My name is Jessica Smith and I work for Utah State University at the Center for Human Nutrition Studies as a cook for The Polyphenol Study. I started this job in March as part of my CTE Internship through the Work-Based Learning class at Sky View High School. My internship ended in May, but I was asked to continue working for the study until it ends in November.
The Polyphenol Study is a controlled feeding study to test the affect of polyphenol on the gut bacteria. The study includes thirty participants who spend six weeks on a high polyphenol diet and six weeks on a low polyphenol diet. For the study, I do all of the same tasks I did as part of my internship, including accurately measuring ingredients, proper temperature control of foods, prepping and cooking meals, serving meals to the participants, and cleaning, and sanitizing the work area and dishes.
I plan on going into the field of dietetics and this job allows me to see [and experience] the food service and research side to dietetics. The study also counts as part of my hours needed to apply to the dietetics program at Utah State University.
It is such a rare and incredible opportunity to have a job in my field of study before I begin college. My CTE Internship opened up this job opportunity for me and allowed me to make connections with people who can help me get into the dietetics program at Utah State in the fall. I would highly recommend the Work-Based Learning class to every student at Sky View High School because it has prepared me for the workplace and college more than any other class I have taken.
Polyphenols are a group of chemicals found in many fruits, vegetables, and other plants such as berries, walnuts, olives, tea leaves, broccoli, grapes, and chocolate. They are classifies as antioxidants, meaning that they remove free radicals from the body. Free radicals are chemicals that can cause damage to cells and tissues in the body. Learn more about The Polyphenol Study at