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Nine students in Raritan Valley Community College’s Nursing program have been honored with the college’s inaugural “Trends in Nursing Service Learning Award,” which recognizes students who have demonstrated excellence in their service learning project.

The honor also highlights groups of students in the Trends in Nursing class who have worked together to create a well-researched, nursing/community project and effectively disseminated their findings to their peers and the community, the college said on Friday.

RVCC students Giovanna Gattuso, Jennifer Colline, Tara Maher, Heidi Green, and Maria Calazans, who are part of the daytime nursing program, were selected for their project, “Food Insecurity: Commodity or Right and are Children the Key.” Working with Oak Street School in Basking Ridge, the group created “grow kits” for 70 elementary schoolchildren, performed a short skit about healthy food choices, and provided community resources.

These nursing students also helped the children plant herbs and other produce that will remain in their classrooms to cultivate and enjoy. The grow kits included information for parents, such as recipes, an 18-question food insecurity tool, and information about locations to find food pantries and local farms. The school’s principal is considering the project for inclusion in the curriculum as a way to tackle food insecurity and address obesity.

RVCC students Winmyria Roberts, Paige Greenfield, Amanda Hernandez, and Deysi Robles, who are part of the evening nursing program, were selected for their project, “Improving Medication Tracking for Seniors.” Working with the Bridgewater Senior Center and RWJ Somerset Community Health, the group created a wallet-size medication card to assist seniors in managing their own medications, helping to reduce the risk of adverse effects and promoting judicious and effective medication, especially for populations less competent with technology.

These students presented the cards to Bridgewater Senior Center and members took extra copies home to share with friends and family. The senior center is keeping extra cards for future members. The students also reached out to various community centers in nearby counties to collaborate and introduce the future use of the cards.

RVCC’s nationally recognized Service Learning Program enables students to use community service as part of their academic coursework and receive credit for the experience.


About Raritan Valley Community College

Raritan Valley Community College, located in Branchburg, has been serving as an academic and cultural center for Somerset and Hunterdon County residents for over 50 years. The college offers more than 90 associate degrees and certificates, as well as career training and professional development courses.