Jillian Jackson has a background in Kinesiology from the College of William and Mary and has always been passionate about the cooking experience. Her concentration at the Colorado School of Public Health is nutrition, and she supports her interests with both employment and volunteer activities.

As the sous chef at foodies! Culinary Academy, she instructs cooking classes to children and adults of all ages. Jillian believes that if children learn how to make their own food, they will inherently make healthier food choices over their lifespan. During cooking classes, she not only teaches basic knife and food preparation skills but also discusses nutrition information and unique ways to encorporate every food group into a meal.

Jillian also enjoys volunteering in the community and stimulating the local food system. She is an integral part of the Education Outreach Committee at Mulberry Community Gardens (MCG)—a part of the nonprofit 21st Century Gardens, which seeks to engage children in educational garden experiences across all school subjects. She completed her CSPH practicum at MCG in Spring 2013 by enhancing organizational capacity and developing a garden project for children visiting the garden in the summer. MCG has presented Jillian with numerous opportunities to educate children in the garden, and she would like to continue her public health career connecting children to their food.

CSPH has provided Jillian a rich experience in exercising public health skills, such as program development, grant writing, and evaluation. She is currently working on her Capstone project in Summer 2013 and will be graduating in Fall 2013. She plans on continuing her work with gardening and cooking with children.