Health & Wellness Program Extension Specialist for Food, Families & Health Unit

  • Full-time
  • University Park, PA
  • posted January 19, 2023
Penn State Extension


Position Description:

The College of Agricultural Sciences is seeking a Health & Wellness Program Specialist for Food, Families & Health Unit trained in health and wellness or a related field to join our nationally recognized Penn State Extension Health and Wellness Program Team.

Job Purpose:

The individual will be responsible for actively working with the Food, Families, and Health Unit’s Health and Wellness team to develop educational programs and materials to support team objectives and participating in evaluations to measure the team’s educational impact in health and wellness. This position serves as a content expert to the team and would also be responsible for keeping team members and materials up-to-date on health and wellness issues.

The Health & Wellness Program Specialist identifies, develops, and evaluates a portfolio of educational programs or initiatives for the Health and Wellness Team from conception to evaluation; provides leadership, consultation, program coordination, technical assistance, and related services in the field of health and wellness; functions as an expert in an area of specialization for the team; evaluates and prepares recommendations for ongoing and proposed health and wellness programs; conducts in-services for county-based staff on statewide programs and current health and wellness issues; develops and maintains relationships with academic units, organizations, industry, and agencies to determine programming needs; plans and/or coordinates marketing materials for educational programs and services; prepares and submits various reports, such as program impact sheets and annual reporting.

The position will be located in University Park and will be part of a state team expected to participate in and deliver programs statewide.

Duties and Responsibilities:

The successful candidate is expected to

Possess strong academic preparation in nutrition and/or public health as related to program implementation, health promotion, and chronic disease prevention.

Develop, deliver and evaluate innovative and effective programs to advance human health and nutrition and impact food and nutrition policies in Pennsylvania, the region, and the nation. The desired outcome is improved health status and lower health care costs that ultimately lead to improved quality of life for individuals and families.

Work closely with university-based research faculty to adapt research to develop relevant materials to meet clientele needs.

Provide technical support and training to county-based Extension educators.

Communicate documented impact and public value of Extension programs to stakeholders, including the general public and peers.

Develop collaborations as appropriate with members of the profession and other organizations that support program goals.

Develop health and wellness Extension educational materials, including online delivery.

Effectively communicate and translate scientific information in meetings, guest lectures, and webinars to the public.

Participate in FFH unit, team, and Extension committees and activities as appropriate, and perform other duties as assigned.

Required Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

Preference will be given to candidates with degree(s) in nutrition science with registered dietitian credentials, food science, health education/promotion with a certified health education specialty, family and consumer sciences, or related disciplines, and those that have related work experience in community education. Candidates should have a basic knowledge of and commitment to food and agriculture and enjoy the challenge of working as a team member on a wide variety of educational efforts. Excellent oral and written communication skills, detail-oriented, able to handle non-routine questions and make decisions. Ability to develop curriculum and implement other educational opportunities for health and wellness subject matter areas. Ability to establish and maintain positive relationships with a diverse audience of internal and external stakeholders while maintaining program integrity. Ability to effectively use technology to accomplish health and wellness programming. Ability to write, manage and fulfill grant requirements. Ability to work with minimal supervision, including prioritizing workloads to meet deadlines.

Desired Qualifications:

This position will be filled as a level 3 or 4 depending upon the successful candidate's competencies, education, and experience. A level 3 typically requires a Bachelor's degree or higher plus 4 years of related experience in nutrition, public health, community education or an equivalent combination of education and experience. Additional experience and/or education and competencies are required for higher job classifications and salary bands. Candidates must possess effective communication skills (verbal and written), teaching skills, interpersonal skills, the ability to build effective working relationships with colleagues and clientele, supervision skills, and work as an active member of a team. The candidate must be very organized and able to manage multiple projects simultaneously. The successful candidate must possess skills for excellent teaching, program development, impact evaluation, and grant management. The candidate must demonstrate positive and effective communication skills necessary to engage with industry representatives, local and state government officials, faculty, students, and the general public. Experience or the ability to apply cultural/ethnic principles into extension will be helpful. While not a requirement, the ability to communicate in Spanish is a plus. Desired experience includes: teaching, curriculum development, evaluation, grant management, leadership development, and proficiency in using computer software packages, such as Microsoft programs.

The candidate must be able to carry equipment, educational materials, and supplies, with or without accommodation, and have the ability to travel. This position requires the following clearances: PA State Police Criminal Background Check, PA Child Abuse History Clearance Form, and Federal (FBI) Fingerprint Criminal Background Check. The candidate also must possess a valid driver’s license and have the use of a private vehicle. Since the position requires operating a motor vehicle as part of the job duties, successfully completing a motor vehicle record check will be required in addition to the three clearances. Candidates must also be willing to work flexible hours.

Application requirements: Applicants must submit a cover letter, resume, and 3 samples of products (articles, fact sheets, curriculum lesson, etc.) that they have authored.


Search Job Opportunities