The Department of Nutrition and Food Systems at The University of Southern Mississippi recently hosted a group of students from St. Norbert College in Green Bay, Wisconsin as part of a service outreach program.
The trip was made possible through St. Norbert’s T.R.I.P.S. (Turning Responsibility into Powerful Service) program. The program is an alternative break service program that gives students the opportunity to put into action their values, convictions, and religious beliefs through service.
St. Norbert sociology major Olivia Poepping noted that the trip focused on preventative health and health-related initiatives of the Hattiesburg area.
“We spent the months leading up to our trip learning about health disparities, social and biological aspects of disease and specifically, the issues of obesity and the epidemic in our nation,” said Poepping. “We chose to come serve with the United Way of Southern Mississippi, specifically because of The University of Southern Mississippi.”
The T.R.I.P.S. team learned about Southern Miss through its published research on Mississippi’s current health issues.
“When we were looking into where we could go, we found research published by the College of Health that we loved, and we found a newsletter article through the state about how influential The University of Southern Mississippi had been in the state's attempts in fighting obesity,” said Poepping. “By learning about the health initiatives in Hattiesburg at the University and working with the children's after-school program at the Hattiesburg YMCA, we were able to truly learn and serve simultaneously.”
Poepping said the group got to experience Southern hospitality first-hand while gaining important insight that will be beneficial in the students’ educational journey back home.
“It was a spectacular trip and we learned so much. We cannot wait to bring the information back to our own community and pay it forward,” said Poepping.
To learn more about the Department of Nutrition and Food Systems and the College of Health, visit www.usm.edu/coh