"However, we realize that just having knowledge about food allergies is not enough," Kwon said. "Learning more about how food allergies can really impact someone's life can motivate these future managers to take food allergy precautions more seriously."
To motivate students, the researchers plan to use storytelling methods that feature video testimonials from individuals who have food allergies. These videos are meant to appeal to the students' emotions and show how food allergies have affected someone's life.
"For preliminary data collection, we created a short storytelling video and measured students' attitudes toward food allergies before and after watching it," Kwon said. "We saw an increase in how the students perceived the severity of the risks associated with food allergies and their motivation to learn more increased."
With the newly funded grant, the researchers will collect more testimonials, record them and incorporate them into new food allergy education curricula. In the future, they hope to expand their scope to work directly with employees and managers currently working in the food service industry.
Kwon and Sauer will also recruit undergraduate researchers for the project, particularly undergraduates involved in the Kansas Bridges to the Future program, the Developing Scholars Program and the Summer Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program.
USDA Higher Education Challenge Grants support projects that address an educational need through a creative or nontraditional approach. Projects have the potential for regional or national influence and can serve as a model for other institutions.
|Contact: Junehee Kwon|
Kansas State University