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Wellness Champions for Change

About Us

Wellness Champions for Change Logo‌Wellness Championsfor Change (WCC) is a five year project funded by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). This project has two main goals: to bring together teams of teachers, administrators, staff and parents to carry out the school system’s wellness policy, and to empower students to advocate for a health-promoting school environment and encourage their peers to make healthy decisions. We will examine the impact of these efforts on student diet, physical activity and obesity. In this project, we will work with elementary and middle schools throughout the state of Maryland.

The overall goal of the Wellness Champions for Change project is to create health-promoting school environments that support healthy growth and aid in the prevention of childhood obesity.  Our approach involves enhancing school-level wellness policy implementation through training teachers and students to be Wellness Champions (WC) and providing technical assistance to schools and school systems. This project is funded by the United States Department of Agriculture.


  • Evaluate the impact of a school-based intervention (to enhance implementation of LWP’s) on health behaviors (diet and physical activity ) and weight status of elementary and middle school students
  • Evaluate the added impact of a student-led school based intervention
  • Examine factors in the home and school-neighborhood environments that moderate the impact of the intervention on health behavior and weight status
  • Examine the reach and fidelity of the intervention when disseminated

Visit our website for more information 

Project Coordinator



Rachel Deitch, M.S, CHES
Project Coordinator 

University of Maryland, School of Medicine



The Team

The Team

Erin Hager, Ph.D.
Principal Investigator 

University of Maryland, School of Medicine

Hannah Lane, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow
University of Maryland, School of Medicine

Research Assistants

Perri Carroll
Taylor Sheldon

Volunteer & Internship Opportunities

Why Volunteer

Reasons to Volunteer or Intern:

  • Be involved in cutting edge research
  • Strengthen your resume
  • Publication opportunities
  • Improve your interpersonal skills
  • Gain an understanding of how to conduct community research
  • Potentially earn credits for school
  • It's fun!

Volunteer Duties

The types of duties an internship might entail:

  • Recruiting participants
  • Scheduling interviews, making appointments, and contacting participants
  • Helping facilitate parent groups on topics pertaining to nutrition, physical activity, parenting skills, and child safety
  • Conducting participant interviews
  • Classroom set up
  • Collecting data
  • Filing and other office duties
  • Data entry and analysis


If you'd like to apply for an internship or volunteer position, please email Rachel Deitch.

If interested internship positions, please send resume or CV to:   

Rachel Deitch
Wellness Champions for Change, Project Coordinator
University of Maryland, School of Medicine
Department of Pediatrics
737 West Lombard Street
Baltimore, MD 21201