Hannah Isabel Shai, an extension agent for the Nutrition and Health Program under Northern Marianas College’s Cooperative Research, Extension, and Education Services, has been selected by the Children's Healthy Living Program (CHL) to be the CNMI scholar for the CHL Food Systems Training Program (CHL FST). Specifically, Shai will work towards obtaining her Ph.D in Nutritional Sciences.
The objective of the CHL FST is to develop and train the future workforce and collaborators in food and nutrition resiliency and security (food system resiliency) for health in the US Affiliated Pacific.
The program addresses the need to establish the next generation of professionals in the US Affiliated Pacific equipped with the skills to address food system resiliency. It will recruit and fund graduate assistantships for a student from or who can demonstrate a commitment to serve in Alaska, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, or Hawaiʻi to complete a Nutritional Sciences masters or doctorate degree at University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa.
As part of the program, Shai will receive a graduate assistantship that includes a full tuition waiver to the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, work in the CHL Center Food Systems Program Extension Center to assist with implementation of pilot programs in food systems across the US Affiliated Pacific, and receive up to $12,000 to complete thesis/dissertation research in the CNMI that examines components of the CHL Food Systems model.
Shai said that she is humbled by this opportunity to represent the CNMI in the field of nutrition science.
“It truly takes a village and I am forever grateful for those who guide me, inspire me, and encourage my growth,” Shai said. “I look forward to working with pacific island populations towards improved food and nutrition security. But most of all, I am eager to return home to continue to promote and advocate for a healthier CNMI.”
Patty Coleman, Interim Dean of NMC-CREES & CHL Lead Site Investigator said that she and the team are proud of Shai.
“Hannah has and continues to demonstrate her commitment to promoting health and improving health outcomes in the CNMI throughout her career at CHCC and more recently at NMC CREES. We look forward to seeing her persevere throughout her doctoral studies and to her eventual return to our community,” Coleman said.
NMC-CREES provides research and technical advice in the fields of agriculture, aquaculture, natural resources, community and youth development, health, and nutrition that is locally sustainable, environmentally safe, and economically feasible, in order to enhance the well-being and improve the quality of life of the people living in the CNMI. For more information, visit crees.marianas.edu.