Community Event Requests

The Michael & Susan Dell Center for Healthy Living is happy to participate in various school and community events whenever possible.  

At past events we have:

  • distributed healthy living tips and information,
  • led games and activities to promote healthy eating and physical activity, and 
  • provided public talks or presentations on our various projects and research activities.  

To request Center participation at your event, please fill out the Community Event Request Form, and representatives from the Center will be in touch with you soon.


Internship Opportunities at the Center for Healthy Living

Throughout the year, the Center provides various opportunities for graduate and undergraduate students to intern (unpaid) with our ongoing projects and initiatives. Past volunteers have assisted with:

  • data collection (surveys, height/weight measurement, focus groups or interviews) and analysis (quantitative, qualitative, GIS) for our research projects,
  • program implementation (curriculum development and trainings) for our research projects, and
  • preparations for Center events (Lectureship in Child Health, Texas Health Champion Award Ceremony).

We can accept a limited number of unpaid interns each semester based on the number of projects that have opportunities available.  Current opportunities are listed below.  To apply for an internship, complete the Center Intern Application and send with your resume to the contact listed below. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis until available opportunities are filled.

Please note, non-UTSPH or UT-Austin students must complete additional paperwork and a background check prior to working, and this could take up to 2 months to complete.


Current Opportunities

Project: Food Retail: Evaluating Strategies for a Healthy Austin (FRESH Austin)

Description:  The purpose of the FRESH Austin project is to evaluate the City of Austin’s Fresh for Less initiative. The goal is to understand how inter-related and inter-dependent food access interventions can lead to sustainable solutions that promote health and increase economic opportunities. 400 participants will be recruited into the study and followed for three years. Participants will complete an annual survey on food purchasing, consumption, and associated behaviors, as well as answer questions on food security and transportation. Accelerometer and GPS data will be collected from a subsample to assess travel behaviors to determine interactions with new food access points. Environmental audits will also be conducted around the new food access points. This position would help prepare materials for data collection, assist with data collection, assist with environmental audits, help with data processing, literature reviews, and presentations.

Time Period:  Spring 2019, Summer 2019, Fall 2020, Spring 2020, Summer 2020

Location: Austin

Principal Investigator: Dr. Alexandra van den Berg

Contact:  Aida Nielsen (Project Director) at Aida.Alibegovic@uth.tmc.edu 

UNPAID


Project: 2019-2020 School Physical Activity and Nutrition (SPAN) Project

Description:  

The SPAN Project is a surveillance system that monitors the nutrition, physical activity, and body size of school children in Texas via self-reported student and parent surveys, and body mass index (BMI).  Students in 2nd, 4th, 8th, and 11 grades are asked to participate in the project. Data collected during the SPAN Project is used to report regional and state-wide findings as well as to advise and improve child health programs and policy. Data will be collected during the 2019 – 2020 academic school year across Texas.  This is a unique opportunity to gain experience in large scale population-based research.

SPAN is funded by the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) and conducted by research staff at UTHealth, University of Texas School of Public Health, Austin Regional Campus.

Notable Facts: 

  • SPAN is the official state-wide obesity surveillance for Texas
  • Texas is the only state in the US that collects this objective and comprehensive child health information
  • This repeated cross-sectional study has been conducted since 2000
  • 2019 – 2020 will be the 5th installment of SPAN
  • Data collected is generalizable for Texas, by Health Service Region, and Border / non-Border
  • Over 80,000 students, parents, and school administrators have participated thus far

Measurements Conducted in SPAN:

  • Survey with 4th, 8th, 11th grade students and parents of 2nd graders
  • Student height and body composition
  • Vending machine audit
  • School health policy survey
  • Healthy signage observation

Learning Objectives:

  • Obtain human subject certification (CITI)
  • Certification in survey administration, anthropometry (height and weight measurements)
  • Assist with recruitment (relationship building with districts, schools, and project partners)
  • How to conduct accurate and robust research
  • Data preparation, collection, and quality control
  • Data cleaning and analysis
  • Assemble reports and presentations
  • Spanish speaking skills are helpful but not mandatory

Time Period:  Spring 2019, Summer 2019, Fall 2019, Spring 2020, Summer 2020, Fall 2020, Spring 2021

Location: Austin, Amarillo, Brownsville, Dallas, El Paso, Houston, Laredo, Lubbock, Midland/Odessa, San Antonio, Tyler, anywhere in Texas that has participating schools! NOTE: Those residing in cities outside of Austin may be limited to Fall 2019, Spring 2020, or Summer 2020 internship.

Principal Investigator: Dr. Deanna Hoelscher

Contact:  Carolyn Smith (Project Coordinator) at Carolyn.L.Smith@uth.tmc.edu 

UNPAID


Project: Food and Climate Addendum to the City of Austin Net Zero Community Climate Plan

Description:  

The purpose of this project is to add food system strategies to the existing City of Austin Net Zero Community Climate Plan. We will conduct focus groups using semi-structured interview techniques, present to community stakeholders, and develop materials to address issues of access and inequality. Results of these activities will be incorporated into the Food and Climate Addendum/Recommendation and presented to the City of Austin Council for consideration. This position will help prepare materials for data collection, assist with conducting focus groups, and work on data processing, literature reviews and presentations.

Time Period:  Spring 2019

Location: Austin, TX

Contact:  Christine Jovanovic (Research Assistant) at Christine.E.Jovanovic@uth.tmc.edu 

UNPAID


Project: Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Training Program

Description:  

The MCH Training Program is funded by the Title V Block Grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and is a collaboration between the UTHealth School of Public Health and the School of Social Work at Grant Valley State University in Michigan.

The MCH Training Program provides education, both online and in-person, for MCH professionals. The online training modules make continuing education accessible for MCH professionals who serve diverse MCH populations in isolated, geographic and rural areas. The program collaborates with community organizations to assess the most pertinent training needs of the MCH workforce and then develops specialized, interdisciplinary training modules. The trainings are approved by the Texas Department of State Health Services for continuing education units for community health workers.

Learning Objectives:

  • Improve communication skills through conducting outreach, promotion, and dissemination activities with partners in Texas, Michigan, and other states in HRSA Region VI
  • Polish organizational skills through involvement with project management activities such as quality improvement, sustainability, evaluation, etc.
  • Learn about leading topics in MCH and the public health workforce through content development, needs assessments, etc.

Time Period:  Pending program needs, but apply for the following semesters: Spring 209, Summer 2019, Fall 2019, Spring 2020

Location: Austin, TX

Principal Investigator: Dr. Courtney Byrd-Williams

Contact:  Cristell Perez, MPH (Program Manager) at Cristell.A.Perez@uth.tmc.edu and MCH@uth.tmc.edu.

UNPAID


 Additional questions about internship opportunities should be directed to Kelsey Herron at Kelsey.D.Herron@uth.tmc.edu

We also have opportunities for community members to volunteer with our Community Collaborative for Child Health. Please see the Collaborative's website for more information on meetings and activities. If you would like to get involved with the Collaborative, please email ChildHealthCollaborative@uth.tmc.edu.