"Alicia Powers Furman University"

Alicia Powers, associate professor in the Health Sciences Department, joined the Furman faculty in 2007. Powers teaches the Research and Evaluation course as well as the Advanced Nutrition Course for the Health Sciences Department. In addition, she serves as the Health Sciences Majors Club advisor and involves more than 25 students each year in her research and service projects.

Powers also serves as the principal investigator for LiveWell Greenville. LiveWell Greenville is a partnership of dozens of public and private organizations that aims to make Greenville County a healthier place to live, work and play. Formed five years ago by a partnership between YMCA of Greenville, Furman University, Greenville Hospital System and Piedmont Health Foundation, the coalition has engaged more than 100 key partners in crafting plans to create policies, systems and environments in our community to make living well easier. From grassroots efforts, to specific partner projects, to county-level initiatives, LiveWell Greenville works on all levels to improve the health of Greenville residents. Powers serves as the evaluation consultant for all projects associated with LiveWell Greenville and has helped garner more than $3 million dollars in funds to support LiveWell’s work.

Powers graduated summa cum laude with a BS in Nutrition and Food Science from Auburn University. She then completed her MS in Nutrition and Food Science with an emphasis in Sports Nutrition at Auburn University. Her thesis research was entitled, “Investigation of Nutrition Education’s Influence on Student Nutrition Knowledge and Behavior.” While pursuing her MS, Powers served as a Graduate Research Assistant with the Alabama Cooperative Extension Nutrition Education Program where she assisted in the evaluation. Powers received her PhD in Nutrition and Food Systems with a focus in Public Health Nutrition and Community Based Participatory Research at The University of Southern Mississippi. Her dissertation research was entitled, “Process Evaluation of Fit for Life Steps, a Community Based Participatory Research Project.” While pursuing her PhD, Powers served as a graduate Research Assistant with the Lower Mississippi Delta Nutrition Intervention Research Initiative and served as an adjunct instructor for the Department of Nutrition and Food Systems. She also served as an adjunct instructor for the Department of Biological Sciences at Pearl River Community College, Forrest County Campus. Her husband, Sam, is a firefighter for the City of Greenville. They have a son, Cole, and a Golden Retriever, Timber.

Name Title Description

HSC-101

Wellness Concepts

Wellness concepts which promote lifetime fitness and healthy lifestyle habits. Topics include: aerobic and muscular conditioning, nutrition, and medical aspects of fitness. Participation in activities to develop cardio-respiratory endurance, muscular strength and endurance, and flexibility.

HSC-201

Research & Evaluation in HSC

Principles of research relevant to health and exercise science focusing on methodology, measurement, and statistical techniques used in the analysis and interpretation of human performance data. Integration of statistical software functions and communication technology used for problem solving. It is recommended that this course be enrolled early in the major.

HSC-415

Advanced Nutrition Principles

Integration of principles of nutrition, etiology of prevalent chronic diseases, exercise physiology and physiology of aging with the purpose of preventing and managing prevalent chronic diseases, optimizing human performance and maximizing quality of life throughout the life cycle.

  • Powers, A., Cone, L., Smith, S., Cooke, A., Gunasekera, A., Byess, M., Mangum, J. (In progress). Comparison of food purchasing choices of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program participants and non‐participants. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior.
  • Lyerly, R., Powers, A. (In progress). Reliability and validity of community resident and researcher completed Walking and Biking Suitability Assessments in an African American community. Journal of Physical Activity and Health.
  • Reed, J., Powers, A., Greenwood, M. Smith, W., Underwood, R. (2011). Using point of decision messages to intervene on college students’ eating behaviors. American Journal of Health Promotion, 25, 298‐300.
  • Zoellner J., Connell, C., Powers, A., Williams‐Avis, A., Yadrick, K., Bogle, ML. (2010). Does a 6‐month pedometer intervention improve physical activity and health among vulnerable African Americans? A feasibility study. Journal of Physical Activity and Health, 7, 224‐231.
  • Zoellner, J., Powers, A., Avis‐Williams, A., Ndirangu, M., Yadrick, K. (2009). Compliance and acceptability of maintaining a 6‐month pedometer diary in a rural, African American community‐based walking intervention. Journal of Physical Activity and Health, 6, 475‐482.
  • Zoellner, J., Connell, C., Santell, R., Fungwe, T., Strickland, E., Avis, A., Yadrick, K., Lofton, K., Rowser, M., Powers, A., Lucas, G., Bogle, M. (2007). Fit for Life Steps: Results of a community walking intervention in the rural Mississippi Delta. Progress in Community Health Partnerships: Research, Education, and Action, 1, 49‐60.
  • Powers, A., Struempler, B., Guarino, A., Parmer, S. (2005). Effects of nutrition education on second and third grade students’ dietary behavior and nutrition knowledge. Journal of School Health, 75, 129‐133.
  • Struempler, B., Powers (Raby), A. (2005). Pizza Please: An interactive nutrition evaluation for second and third grade students. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, 37, 94‐95.
  • Eck, S., Struempler, B., Powers (Raby), A. (2005). Once Upon a Time in America: An interactive nutrition evaluation. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, 37, 46‐47.

Students can get involved with any research/service I am conducting by volunteering with my current research/service projects and by working during the summer. If you are interested in any of these options, please contact me.

My current research/service focuses on policy, system and environmental approaches to combat obesity rates in Greenville County. As a result, the majority of my professional activity occurs in partnership with LiveWell Greenville (www.livewellgreenville.org). LiveWell Greenville is a comprehensive policy, system and environmental approach to combat childhood obesity in Greenville County. This coalition's work focuses its efforts in eight workgroups:

  • At Mealtime (Access to Healthy Foods)
  • For Fun (Access to Parks and Other Recreation Facilities)
  • Around Town (Active and Public Transit)
  • At the Doctor (Healthcare)
  • At Worship (Faith-based)
  • Out of School
  • At School
  • At Work

In addition, the leadership team and communications team oversee needs of all workgroups. Powers serves in multiple capacities for this organization, but will highlight her work as the evaluation liaison. Some examples of evaluation activities associated with LiveWell Greenville and its workgroups are highlighted below.

At Mealtime. Evaluation efforts of this workgroup have focused on determination of food deserts in Greenville County as well as evaluation of a specific project associated with workgroup activity.

The Nutrition Environment Measures Survey (NEMS) project measures availability, pricing and quality of specific healthy and regular items within stores and restaurants. A composite score is computed for each store or restaurant, which can then be used for comparisons and mapping. The County of Greenville NEMS will be completed in Summer 2013. Presentations have been made at the South Carolina Clinical and Translational Research Scientific Obesity Retreat, Piedmont Health Foundation Board Meeting, and Furman Engaged.

  • a)
  • Lipham, L., Powers, A. (2012). Determination of food deserts in Greenville County. Piedmont Health Foundation Board Meeting. Greenville, SC. (PDF – PFH 2012)
  • Edmonds, C., Powers, A. (2012) Evaluation of food accessibility in a community in Greenville, South Carolina. Furman Engaged Poster Presentation. Furman University, SC. (PDF – FU 2012a)
  • Edmonds, C., Schill, B., Powers, A. (2012) Determination of food deserts in two communities in Greenville, South Carolina. Furman Engaged Poster Presentation. Furman University, SC. (PDF – FU 2012b)
  • )

LiveWell Greenville Access to Healthy Foods workgroup, the Greenville County Recreation District (GCRD), Rhino Concessions and Furman University partnered to increase the number of healthy menu options and marketing of healthy menu options at waterparks operated by GCRD. After receiving a grant from the Piedmont Health Foundation, the partners worked together to identify healthy products, highlight these products with the LiveWell Greenville logo on newly designed menu boards, and advertise these products through point-of-purchase promotions. The purpose of the study was to determine if an increase in the variety, menu labeling, targeted advertising, taste testing and/or coupon promotions of healthy menu options at waterparks influenced the purchase of healthy menu options. Results from this study were presented at the South Carolina Clinical and Translational Research Scientific Obesity Retreat. This work will be expanded to other settings in the near future.

  • Burt, D., Powers, A. (2012). Healthier concession options at Greenville County water parks. South Carolina Clinical and Translational Research Scientific Retreat on Obesity, Charleston, SC. (PDF – SCTR 2012b)

Out of School. The LiveWell Out of School pilot initiative was launched in August 2011 in nine facilities operated by five of the largest out of school providers in the County. A pre-assessment and post-assessment framed this pilot. After modifying the Nutrition and Physical Activity Self-Assessment for Child Care (NAP SACC), a front line staff member and administrator of the out of school providers involved in the pilot initiative completed the NAP SACC as the pre-assessment. This particular instrument gauged environments and policies that might support or deter healthy eating and physical activity while at the out of school facility. Based on the report from the pre-assessment findings, LiveWell Greenville provided technical assistance during an action planning stage to determine policies or environments that could be changed to promote healthy eating and active living at the out of school facility. After a one year period of implementation for the action plan, a front line staff member and administrator of the out of school providers involved in the pilot completed the NAP SACC as a post-assessment in September 2012. Findings from the post-assessments will be used to gauge success of each facility but also success of the pilot initiative. Plans are underway to expand this pilot to 60 out of school providers in the County of Greenville as a result of the funding received by the Community Transformation Grant Small Communities Program.

At School. Assessment activities are just beginning for the efforts occurring the Greenville County School District (GCSD) concerning healthy eating and active living. LiveWell Greenville recently garnered support from GCSD to conduct a repeat of the 2008 Greenville County Childhood Obesity Study that provided the impetus for LiveWell Greenville. At the beginning of the 2011 academic year, Culinary Creations Initiative (CCI) was implemented in 11 elementary schools. This effort focuses on improving the school nutrition environment through policy changes targeting the cafeteria, classroom incentives and fundraising events in elementary schools. At the beginning of the 2012 academic year, CCI was implemented in an additional 18 elementary schools. The Elementary Student Body Mass Index (BMI) and School Environment Study will begin in October 2012. Presentations of training protocols were provided to physical education teachers and school nurses, who will be assisting in data collection for this study.

  • Powers, A. (2012). How to do a BMI. The Epidemic of Obesity: What Can a School Nurse Do? Greenville Hospital System University Medical Center, Greenville, SC. (PDF - GHS 2012)
  • Powers, A., The, N. (2012) BMI and the school environment. Greenville County School District Physical Educator Summer Training, Greenville, SC.

LiveWell. The following presentations were provided in various settings to describe the scope of LiveWell's work, the evaluation framework used for LiveWell Greenville and other projects that resulted from work associated with LiveWell Greenville.

  • Powers, A., Dunlap, E. (2012). LiveWell Greenville: Making the Healthy Choice the Easy Choice. South Carolina Clinical and Translational Research Scientific Retreat on Obesity, Charleston, SC. (PDF – SCTR 2012c)
  • Powers, A. Lyerly, R., Manley, M. (2012). Sociodemographic, health and environmental characteristics of a minority, low income community in suburban southeast. Active Living Research Annual Meeting, San Diego, CA. (PDF – AL
  • R 20
  • 12)
  • Powers,
  • A. (2012). LiveWell Greenville Evaluation. Furman University Board of Trustees Committee on Academic Affairs, Furman University, SC. (PDF – FU 2012c)
  • Powers, A. (2012). LiveWell Greenville Evaluation. Furman University Faculty Retreat, Furman University, SC.
  • Powers, A. (2011). The evolution of Gardening for Good. Launch of Gardening for Good – Greenville's Community Garden Network, Greenville, SC.
  • Splittgerber, A., Dunlap, E., Powers, A., (2010). Improving healthy eating and active living. (2010). Eat Smart Move More South Carolina Community Workshop, Clemson, SC. (PDF – ESMMSC
  • 2010)
  • Perry, L., Powers, A. (2009). Activate South Carolina's impact on weight, body mass index and physical activity participation. South Carolina Public Health Association Annual meeting, Myrtle Beach, SC. Awarded Delta Omega Outstanding Abstract and Norman J. Arnold School of Public Health Outstanding Student Abstract. (PDF – SCPHA 2009)
  • Perry, L., Powers, A. (2009). Activate South Carolina's impact on weight, body mass index and physical activity participation. Furman Engaged Poster Presentation. Furman University, SC. (PDF – FU 2009)

Much of my previous research included an emphasis on influencing obesity rates but with a greater emphasis on program development, implementation and evaluation. Some of these projects included:

Comparison of purchasing choices of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP – formerly the Food stamp Program) participants and non-SNAP participants

  • Many student research assistants assisted in this work in which we partnered with a local supermarket chain to obtain data on any items purchased in March 2008. The local supermarket chain provided information on frequency of purchase of items by SNAP participants and non-SNAP participants. Student research assistants gathered nutrition information on all food items purchased. Currently, analysis to allow for comparison of food groups and nutrient density within the food groups between SNAP participants and non-SNAP participants is underway. This research will provide information that has not yet been reported in order to better inform policies influencing SNAP distribution.
  • Cooke, A., Gunasekera, A., Byess, M., Mangum, J., Powers, A. (2011). Access to Food in Greenville County, SNAP. Furman Engaged Oral Presentation. Furman University, SC. (PDF – FU 2011b)
  • Cone, L., Smith, S., Powers, A. (2009). Food purchasing choices of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participants in Greenville County, South Carolina. Society of Nutrition Education Annual Meeting, New Orleans, LA. Juried abstract published in: Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior.(PDF – SNE 2009)
  • Cone, L., Smith, S., Power, A. (2009) Food purchasing choices and subsequent nutrient density of Food Stamp Program participants in Greenville, South Carolina. Furman Engaged Poster Presentation. Furman University, SC. (PDF- FU 2009b)

Other research at Furman University with colleagues or undergraduate students

  • Reed, J., Powers, A., Greenwood, M. Smith, W., Underwood, R. (2011). Using point of decision messages to intervene on college students' eating behaviors. American Journal of Health Promotion, 25, 298-300. (PDF – AJHP 2011)
  • Carlson, M., Powers, A. (2010). Environmental factors within the home associated with lack of physical activity in children. Furman Engaged Poster Presentation. Furman University, SC. (PDF – FU 2010)
  • Blankenship, B., Mackey, L., Powers, A. (2010). Visual acuity training in softball players. Furman Engaged Poster Presentation. Furman University, SC. (PDF – FU 2010b)
  • Holmes, T., Yu, D., Powers, A. (2009). College student awareness of energy drink ingredients, ingredient amounts and ingredient effects. National Conference on Undergraduate Research, University of Wisconsin – LaCrosse, WI. (PDF - NCUR 2009)
  • Holmes, T., Yu, D., Powers, A. (2009). College student awareness of energy drink ingredients, ingredient amounts and ingredient effects. Furman Engaged Poster Presentation. Furman University, SC. (PDF – FU 2009c)
  • Greenwood, M., Smith, W., Bare, B., Reed, J., Powers, A. (2008). Using point of decision messages to intervene on college students' eating behaviors. National Conference on Undergraduate Research, Salisbury University, MD. (PDF – NCUR 2008)

Other service presentations

  • Powers, A. (2010). Physical Activity: A Complement to Healthy Eating. Upstate Nutrition Consultants Spring Workshop. (PDF – UNCSW 2010)
  • Powers, A. (2009). Nutrition for Active Living, Concepts and Controversies. National Strength and Conditioning Association South Carolina State Clinic, Furman University, SC. (PDF – NSCA 2009)
  • Powers, A. (2009). Healthy Living. Furman University Bridges to a Brighter Future Life Skills Night. Furman University, SC. (PDF – BRIDGES 2009)
  • Powers, A. (2008). Nutrition for Running. Furman Institute for Running and Scientific Training (FIRST) Running Retreat, Furman University, SC. (PDF – FIRST 2008)
  • Powers, A. (2008-2010). Nutrition for Healthy, Active Students. Furman University ROTC. Furman University, SC. (PDF – FUROTC 2008)
  • Powers, A. (2008). Eating well at FU. Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority. Furman University, SC. (PDF – AKA 2008)
  • Powers, A. (2008). Eating well at FU. Delta Delta Delta sorority. Furman University, SC.

PhD and Dissertation
Products from work Powers assisted with or completed during her time at The University of Southern Mississippi are listed below.

  • Zoellner J., Connell, C., Powers, A., Williams-Avis, A., Yadrick, K., Bogle, ML. (2010). Does a 6-month pedometer intervention improve physical activity and health among vulnerable African Americans? A feasibility study. Journal of Physical Activity and Health, 7, 224-231. (PDF – JPAH 2010)
  • Zoellner, J., Powers, A., Avis-Williams, A., Ndirangu, M., Yadrick, K. (2009). Compliance and acceptability of maintaining a 6-month pedometer diary in a rural, African American community-based walking intervention. Journal of Physical Activity and Health, 6, 475-482.(PDF – JPAH 2009)
  • Powers, A., Yadrick, M., Connell, C., Zoellner, J., Molaison, E., Williams, A., Ndirangu, M. (2008). A comprehensive process evaluation of a community based participatory research intervention, Fit for Life Steps. International Society for Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity Annual Meeting, Banff, Alberta Canada. Juried abstract to be published in The International journal for Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity. (PDF – ISBNPA 2008)
  • Zoellner, J., Connell, C., Santell, R., Fungwe, T., Strickland, E., Avis, A., Yadrick, K., Lofton, K., Rowser, M., Powers, A., Lucas, G., Bogle, M. (2007). Fit for Life Steps: Results of a community walking intervention in the rural Mississippi Delta. Progress in Community Health Partnerships: Research, Education, and Action, 1, 49-60. (PDF – PCHP 2007)
  • Bounds, W., Powers, A. (2006). Behavioral and cognitive predictors of body mass index in African American females. Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA. Juried abstract published in: Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology Journal, 20(4), A1311. (PDF – EB 2006)

MS and Thesis
Products from work Powers assisted with or completed during her time at Auburn University are listed below.

  • Powers, A., Struempler, B., Guarino, A., Parmer, S. (2005). Effects of nutrition education on second and third grade students' dietary behavior and nutrition knowledge. Journal of School Health, 75, 129-133. (PDF – JOSH 2005)
  • Struempler, B., Powers (Raby), A. (2005). Pizza Please: An interactive nutrition evaluation for second and third grade students. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, 37, 94-95. (PDF – JNEB 2005a)
  • Eck,
  • S., Struempler, B., Powers (Raby), A. (2005). Once Upon a Time in America: An interactive nutrition evaluation. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, 37, 46-47. (PDF – JNEB 2005b)
Education
Ph.D.
The University of Southern Mississippi
M.S.
Auburn University
B.S.
Auburn University

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