Spring has Sprung for Fruits and Vegetables

With Spring here, a larger variety of fruits and vegetables are available once again.  By eating and cooking in season, you will discover produce has more flavor and can even be more budget friendly.

It is a great time to experiment with new recipes.  Fruits and vegetables make great side dishes and main dishes.

Looking for ways to get started? Try one of these ideas:

  1. Plan one new recipe a week and build from there.
  2. Host a potluck with “fruits and veggies” as the theme.
  3. Visit local farmer’s markets
  4. Check out these free cookbooks at ChooseMyPlate.gov

Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Week

March 20-24th is Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Week at University Park.  This annual week is designed to raise awareness about the issue of sexual violence on campus, and is organized by UPUA in collaboration with many University partners. A variety of events are taking place throughout the week, including guest speakers Sheryl Wudunn on March 20th, and Anjelica Ross on March 22nd.

One key component of trying to reduce sexual assault involves training students to intervene in situations where someone might be at risk.  Stand for State, which is a program specific to Penn State, promotes safety year round by encouraging individuals to take action against sexual and relationship violence, bias and discrimination, mental health concerns, and risky alcohol, drug use.

Stand for State offers two training programs that delve into the specific ways to tackle concerning behavior. Check out the website for training opportunities http://standforstate.psu.edu/get-trained/

Freedom From Smoking®

Do you have friends who smoke? If so, consider telling them about Freedom From Smoking®, a free service to help Penn State students quit smoking. The program, created by the American Lung Association, is conducted by a staff member from University Health Services.  The sessions are specifically designed to help students quit and remain smoke or tobacco free. The seven-week program helps the individual build a support system and addresses different aspects of the quitting process, such as stress management and cravings. To learn more, call Health Promotion and Wellness at 814.863.0461 or schedule an appointment at studentaffairs.psu.edu/health/myUHS.

Winter Thaw 5K

On Saturday, February 25th, Penn State Club Cross Country hosted the third annual Winter Thaw 5k. Despite the rain and wind, a number of students and community members came out to participate in the 3.1 mile course. The race kicked-off at the Institute of Science and Technology Building, looped around the Penn State Golf Courses, and finished just outside the HUB-Robeson Center.

The top five finishers for men and women are:


  1. Andrew Sell
  2. Mark Puleo
  3. Matthew Balogh
  4. Ray Friend
  5. Bryan Moon


  1. Leah Narkevic
  2. Amy Mohler
  3. Marissa Fritz
  4. Rita Concannon
  5. Steph Vignette

Each finisher received a KIND bar as they crossed the finish line. The top 5 male and female place winners received gift cards to Rapid Transit Sports. A big congratulations to all the runners! Healthy Penn State would like to thank the race volunteers who helped set up, marshal, and tear down the race.


The Body Monologues

On Wednesday evening students from HealthWorks, a peer education program in University Health Services, organized and performed The Body Monologues. The event was inspired by National Eating Disorder Awareness Week and included members of the Penn State W.O.R.D.S. (Writers Organized to Represent Diverse Stories) performance team. The performers shared their personal struggles with body image and their journeys to self-acceptance.

A HealthWorks student performs her monologue. Photo by Michelle Mehallow.

From gymnasts to runners, fashionistas to dancers, they told decidedly different stories that all centered around how they learned to accept their body in the face of ever-changing societal norms.

As part of the event, members of Orchesis Dance Company performed a piece that a story about humans battling their personal struggles. One dancer explained the piece illustrated that humans can win the battle, but that the struggles they will always be a part of the person. In the discussion portion of the event, students agreed that “Self-love is a process,” albeit a slow and ongoing one.

Maddy Galascio, a HealthWorks student and monologue performer, said she was introduced to the project last semester and it piqued her interest. At first, she didn’t think she had a strong story to tell but ended up delivering a moving performance about her struggles as a competitive gymnast. For Maddy, the best part of participating in The Body Monologues was bonding with her fellow performers. She said, “We’re really close now because we’ve been through so much together.”

The Body Monologues was a resounding success, and an example of how impactful discussions like these can be to college students. Opening up the conversation about self-acceptance, body image, and health is beneficial to not only the audience but also to the cast.

Written by Healthy Penn State Ambassador – Michelle Mehallow

University Health Services seeks applicants for HealthWorks peer health educators

Penn State students who are interested in promoting health among their peers can apply to participate in HealthWorks, a student peer education and outreach program within University Health Services (UHS). Students can apply starting January 30, 2017.  Membership applications will be accepted through March 3 for the 2017 – 2018 academic year.

This year, students have two different opportunities for promoting health among their peers:  1. One-on-one wellness services for students; and 2. Outreach and promotion through workshops and initiatives.

Current HealthWorks member, Kyle Houser (Biology ’17) encourages students to apply. “HealthWorks is a great opportunity for any Penn State student passionate about health and wellness. The major goal is to help make University Park a healthier place, but HealthWorks also encourages the development of leadership and communication skills and introduces you to people who will become some of your best friends. If you’re looking to get involved in an organization that is both personally and professionally rewarding, this is it!”

HealthWorks is a three semester commitment (one semester of training and two semesters of service). Training includes a 3-credit class through the Department of Biobehavioral Health (BB H) during the fall semester. Course topics include health promotion theories and strategies, and health issues including alcohol and other drugs, financial literacy, sexual health, nutrition, physical activity, sleep and stress. During spring semester, weekly meetings will be held and peer educators will participate in delivering wellness services or programming and outreach activities.

The one-on-one peer educators will meet individually with students to provide free wellness services.  The topics include stress and time management, physical activity, nutrition, sleep, sexual health and healthy relationships and financial literacy.

The outreach and promotion peer educators will conduct health education workshops, provide HIV test counseling, and conduct health promotion campaigns to raise awareness about topics like stress reduction, sustainability, and body image. Ongoing projects include healthy cooking videos, The Body Monologues, Healthy Penn State blog posts, social media, the Fitness Challenge and Safer Spring Break initiative.

Students can learn about and apply for HealthWorks by visiting http://studentaffairs.psu.edu/health/wellness/healthWorks.shtml.