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Community & Public Health

Dr. Christine M. Porter, PhD

Christine M. Porter, Wyoming Excellence Chair in Community & Public Health (B.S. Biology, University of Maryland; M.A. Education and International Development: Health Promotion, Institute of Education/University of London, UK; Ph.D. Community Nutrition, Cornell University).   Dr. Porter’s research in the 2017-2018 academic year has focused mainly on three projects. One was finishing the five-year, $5-million Food Dignity project. This included co-editing a 21-paper special issue of a journal devoted to the processes and results of that project (see https://doi.org/10.5304/jafscd.2018.08A.020) and authoring or co-authoring 10 of those papers. She and her team also launched a new website with their processes and results (see www.fooddignity.org).  That project funded the equivalent of 2 full time jobs in Wyoming over 7 years and supported five students who graduated with masters from UW. Another project has been continuing the NIH-funded randomized controlled trial of the health impacts of gardens. That project is called Growing Resilience. With the help of several partner organizations in Wind River Indian Reservation, the recruitment of a total of 96 families is complete and the bulk of the data gathering and garden provision has been completed. That project will run until early 2021, and is supporting the equivalent of three full time jobs in Wyoming. Porter’s third project area has been investing in action and in grant proposal development to increase health sciences education and research pathways between UW, CWC and Wind River Indian Reservation communities. Overall, her work has helped to raise Wyoming’s national profile in community food systems, food security, Native American health equity, and participatory action research. Dr. Porter focuses on bringing those issues and topics to students in the classroom, which she does in her own courses and as a frequently invited guest to dozens of classes across campus. Dr. Porter has been able to bring her national perspective and connections to students in classrooms at UW while offering them hands-on action and research experiences locally. In turn, they have taught her about community health in Wyoming and the region, lessons she strives to bring back to guide and to integrate with her teaching, research and service.

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