Dietetic Internship was based on a self-study, a site visit report from a visiting team and MSU’s response to the team’s report.

More information about the dietetics option is available at learn more about the Montana Dietetic Internship, visit

Contact: Melody Anacker, (406) 994-6337 or; or Coleen Kaiser, (406) 994-5022 or