Extension Professional Staff
Extension Educator, SNAP-Ed
Extension and Outreach - Interdisciplinary Programs
520 Bevier Hall MC-184
905 S Goodwin Ave
Urbana, IL 61801
Expert in: Food Budgeting, Food Preparation/Demonstration, Cultural Foods, Overweight/Obesity Prevention, Focus Group/Discussion Group Facilitation, Health Behavior
In 2015, Whitney Ajie began the role of project manager for the ABCs of School Nutrition program for University of Illinois Extension, leading coordination of training and professional development for school nutrition professionals across Illinois in partnership with the Illinois State Board of Education.
Before this role, Whitney served as a SNAP-Ed Extension Educator for the Illinois Nutrition Education Programs serving Logan, Menard, and Sangamon counties from 2013-2015. She concentrated on creating or improving wellness policies and programs that served low-income or limited-resource schools and communities, primarily those with high proportions of low-income students or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients. Her activities included partnering with local agencies, coalitions, and schools to better serve limited-resource communities in regard to health and wellness, and to facilitate research-based programming that helped families improve their food choices, food shopping and preparation skills, and physical activity. She also concentrated on changing the school health environment by getting involved with district and school wellness committees to provide education, best practices, and leadership to change school and classroom wellness policies and practices.
Whitney earned her B.A. degree in Anthropology from Harvard University. Before beginning graduate school, she served as a substitute teacher and private tutor in her hometown of College Station, Texas. While nutrition and physical activity had always been a lifelong priority, this experience sparked her interest in education. In 2013, she completed a Master of Science degree in Nutritional Sciences, with a focus on Nutrition Education, from the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. She is a member of the Society of Nutrition Education and Behavior.
Whitney strongly believes that you can adopt a healthful lifestyle by incorporating small changes little by little. She also believes that eating healthfully can be affordable and easy and is an advocate and collector of quick, low-cost meals. She loves sweets and desserts and therefore advocates that all foods can fit into a healthful diet if moderation is practiced! She also loves cooking, hiking, BBQ, road trips, festivals, farmers' markets, and living in a state with all four seasons!
Logan County Excellence in School Wellness Award