Our Staff

Marilyn Csernus

Extension Educator, Nutrition and Wellness

University of Illinois Extension
421 W Pines Rd, Ste 10
Oregon, IL 61061
Phone: 815-732-2191
FAX: 815-732-4007
mcsernus@illinois.edu

As a Nutrition and Wellness Educator, Marilyn Csernus strives to help others improve their health and prevent or manage chronic illness through evidenced based programming. Specific areas of interest include healthy cooking, diabetes prevention and management, heart health and obesity prevention in both children and adults.

Csernus received a bachelor of science degree from Mississippi State University in Foods and Nutrition and a master of science from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Human Nutrition and Foods. She is a registered dietitian and licensed dietitian nutritionist in the state of Illinois. Before joining extension, Csernus worked in acute care hospital settings providing individualized medical nutrition therapy as well as group and community nutrition and wellness programs. Recognizing the increasing numbers of individuals with diabetes and in an effort to be better prepared to help empower these individuals with the knowledge and tools necessary for better self- management, Csernus became a certified diabetes educator, through the National Certification Board of Diabetes Educators. She is a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, American Association of Diabetes Educators and the Illinois Dietetic Association. Interest and concern with the obesity epidemic led Csernus to obtain a Certificate of Training in Adult Weight Management through the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Programs in health promotion, chronic disease prevention and management, and food preparation and safety are offered, targeting the needs of the local communities served. Csernus believes that most everyone has the potential to improve their well-being through healthier food choices and a more active lifestyle, given the proper knowledge and tools.


Program Offerings

I on Diabetes

A series of four 2½ - 3 hour face-to-face sessions designed for anyone interested in preventing or managing diabetes. The program provides information on treatment goals and self-monitoring, carbohydrate counting, heart health,  planning meals, reading food labels and using herbs and spices. Food demonstrations, taste testing, and recipes are provided at each session.

Meals for a Healthy Heart

A two-part face-to-face series that focuses on increasing participant awareness of the major risk factors of coronary heart disease. The series highlights heart healthy foods, menu planning, healthy eating away from home, physical activity and weight management. Food demonstrations, taste testing, and recipes are provided at each session.

Work-site Wellness

Health and Wellness educational topics offered to organizations or businesses to promote health and wellness among their work force. 

Serve it Safely

This 2-4 hour training session is designed for volunteer groups that sell food to the public, often as fundraising methods. To ensure that the food is wholesome, safe and at low-risk for causing foodborne illness, the training session teaches proper planning for food events, preparing, transporting, storing and serving food, sanitation and handling leftovers.

Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) 15-Hour Food Service Sanitation Managers Certification

The IDPH Food Sanitation Code requires food establishments to be under the operational supervision of a certified food service sanitation manager during hours of operation. This course provides the 15 hours of training required by the State of Illinois for the Food Service Managers Certification. Content addresses foodborne pathogens, employee health and personal hygiene, safe handling of food in preparation, serving and storing, sanitation, pest management, and Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP).

Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) Five-Hour Refresher Course

This five-hour training session meets the IDPH requirements for recertification of the Food Service Sanitation Managers Certificate. Content addresses safe handling of food in the preparation, serving, and storing of food with respect to cooking, reheating, holding temperatures, cooling practices, sanitation and personal hygiene.

Food Safety: From Garden Gates to Dinner Plates

This 2 hour workshop includes information regarding the Illinois Cottage Food Operation Law, which allows certain low-risk foods, such as jams and jellies and baked goods to be prepared in the private home and sold at Illinois Farmers Markets.  Home kitchen safety and sanitation practices are reviewed, as well as an illustrated talk on how to safely prepare jams and jellies for sale to the public.  Good agricultural practices and considerations of on-farm production and produce handling are also reviewed.

Yes! You CAN: Preserving Food Safely

This is a one hour educational program is for anyone who preserves food via hot water bath or pressure canning.  Program participants will receive the most up-to-date, scientific methods for preserving food safely, and will be introduced to a variety of research based food preservation resources. Participants have the option to bring in their pressure canner lid and have the dial gauge checked for accuracy.

Variety of Health and Wellness Topics

Other health and wellness topics addressing the interest and needs of the community.