Sept. 7, 2021
This piece is part of a series in which we introduce new faculty members for the 2021-22 academic year. Jollyn Tyryfter is part of a cohort of nutrition faculty from MU Extension who are joining the School of Health Professions.
Assistant Extension Professor, Public Health
Tell us a bit about yourself. What brought you to MU Extension?
I was initially drawn to Columbia because my sister and nephew live here. I came across MU Extension and realized how strong the SNAP-Ed program was, and the timing worked out perfectly since they were hiring for a state-level position in my focus area (policy, systems, and environmental change). It was a great opportunity for me to shift from working directly with communities to helping guide nutrition and health specialists to positively impact towns and counties all around Missouri.
How long have you been at Mizzou?
Since August 2019. Just enough time to get settled in before the pandemic hit!
What sparked your interest in health and nutrition/health education? Do you have any personal anecdotes related to why this is your chosen field?
While pursuing my Master of Public Health I did my practicum and research experience on Farm to School in Illinois. Throughout this experience, along with my studies, I became interested in the importance of food systems and nutrition assistance programs, and how food access can profoundly impact the health of some of our most vulnerable citizens.
What are you most excited about in the upcoming semester regarding your Extension programming?
In partnership with the Mid-America Regional Council, we were recently awarded funding for a Double Up Food Bucks program for the state of Missouri. This allows SNAP recipients to use and double their benefits at farmers markets to increase their access to fresh, local fruits and vegetables. In addition to helping improve diet quality for SNAP recipients, it also helps farmers reach a wider audience and increase their sales.
What do you like to do outside of work?
I spend a lot of time outdoors exploring all the great activities in and around Columbia. Biking, hiking, and kayaking are how I spend most of my free time when the weather cooperates. I enjoy gardening even though I’m not very good at keeping plants alive. I also enjoy quiet weekend mornings hanging out on the back deck with my dog.