Food Safety and Quality/Food, Families, and Health Extension Educator

  • Full-time
  • University Park, PA
  • posted February 18, 2023
Penn State Extension

Community Nutritionist

Position Description:
The College of Agricultural Sciences is seeking an Extension Educator trained in food science and/or community nutrition/health education to join our nationally recognized Penn State Extension Food Safety and Quality (FSQ) and Food, Families, and Health (FFH) Units. The position will be responsible for actively working with Extension program teams to identify important human health and food safety issues, learning objectives, develop educational events and materials to support the learning objectives, and utilize evaluations to measure program success. The position also supervises program assistants and volunteers who teach health and wellness and food safety programs on behalf of Extension. This position will be responsible for supervising FFH Extension interns during the summer months. The successful candidate will need to develop and/or participate in collaborations across multiple disciplines, agencies, departments, colleges, and institutions.

Competitive candidates will have a general understanding of human health and food safety issues related to food and community education. Team members are expected to work closely with university faculty and staff to develop and conduct applied research that is relevant to target audience needs. The individual must be able to work effectively in a team and with diverse populations and audiences. The successful candidate will need to develop and/or participate in collaborations across multiple disciplines, departments, colleges, and institutions.

All team members are expected to participate in the development of a diverse external funding portfolio (e.g. grants, contracts, cost recovery, development), in support of the team’s programs. The individual will be expected to develop original content to engage audiences through innovative educational methods such as online courses, videos, mobile apps, and electronic publications, in addition to traditional publications and in-person presentations. It is expected that the individual in the position will be able to provide educational programming with the goal of improving human health and well-being to reduce the incidence and risk of chronic diseases and foodborne illnesses. As a result of educational programs, measurable improvements in health conditions or other indicators, such as increase numbers of people who make healthier food choices, save money on food purchases, improve food resource management practices, increase improvements in medical screenings, and decrease the number of people who are affected by foodborne illnesses and chronic diseases will be critical outcomes. Success in this educational program will allow Pennsylvanians to have an improved health status, enhanced life skills needed for self-sufficiency, better health and lower health care and medical costs.

The position will be responsible for FSQ training programs and product development (ex. videos, publications, curricula) in support of our ServSafe™, Cooking for Crowds, Home Food Preservation, Food for Profit, and Farmers Market Food Safety programs. For FFH, the candidate will be responsible for developing and delivering Health and Wellness Team products, and serving as a FFH peer reviewer.

Position location: The individual will be located at University Park (Office location: Department of Food Science, University Park, PA) and they will be expected to provide FSQ programming in Centre, Mifflin, Juniata, Clearfield, and Clinton Counties, FFH programming in Centre County, while also part of a state program team that is expected to participate and deliver programs statewide.

Penn State Extension is an organization on the move and a leader in research and learning innovation. We welcome all applicants interested in working together to create new and innovative programs capable of making a lasting and positive difference for the residents of Pennsylvania and beyond.
Desired Qualifications:
This position will be filled as a level three or four depending upon the successful candidate's competencies, education, and experience. This position typically requires a Master's degree or higher plus two years of related experience, or an equivalent combination of education and experience for a level 3 Extension educator. Additional experience and/or education and competencies are required for higher level jobs. Serv Safe Training Certification is required. Preference will be given to candidates with degree(s) in food or nutritional sciences, registered dietitian credentials, health education/promotion with a certified health education specialty, family and consumer sciences or related disciplines, and those that have related teaching experience in 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. 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 candidate must be able to carry equipment, and educational materials and supplies, with or without accommodation, and have the ability to travel.

Desired experience includes teaching, curriculum development, evaluation, supervision of program assistants, grant management, report writing, leadership development, and proficiency in use of computer software packages, such as Microsoft programs. 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.

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 use of a private vehicle. Since the position requires operating a motor vehicle as part of the job duties, successful completion of a motor vehicle records check will be required in addition to the three clearances.

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