Kyle Ryan, PhD, Associate Professor of Exercise Science is creator and co-director of the Children’s Health, Activity, & Nutrition Community Engagement (CHANCE) Initiative. This longitudinal service-learning study partners with the non-profit 501(c)(3) Peru State Foundation, Auburn School District, Auburn Chamber of Commerce, and Auburn Family Health Center to provide nutrition education and extra-curricular activities for elementary-aged children in an effort to address pediatric rural obesity.
The CHANCE Initiative has been funded by Youth Serve America, Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Nebraska, and the Rural Futures Institute to further solidify the pre-existing partnerships between the campus and community. Most recently, the CHANCE Initiative was recognized at the state and national level as the community service project of the year by the entity Phi Beta Lambda, the largest and oldest business student organization in the world.
As lead faculty for the Sport and Exercise Science curriculum at Peru State College, Dr. Ryan was awarded the 2012 – 2013 Health Educator of the Year award for the state of Nebraska by the Nebraska Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (NAHPERD). He was also awarded the 2013 – 2014 Teaching Excellence Award from Peru State College.
Dr. Ryan further serves on the advisory committee for Nebraska Campus Compact, an entity committed to providing meaningful experience for students to become active, engaged leaders in their communities, furthering the civic and public purpose of higher education and strengthening communities. He has also been appointed to the Coordinated School Health Impact Team for the State Health Improvement Plan (SHIP), an advisory group tasked with formalizing stakeholder involvement, communication, and shared planning to develop, implement, and evaluate the Nebraska Physical Activity and Nutrition State Plan.
A strong advocate for Public Health, Dr. Ryan is also the coordinator for the Public Health Early Admission Student Track (PHEAST) Program. The PHEAST Program is a collaborative effort between the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC), Chadron State College, Peru State College, the University of Nebraska – Kearney, and Wayne State College that provides tuition for the final two years of an undergraduate students education and a guaranteed seat in the UNMC College of Public Health’s Master’s of Public Health (MPH) program.