Extension Professional Staff
Extension Educator, Nutrition and Wellness
Henry/Mercer/Rock Island/Stark Unit
321 W 2nd Avenue
Milan, IL 61264
Expert in: School Health, Local Foods/Slow Food, Heart Health, Program Planning, Food Safety/Preservation
Kristin Bogdonas believes that everyone deserves access to fresh, affordable food and is committed to helping people improve their health literacy. In this digital age it can be difficult to decipher what nutrition information is accurate and what is hype. Connecting people with factual information and evidenced-based programs will help people build the skills and attain the knowledge necessary for positive behavior change. Although nutrition is important for a long and healthy life, one should not overlook the other dimensions of health required for overall wellbeing; physical, mental, emotional, vocational, spiritual, environmental and social. Each dimension impacting the next.
Bogdonas earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Family and Consumer Sciences with an emphasis in Food, Nutrition and Dietetics from Illinois State University. She then went on to earn her post-graduate degree in the Master of Public Health program at Southern Illinois University-Carbondale. During her graduate studies, she instructed Foundations of Human Health, and was employed by the Center for Rural Health and Social Service Development where she worked with the Illinois CATCH onto Health! Consortium and the CATCH onto Health! grant. Her main priorities were nutrition education and research/evaluation. Her collaboration on research regarding menu labeling as well as a case study on the CATCH onto Health! Consortium was presented at the 2013 Robert D. Russell Symposium. She is currently a member of the Illinois Alliance to Prevent Obesity workgroup, Local Food Systems/Food Access.
Bogdonas’s special interests include farm-to-institution, promoting a ‘slow food’ mentality, food safety, food preservation, improving food access and living sustainably. A long-term goal is to create a generation of conscious consumers and promote the local economy and local food movement by improving students’ food experiences through hands-on, evidence-based programming that is fun and innovative. She prefers to reach her audiences through face-to-face, interactive programming and social media outlets.