Schuylkill spices up nutrition education with new LionPulse mobile kitchen

Schuylkill Food Demonstration with Chef Penny Shade

Penny Shade, chef at Penn State Schuylkill, hosted a healthy cooking demonstration for campus students and staff on Valentine’s Day 2019 using the new LionPulse mobile kitchen. 

Credit: Penn State

Penn State Schuylkill, in partnership with Penn State LionPulse, has made significant strides in improving health and wellness efforts aimed at students, staff and faculty. LionPulse is an initiative to enhance wellness within the Penn State community, funded through a University seed grant that supports the Penn State Strategic Plan.

Since fall 2018, LionPulse has worked with a network of health champions and wellness committees across 11 Penn State campuses.

Last fall, the Schuylkill wellness committee, after reviewing the campus’ wellness scorecard, discovered that students lacked basic knowledge about nutrition and safe cooking practices. In response, the wellness committee made hands-on food safety education a priority. As part of this effort, Penny Shade, the Schuylkill campus chef, hosted a healthy cooking demonstration for students and staff on Valentine’s Day.

Schuylkill LionPulse Food Demonstration

Penn State Schuylkill's healthy cooking demonstration showcased techniques that can be easily replicated by college students. The meal, prepared by Penny Shade, campus chef, featured herb chicken, roasted potatoes and a healthy dark chocolate dessert.

Credit: Penn State

Because the Schuylkill campus participates in the Penn State LionPulse initiative, Shade, along with Cindy Ebling, campus nurse and Penn State Schuylkill’s health champion, and Linda Macduff, assistant director of food services, was able to borrow the new LionPulse mobile kitchen for the Valentine’s Day demonstration. Their presentation showcased proper cooking techniques to educate attendees about delicious and healthy meals that can be easily recreated in a college apartment. The meal consisted of herb chicken, roasted potatoes and a healthy dark chocolate dessert. In addition to enjoying the food, each attendee received a meat thermometer with instructions on how to properly calibrate and use it. The evening ended with prize drawings for gift cards to local grocery stores.

Ebling said the wellness committee was pleased to see how excited and engaged participants were during the presentation, and that the many positive compliments reinforced the value of their efforts.

Since receiving LionPulse funding in January 2019, Ebling and the Schuylkill campus wellness committee also have implemented monthly nutrition events. These involve distributing seasonal produce, sharing tips about buying local produce, and teaching the campus about properly storing food. The new series of nutrition education classes also has received an excellent response, with the latest class bringing together 35 student-athletes to talk about the importance of healthy nutritional habits and exercise. More than 100 students, faculty and staff already have participated in Penn State Schuylkill’s LionPulse events.

For information on future LionPulse events at Penn State Schuylkill, including upcoming nutrition seminars, healthy walks on the revamped campus trails, and other wellness resources, visit

To learn more about borrowing the new LionPulse mobile kitchen, visit