Whitney DePowell, MPH, MCHES
Extension Educator: Food, Families, and Health
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Whitney DePowell, MPH is the Educator for the Food, Families, and Health team
of Penn State Extension. In this role, she is able to extend opportunities
for nutrition and health education, wellness, and physical activity to the
citizens of Adams, Franklin, and York Counties. Her primary Penn State
educational curricula include "Dining with Diabetes," "Totally Veggies,"
"Strong Women," and "Mediterranean Cuisine," but she is also available and
on-call for questions related to diet, health, and physical activity, lending
her expertise on these topics as a source of assistance within the
communities she serves, as well as offering educational outreach statewide.
Mrs. DePowell has long held a passion for food, nutrition, and overall
wellness that has guided her educational and career paths over the years.
Her dual undergraduate degrees were earned from the University of Pittsburgh
in Anthropology and Sociology, with focus areas in human nutrition and health
promotion. During that time, her undergraduate internship was held abroad at
King’s College Hospital in London, England, where she was able to gain new
perspective on dietetic practice in a culture that differs from the US in its
approach to health care and disease prevention. Whitney then earned her
Master of Public Health (MPH) degree from Temple University with a
concentration in Social and Behavioral Science, furthering her study of the
impact of environmental and social factors on health behaviors. While there,
she also was fortunate enough to conduct her graduate externship with the
Youth Programs division of the Central PA Food Bank to expand the reach of
their summer meals program to feed hungry children in Pennsylvania.
Whitney has always been fascinated with the linkage between food,
environment, and behavior, and has sought ways to bridge these concepts to
promote an overall message of good health and wellness. Her professional
background includes serving as the Nutrition Coordinator for Capital Area
Head Start for over eleven years, where she worked with low-income children
and families in Cumberland, Dauphin, and Perry counties to make the concept
of good nutrition both attainable and desirable. Minimizing barriers,
increasing access to healthy food, and educating about good health behaviors
were major charges in her previous role, and she is thrilled to be a part of
the Penn State family in echoing that same message of good health, proper
nutrition, and overall wellness to a wider audience of Pennsylvanians.