Dr. Christina Jones
Dr. Christina Jones
<b>Department: </b>Nutrition and Health Science<br><b>Research Area: </b>Nutrition and Health Education for under-served audiences, specifically those who rely on food pantries to meet their everyday food needs.<br>

Department: Nutrition and Health Science

Research Focus: Nutrition and Health Education for under-served audiences, specifically those who rely on food pantries to meet their everyday food needs.

Potential Student Project:

  • Students will engage as research assistants on a project that involves phone/virtual interviews with the program directors of the major food banks across Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin, to learn more about the food distribution, organizational practices, and clientele of the school-based food pantries that operate in their Students will help in aligning interviewees, conducting interviews, and analyzing the results.
  • Students will engage as research assistants on the Cardinal Wellness community The program, which meets twice a week in two community locations, provides free exercise (Zumba) class, nutrition education class, and physical assessments (blood pressure, hand grip strength, BMI, etc.) to Muncie families. Students will help in program administration, developing fitting nutrition education curricula, collecting data from participants, and outreach to community partners.

Attributes/skills/background sought in undergraduate:


  • Oral and written communication skills (both speaking and listening!)
  • Comfort in speaking in front of small groups and on the phone to unfamiliar others
  • Some knowledge of web-based communication systems (Skype)
  • Ability to create and navigate Excel files for data management


  • Some basic, introductory knowledge of nutrition, health, and/or the emergency food assistance system

Mentoring Plan: I've mentored many students as part of the Cardinal Wellness program, and most would speak to the importance of commitment, professionalism, and good communication. I expect my students to serve as professional representatives of the organization to community members at all times. It is equally important to follow through with commitments, as in many cases, other researchers on the team will be relying on the work of the student to permit their own involvement with participants or their own analysis of incoming data. Students should expect to attend project team meetings bi-weekly, as well as meeting with me individually as needed. I expect my students to be great communicators - to others on the project team, to our community members, and to me. Students should be okay with some level of flexibility, as community-based research doesn't always fit perfectly to plan. Lastly, students shouldn't feel hesitant to ask questions. I view them as the right hand to my community engagement!

Students can expect clarity in expectations and deadlines for work. I'm frequently accessible, if not on campus by phone or email. They will also be heavily involved in the production of 'outputs' of the research, including conference presentations and manuscripts from publication. My students currently serve as co-authors of this scholarship, and I feel like it's exceptionally important for their involvement to benefit them as much as other researchers.

Contact: 765-285-5464/765-418-3737, HB 534