Category Archives: Supporting Courses

Interested in Health Promotion? Check out HealthWorks!

HealthWorks, a peer health education outreach program in the Health Promotion and Wellness Department of Penn State, is currently recruiting student volunteers to become Peer Health Educators for the 2020 – 2021 academic year. The deadline for applications is February 28, 2020. Students from all majors are encouraged to apply and those who are accepted will receive training through a 3-credit course offered in the Fall 2020 semester through the Department of Biobehavioral Health. This course is designed to train students to become peer health educators who provide services and/or programs on health issues, health promotion theories and strategies for helping college students improve their health.

HealthWorks peer educators work to address college health issues at Penn State, including stress, nutrition, physical activity, sleep, and sexual health. Students have two different opportunities for promoting health among their peers:

1. One-on-one wellness services for students in which trained peer educators meet individually with students to provide free wellness services. The service topics include stress and time management, physical activity, nutrition, sleep, sexual health and healthy relationships.

2. Outreach and health promotion through workshops and initiatives.  In this option, trained peer educators plan and implement various health promotion initiatives and efforts to encourage healthy lifestyle choices among Penn State students. Examples of HealthWorks initiatives include writing for the Healthy Penn State blog and/or Instagram, hosting Eating Disorder Awareness and Love Your Body week, creating healthy cooking videos, conducting minority health outreach tables, facilitating workshops on different health topics and providing HIV test counseling.

Volunteering in HealthWorks helps prepare students for careers in public health, allied health fields, nursing, nutrition, medicine, advertising and public relations.

Students can learn more about HealthWorks and apply online at

If you have any additional questions about this, please contact the Penn State Health Promotion and Wellness Department via e-mail at or by phone at (814) 863-0461.

UHS Clinic Intern Program: Applications Due March 8

The Penn State Clinic Intern Program provides undergraduate students who have an interest in pursuing a career in healthcare an opportunity to interact professionally with patients and medical staff in the Clinical Services department.

As an intern, students conduct patient intake exams and assist clinical staff. Volunteering gives students a first-hand understanding of the dynamics of the health care system and enhances communication skills with patients and members of the health care team. Interns earn 4-6 credits over two semesters for participating in the Clinic Intern Program. Program interns earn about 100 patient contact hours over the two semesters and may return to volunteer for additional semesters if they choose.
More info and application here:

Interesting *NEW* Spring 2020 courses (that will count as supporting courses)

ANTH 497 – Spillover: Anthropology of Emerging Infectious Disease

BIOL 497 – Human Pathophysiology (3 credits)

This course focuses on manifestations of human diseases and what changes occur at the molecular, cellular, tissue, organ, and system levels to cause disease states. Topics covered include mechanisms of disease, inflammation repair, features of selected diseases for each body system, diagnostic testing, and pharmacotherapy. The primary goal of the course is to reinforce student knowledge of normal physiology by studying pathophysiology. The course will feature traditional didactics, case studies, group problem-based activities, and analysis of primary literature in pathophysiology.

BIOL 497 – Evolutionary Medicine (3 credits)
Evolutionary medicine is the application of evolutionary theory to the study of human health and disease. Health is affected by a number of factors, including the aging process, the microbiome, cancer, infectious disease, and antibiotic resistance. Most medical research attempts to identify how these factors can be controlled. Evolutionary medicine explores why they exist in the first place. the goal of this course is to provide students with a new perspective for understanding human health and disease. Students will distinguish the evolutionary causes of disease and the possible consequences (positive and negative) of medical and public health interventions. Students will also critique arguments posed both in the peer-reviewed scientific literature and the popular press.

HDFS 297: Art and Science of Compassion
Instructors: Robert W. Roeser, Blake Colaianne
Spring 2020, 2 Credits
1/13-3/27, W 2:30-5:30.

Human service professionals (e.g., educators, nurses, social workers, counselors, youth service workers) care for large numbers of people, and the demands of caring for so many over time can become challenging – sometimes leading to empathy fatigue and burnout. In this course, we will explore both the art of caring for others, as well as the science of care and compassion. Drawing on contemporary theories in both science and contemplative traditions like Buddhism, we will conceptualize care and compassion in terms of three basic modalities, including (1) extending care and compassion to others, (2) receiving care and compassion from others; and (3) extending care and compassion to oneself (e.g., self-care). A core component of the course will be having students learn and practice compassion exercises related to these three basic modalities and the development of the related skills of extending and receiving care. Through the development of theoretical and scientific knowledge, and through the experiential cultivation of the skills of care and compassion, students will be better able to engage and connect more effectively with others in their lives. In addition, they will be learning a key set of skills essential for thriving in the human services professions.

MATH 297 – Scientific Computation for Biology (3 credits)

SC 201 – Medical Professions (1 credit)
For students who are about a year away from applying to medical, PA, dental, PT, OT, or nursing school.

Spring 2020 Special Course: NURS 497 Health Disparities

This would be a terrific 400-level supporting course for NUTR majors.

Nursing Special Topics Course Offering – Spring 2020

NURS 497 (#20329)– Health Disparities (3 credits)

This course will explore contemporary health disparities in the United States. Students will be introduced to health outcomes that vary by sexual orientation, gender, race, and other social determinants of health. We will learn about frameworks that have been used to explain disparate health outcomes and healthcare and discuss how scientific data can serve as an impetus to improve well-being for everyone.

This class will meet on Mondays from 9:00 AM – 11:30 AM in 271 Willard Building and will be taught by Britney Wardecker, Ph.D., Assistant Professor in the College of Nursing.

There are no prerequisites, and the course is open to all University Park students.

Fall TAs Needed for NUTR 100, 358 and 361

You can earn 400-level supporting course credit for serving as a TA (Teaching Assistant) for any nutrition course. Being a TA can also be a valuable learning experience for undergraduates. In assisting with the grading of assignments, students will get a better understanding of their chosen field and the nutritional value of foods. Additionally, helping run a course may broaden your perspective for those thinking about teaching as a career option, whether it be in the classroom or within a clinical setting.

TAs are still needed for the following courses this fall semester:

NUTR 100Nutrition Applications for a Healthy Lifestyle (3 cr. GHW): Course meeting times/location:

  • Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:05-10:20 a.m. in Sparks 10
  • Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:35-11:50 a.m. in BBH 022

Students who commit to being a NUTR 100 TA will be required to:

  • Attend course lectures and assist with in-class activities for large groups of students (requires 3 hours per week)
  • Grade 3-4 outside-of-class assignments (requires an additional 5-6 hours per assignment)

Student TAs must have completed NUTR 251 with a grade of B or better to TA for NUTR 100. If interested, please contact Dr. Adams ( with a statement as to why you would like to be a TA.

NUTR 358 (Assessment of Nutritional Status) and
NUTR 361 (Community and Public Health Nutrition, formerly NUTR 456):
Course meeting times/locations:

  • NUTR 358: M/W 8:00-9:15 a.m. – Nursing Sciences Building
  • NUTR 361: T/Th 3:05-4:20 p.m. – HHD 005

Junior or Senior Nutrition Majors who successfully completed the course they want to TA with grade of B or better are encouraged to apply for these upper-level TA opportunities (see below). This commitment will require approximately 3-5 hours per week of time assisting the instructor by:

  1. Grading assignments
  2. Answering questions and helping students to improve their study skills and nutrition concepts
  3. Helping to proctor quizzes (given during lecture periods)
  4. Coming to lecture (encouraged, but not always required)

If interested in either NUTR 358 or 360, please contact Dr. Fleming ( and please include the following information:

  1. A list of nutrition courses you have taken with grades received
  2. Whether you are available to attend the lectures
  3. A brief statement as to why you want this experience

Thank you for considering these opportunities to help support the Nutritional Sciences Department!

Prerequisites changed for Nutrition 421: Food Culture and Health Trends

Nutrition 421: Food Culture and Health Trends (3) (US;IL) explores the social-political, historic, and geographic roots of food patterns, featuring specific cuisine areas and nutritional disease patterns. This course provides the cultural awareness needed by dietitians and any student of food and culture to participate in dietary exploration and change.

The only prerequisite for this course is NUTR 251, although others are currently listed in the course bulletin. It will be taught for the first time in a while by one of the newest faculty members in the Department of Nutritional Sciences, Stephen Kodish, Ph.D. who is also a faculty member in the Department of Biobehavioral Health.

For the full course description, please visit this link: NUTR 421.

Decorative logo for Summer Session 2018Photo of the Nittany Lion with the College of HHD logoStay on Track. Get Ahead.
Think Summer. Think Penn State.

Summer Session at Penn State’s College of Health and Human Development is a great time to:

  • Lighten your load for fall semester
  • Tackle a challenging class
  • Take a General Education course
  • Complete courses for your major or minor

Learn more about why Penn State is a great place to be in the summertime. Also, hear what HHD students have to say about Summer Session at Penn State.

NUTR Course Information

HHD Course Information

Flexibility and Fun

HHD classes afford flexibility in your schedule, too, with classes available throughout the day and evening. You even have access to our World Campus classes during the summer—online, on your time, and with lower tuition.

And taking classes isn’t the only reason a Penn State summer is good. State College has minor league baseball, the Central Pennsylvania Arts Festival, and great places to enjoy the summer weather—from hiking Mount Nittany to enjoying the Penn State outdoor pool to sharing a meal outside with friends at one of the great downtown restaurants.

Hear from other students why Summer Session is a great choice.


Have other questions about Summer Session? Visit the Penn State Summer Session site or contact our helpful staff in the Health and Human Development Center for Student Advising and Engagment at 814-865-2156.


New Special Topics Course for Fall 2018 – NUTR 297 – Healthy Food For All: Factors that influence what we eat in the US

Pre-requisites: NUTR 100 or NUTR 251 or FDSC 105

While aspects of this are covered in a variety of disciplines (e.g., nutrition, food science, agriculture, economics, sociology, and others), these aren’t always integrated for students. The purpose of this course is to provide an interdisciplinary, systems perspective of how individuals make food choices within their communities, and how these choices impact health and wellness. Topics include an introduction to what we eat, why we eat, and the key roles of diet on health with focus on the links between food security and obesity. It is designed to give you knowledge surrounding a wide range of topics related to nutrition, food security, and obesity. This course will require you to think critically about and act upon broad nutrition issues specific to eating behavior, economics, and policy. Projects will expose you to varying perspectives on food security, obesity, food planning and budgeting. You will learn how to assess diet quality and health disparities, why they exist and persist, what policies affect them, and potential solutions to food insecurity and obesity in our society. In addition, you will get hands-on experience in a food laboratory where you will taste and cost out a variety of foods, prepare and evaluate an entrée at different price points, and plan and prepare a meal utilizing foods at the food bank.

HealthWorks Applications due March 2nd!

Are you passionate about health & wellness?  Then apply before you leave for spring break to become a Peer Educator through HealthWorks!  For more information, visit

Hurry because the application deadline is Friday, March 2, 2018.


Need a 400-Level Supporting Course? Consider….

Course Offering – Fall 2018