Center for Nutrition and Activity Promotion

CNAP SCNAC OPT FIT CalFresh Other

CNAP Professional Staff

CNAP employs 22 professional staff members hired through the CSU Chico Research Foundation (CNAP Staff Organizational Chart).

Cindy Wolff, MPA, PhD, RD

Picture of Cindy WolffCNAP Executive Director

(530) 898-5288 Office
(530) 898-5382 Fax
cwolff@csuchico.edu
25 Main St., Suite 101A
Chico, CA 95929
Professor, Department of Nutrition and Food Sciences
CSU, Chico

View Cindy's Curriculum Vita.

Cindy Wolff is a professor in the CSU, Chico Department of Nutrition and Food Sciences as well as the Executive Director of the Center for Nutrition and Activity Promotion. She has conducted countless program evaluations and research studies over the past 30 years. Her record of exemplary work is evidenced by satisfactory ratings (the highest possible) on all evaluation reports to program funders. Dr. Wolff has published more than 30 articles in professional journals documenting successful program efforts. Additionally, she regularly presents program results and provides evaluation trainings at state, national, and international conferences. Recently, Wolff presented a TED talk on the application of behavioral economics to enhance healthy eating and activity patterns.

To learn more about Cindy Wolff's background and experience, please see the CNAP Director page by clicking here.

Stephanie Bianco-Simeral, MS, RD

Picture of Stephanie Bianco-SimeralAssistant Director

(530) 898-4022 Office
(530) 898-5382 Fax
sbianco-simeral@csuchico.edu
25 Main St., Suite 101A
Chico, CA 95929
Associate Professor, Department of Nutrition and Food Sciences
CSU, Chico

View Stephanie's Curriculum Vita.

Stephanie Bianco-Simeral is the Assistant Director at CSU, Chico's Center for Nutrition and Activity Promotion, Associate Professor in the Department of Nutrition and Food Science and a Registered Dietitian. Her area of expertise is in program and organization management, nutrition education and food safety training.

Prior to her academic career, Stephanie worked in the foodservice industry for over 11 years. Her resume includes positions such as gardé manger, line cook, catering supervisor, café manager, and restaurant manager. Stephanie received her BS in dietetics from UC Davis and her MS in nutrition from Texas A&M University, College Station, TX. Her research focused on cholesterol, specifically lipoprotein particle size, and its affects on cardiovascular disease. She completed a dietetic internship through Texas A&M and became a registered dietitian in 2001.

In addition to her foodservice management and nutritional biochemistry experiences, Stephanie worked as a nutrition assistant for a local school district in Texas, as a dietitian for the Women, Children, and Infants Program in Sacramento, and as a clinical nutrition manager in Fairfield, CA.

Currently, her research interests include long term weight loss and maintenance strategies, local policy change via youth engagement efforts, small farmer food safety training, and soil, water and product testing for bacterial contamination. She has co-authored HACCP Fundamentals, a food safety text and certificate program for agricultural, school, and manufacturing industries.

HACCP Fundamentals

Some of Stephanie's teaching endeavors include logic model design and budget planning for future grant writing and business management opportunities.

Keiko Goto, PhD 

Picture of Keiko GotoAssistant Director of Research and Evaluation

(530) 898-3311 Office
(530) 345-0668 Fax
kgoto@csuchico.edu
25 Main St., Suite 101B
Chico, CA 95929
Associate Professor, Department of Nutrition and Food Sciences
CSU, Chico

View Keiko's Curriculum Vita.

Keiko Goto is originally from Japan. She was born in Gunma prefecture, which is famous for hot springs and tough women. She holds a B.S. in food science and technology from Kyoto University, an M.S. in nutrition from UC Davis, and a Ph.D. in nutritional sciences from Cornell University.  As a nutritionist, Keiko has worked in various countries such as Guatemala, Indonesia, Jamaica, the Philippines, and Tanzania, and has developed a deep appreciation of diversity in people and food. Keiko’s current research interests include food and culture, local food systems, sensory evaluation of food, international nutrition, and the application of community-based participatory research methods in food and nutrition. She enjoys traveling, playing the piano, pairing wine with foods, and playing with her daughter Erika.

Kristin Gruneisen, MS, RD

Kristin GruneisenProgram Supervisor

(530) 898-5382 Fax
(530) 898-6476 Office
kgruneisen@csuchico.edu
25 Main St., Suite 201A
Chico, CA 95929

Kristin Gruneisen MS, RD is a nutrition education specialist and has been with the Center for Nutrition and Activity Promotion at CSU Chico for nine years.   She completed both her undergraduate and graduate work from California State University, Chico.  Before working for the Center, she worked as a clinical dietitian at Enloe hospital.  Knowing that she wanted to become involved in education, she became involved with the OPT for Fit Kids program and the Sierra Cascade Nutrition and Activity Consortium.  Her experience with CNAP has been working directly with families, providers and staff to promote healthy eating and physical activity patterns.  Part of her current work involves assisting with a collaborative effort to enhance nutrition and physical activity services for 0-5 children and families in Butte County which she finds very exciting.

Michele Buran, MA

Picture of Michelle BuranPhysical Activity Specialist IV

Program Manager
(530) 898-4318 Office
(530) 345-0668 Fax
mburan@csuchico.edu
25 Main St., Suite 201A
Chico, CA 95929

Michele Buran is the Physical Activity Specialist for OPT for Fit Kids, the Network for a Healthy California- Sierra Cascade Region and the Sierra Cascade Nutrition & Activity Consortium (SCNAC). She earned a Master of Arts in Physical Education from CSU, Chico and has more than nine years of experience in the field of physical activity and obesity prevention.   She is a Physical Activity Specialist for the 12-County Sierra Cascade Region and she manages a grant from the California Obesity Prevention Program to implement policies and environmental change in child care settings.  Michele has played an integral part in the development, implementation, and evaluation of OPT for Fit Kids’ 0-5 LEAP (Lifelong, Eating, and Activity Patterns) materials including; LEAP for Preschoolers, LEAP into Action!, and LEAP for Child Care Providers.   She is currently developing a collaborative to enhance nutrition and physical activity services for 0-5 children in Butte County.

Jim Coyle

Picture of Jim CoyleProgram Analyst II

(530) 898-5315 Office
(530) 898-5382 Fax
jcoyle@csuchico.edu
25 Main St., Suite 101
Chico, CA 95929

Jim graduated from U.C. Berkeley, with a BA in Social Welfare.  He was a  Board Member of the San Francisco Vegetarian Society back in the late 80's and early 90's.  Jim worked at Portland State University in Oregon for three years in the office of Academic Affairs before moving to Chico in 2000 where he began working at the CSU, Chico Research Foundation.  Joined the CNAP administrative office in 2006.  He enjoys nature, gardening, reading and sports.

Jenni Dye, MS, RD

Picture of Jenni DyeNutrition Education Specialist III

Oroville City Elementary School District
Program Manager
(530) 898-3572 Office
(530) 898-5382 Fax
jkdye@csuchico.edu
25 Main St., Suite 201B
Chico, CA 95929

Jenni Dye MS, RD has been a Nutrition Education Specialist with the Center for Nutrition and Activity Promotion at CSU Chico for approximately two years.  She has a vested interest in working with the North State community because she was born and raised there.  Jenni earned her Masters of Science Degree in Nutritional Science with an option in Nutrition Education from California State University, Chico in 2005.  She currently works with Oroville City Elementary School District to provide them with resources and materials for nutrition education.  Her role as the Harvest of the Month Production Lead includes organizing production staff, supervising the production, and assisting in the planning process.  Her other tasks include facilitating the SCNAC staff meetings and the School Team meetings, assisting with the supervision of CSUC students, collaborating with other nutrition agencies, and participating in various committees.

Martin Frigaard

Picture of Martin FrigaardResearch Analyst II

Research Analyst
(530) 898-5323 Office
(530) 898-5382 Fax
mfrigaard@csuchico.edu

Martin Frigaard earned a BS in Exercise Physiology and MA in Kinesiology at Chico State.  He has taught courses at Chico State in epidemiology, statistics, and principles of strength and conditioning. Before college, Martin served in the Army as a medic in Operation Enduring Freedom.  As a non-commissioned officer he trained soldiers in Basic Life Support and PreHospital Trauma Life Support.  After working with CNAP as a graduate student, Martin recently returned as a full time Researcher.  He enjoys reading about medical science and politics.

Amy Gonzales, MS, RD

Picture of Amy GonzalesNutrition Education Specialist III

Palermo Union School District
Willows Unified School District
Program Manager
(530) 898-4291 Office
(530) 898-5382 Fax
akgonzales@csuchico.edu
25 Main St., Suite 201B
Chico, CA 95929

Amy Gonzales, MS, is a Nutrition Education Specialist, with the Center for Nutrition and Activity Promotion.   After working with the Center as a student, Amy recently returned as a full time staff member. Amy completed her dietetic internship, graduate and undergraduate work at California State University, Chico.  Amy works with Palermo and Paradise School Districts to provide them with resources and materials for nutrition education and physical activity promotion.  Amy has been working with schools, families, administrators, and other health professionals to promote healthy lifestyles for four years.  She has also worked as a clinical dietitian and food production supervisor at Oroville Hospital.

Karen Goodwin, MS

Picture of Karen GoodwinNutrition Education Specialist III

OPT for Healthy Living
(530) 898-5678 Office
(530) 345-0668 Fax
kgoodwin@csuchico.edu
1311 Mangrove Suite B
Chico, CA 95926

Her love of food, and the need to balance that out with an active lifestyle, has been a guiding force in Karen’s life.  Graduating from Johnston College in Redlands, CA and moving by bicycle to Chico in 1980, she started Today’s Tamales two years later. This launched a 23 year career in the vegetarian food manufacturing business, including a restaurant, Café Sandino, for 10 years.  Karen has traveled extensively in Mexico, Central and South America—wherever Spanish is spoken—and has made numerous bicycle trips throughout the US.  In 1992, she completed her MS in Nutrition Science with an emphasis in nutrition education.  Currently, she is promoting healthy eating and physical activity through direct services and classes at OPT for Fit Kids and oversees the 1010 Cleveland House, a CNAP outreach center to the Chapman community which incorporates cooking demos, nutrition through English as a Second Language classes, and family nutrition and activity sessions. She is also a certified cycling instructor for the League of American Bicyclists and teaches classes in safe cycling.

Sheena Gruenberg

Picture of Sheena VogelProduction Manager

(530) 898-5323 Office
(530) 898-5382 Fax
sgruenberg@csuchico.edu

Sheena Gruenberg is the Production Manager at CNAP. She has a BS in Nutrition and Food Science from CSU, Chico. Sheena currently works in the production kitchen preparing HOTM tastings, food demos and tastings for the classroom. What she most enjoys about her job is testing new recipes for the upcoming school year.

Michelle Harris, MS, RD

Picture of Michelle HarrisNutrition Education Specialist III (Siskiyou County)

Scott Valley Unified School District
Siskiyou First 5
Program Manager
(530) 340-3227 Office
(530) 898-5382 Fax
mlharris@csuchico.edu
Siskiyou County

Michelle Harris is a registered dietitian and a nutrition education specialist with the SCNAC program. She completed her undergraduate and Master’s Degree from CSU, Chico. Michelle is currently partnering with Scott Valley Unified School District, First 5 Siskiyou, and the Siskiyou County Family/Community Resource Centers by providing them nutrition education and nutrition and physical activity materials to promote healthy eating, increase fruit and vegetable consumption and physical activity. Her previous experience includes working as a clinical dietitian and WIC Nutritionist.  Michelle enjoys raising her family and working in beautiful rural Siskiyou County and feels very fortunate to be able to give back to the community where she grew up in.

Patti Horsley, MPH

Picture of Patti HorsleyHealth Education Specialist III

Program Manager
(530) 898-6752 Office
(530) 898-5382 Fax
phorsley@csuchico.edu
25 Main St., Suite 201B
Chico, CA 95929

Patti Horsley is a Health Education Specialist who brings over 15 years of public health experience to CNAP. Since earning her Master’s in Public Health from San Diego State University, she has nurtured communities at the state, regional and local levels to create environments that foster healthy living using coalition building, technical assistance, training and policy change. Ms. Horsley has led multidisciplinary executive-level Task Forces to develop and implement strategic plans that successfully changed policies and practices within state agencies and state-level professional associations. Most recently, she served as a technical assistance provider and trainer, working with communities to create opportunities for safe walking and bicycling to school. Ms. Horsley is a nationally-certified Safe Routes to School trainer and has received awards for her work from the California Office of Traffic Safety and the Occupational Therapy Association of California.

Jennifer Murphy, MS, RD

Picture of Jennifer MurphyNutrition Education Specialist III

OPT for Healthy Living
Program Manager
(530) 345-9749 Office
(530) 345-0668 Fax
jemurphy@csuchico.edu
1311 Mangrove Suite E
Chico, CA 95926

Jennifer is a Registered Dietitian and Nutrition Education Specialist, providing nutrition education and physical activity resources. She is also the Coordinator of the MNT (Medical Nutrition Therapy) program at OPT for Healthy Living. Her experience with CNAP started 10 years ago as a student where she completed her graduate research. She also enjoys working as a renal dietitian at the Colusa Indian Community Health Clinic.

Steve Naiman

sNaimanNutrition Education Specialist II

Biggs Unified School District
Gridley Unified School District
Hamilton Unified School District
Program Manager
(530) 898-3573 Office
(530) 898-5382 Fax
snaiman@csuchico.edu
25 Main St., Suite 201
Chico, CA 95929

Steve Naiman earned his BS in Dietetics at CSU Chico. He completed 2 ½ years’ service in the U.S. Peace Corps in Guatemala, Central America where he worked on community gardens and bread baking projects as well as raising hens and small business enterprise projects with Mayan Indigenous Women’s Groups. He was employed at Ampla Health Inc., as their Community Health Coordinator overseeing outreach and health care services in five counties and 11 medical and dental clinics. Steve is the founder and organizer of the Growing Healthy Children Walk & Run Celebration that was the recipient of the 2007-2008 Silver Medal Community Event Award provided by the Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports. Steve has been an avid runner for 34 years and has recently returned back to running marathons having completed the Big Sur Marathon this past April 2012. He enjoys motivating family, friends and co-workers to adopt healthy lifestyle habits so that they may enjoy the benefits of a healthy and productive life.

Amie Riesen, CHES

Picture of Amie RiesenHealth Education Specialist III

Student Staff / Intern Training Coordinator
(530) 898-3571 Office
(530) 898-5382 Fax
ariesen@csuchico.edu
25 Main St., Suite 101C
Chico, CA 95929

Amie Riesen, CHES has been a Health Education Specialist II with the Center for Nutrition and Activity Promotion at CSU Chico for two years. She earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Health Education from California State University, Chico in 2005.  Amie currently works with Corning Union Elementary & Red Bluff High School Districts to provide them with resources and materials for nutrition education. She is currently collaborating with the Corning Rotary Club to expand services in the area. As intern and training coordinator, Amie supervises all application procedures, interviews, trainings, and placement for incoming CSUC interns throughout the year. Her roles in Harvest of the Month Program include connecting with local farmers, purchasing produce and assisting in the planning process. Her other administrative positions include MAA Coordinator and website design supervisor.

Aurelia (Rely) Samonte, MS, MEd, RD

Picture of Rely SamonteNutrition Education Specialist III

Opt for Healthy Living
Program Manager
(530) 898-5678 Office
(530) 345-0668 Fax
asamonte@csuchico.edu
1311 Mangrove Ave, Suite E
Chico, CA 95926

Aurelia “Rely” Samonte, MS, MEd, RD, is a nutrition education specialist at Opt for Healthy Living. She holds a B.S. in Food Science and Technology from University of the Philippines (1988), and an M.S. in Family and Consumer Science, Majoring in Nutrition (1995) and M.Ed. in Counseling and Development (2007) from Lamar University at Beaumont, TX. After becoming a registered dietitian (2006), she worked at the Medical Center of South East Texas and at physician clinics and home health. She also worked as menu consultant for transition and nursing homes. As a counselor, she worked at the STAR program of Buckner International, an organization dedicated to providing services that help strengthen vulnerable children, families, and senior adults. She provided individual and family counseling, parenting workshops, life skill workshops for youth, and other services with a goal of building the necessary skills and knowledge they need to succeed in life. At Buckner Intl., she received the Employee Recognition (2010), the Transformative Impact (2010), and the Mentoring Program (2011) Awards.

Rely feels very fortunate to join CNAP to be able to practice her skills as a registered dietitian and continue to work in the community to help vulnerable families and individuals. At CNAP, she oversees the Get Cookin’ program, provides nutrition counseling and medical nutrition therapy.

Jenny Breed, MA

Picture of Jenny SharkeyHealth Education Specialist IV

Program Director, CalFresh Outreach Director/SNAP-Ed
(530) 898-3211 Office
(530) 898-5382 Fax
jbreed@csuchico.edu
25 Main St., Suite 201D
Chico, CA 95929

Jenny Breed is the CalFresh Outreach Director providing support to 11 subcontractors in 12 northern counties including Butte, Colusa, Glenn, Modoc, Plumas, Sierra, Shasta, Sutter, Tehama, Trinity, Siskiyou, and Yuba counties. She earned a Master of Arts Degree in Human Development from Pacific Oaks College and her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Child Development from CSUC. Jenny brings many years of experience working with non-profits and public entities in developing family and community programs and resources.

Sheila St. Cin

Picture of Sheila St. CinHealth Education Specialist I

Los Molinos Unified School District
Red Bluff High School District
Red Bluff Elementary School District
Program Manager
(530) 898-6752 Office
(530) 898-5382 Fax
sstcin@csuchico.edu
25 Main St., Suite 201C
Chico, CA 95929

Sheila started working at the CNAP after running her own small farm growing heirloom tomatoes and fresh herbs for three years. With a background as a former NCAA Division 1 athlete, and a career in recreation management, the former YMCA Director is thrilled to combine her interest in physical activity and nutrition with her work at the Center. Sheila coordinates the purchases of fresh fruits and vegetables for the programs at CNAP and SCNAC, as well as the Farmer of the Month educational newsletter. She has also been part of a video team that has produced two Farmer focused videos to connect children to where their food comes from. She is passionate about supporting local food systems and building a greater connection between children, teachers, local farmers, and the community to promote the consumption of fruits and vegetables and daily physical activity for better health. Sheila is a graduate of UCLA.

Melissa Stearns, MS

Picture of Melissa SternsHealth Education Specialist III

Oroville Union High School District
Thermalito Union School District
Program Manager
(530) 898-5675 Office
(530) 898-5382 Fax
mstearns@csuchico.edu
25 Main St., Suite 201F
Chico, CA 95929

Melissa Stearns earned her BS in Health Science and MS in Health and Physical Education at Chico State. Her career as a Health Education Specialist began in 1992 at the Pacific Wellness Institute where she provided nutrition, fitness, and conflict management programs for K-8 students, wellness programs for adults, and various trainings for teachers and staff. She has taught health and fitness classes at local sports clubs, Butte College, and Chico State. Melissa managed and directed races for the Chico Running Club, supervised an alcohol-reduction grant at Chico State, provided drug and alcohol counseling at Oroville high schools, coordinated a health and safety grant in Palermo, and most recently facilitated youth development and tobacco education programs in many Butte County school districts. She is an accomplished runner, having raced in numerous 5k, 10k, and half-marathons, and recently completed her first marathon in preparation for a challenging multi day stage trail run in Colorado. Melissa also cycles and has completed several 100-mile rides and two triathlons. She loves to travel, hike, camp, and cook. Melissa understands and models the importance of eating healthfully and being active and loves being in her role at CNAP. Her passion is to make a difference by motivating and encouraging others to live a healthy lifestyle.

Priya Trivedi, MS, RD

Picture of Priya TrivediNutrition Education Specialist I

Yuba County
Glenn County Office of Education
Program Manager
(530) 898-5323 Office
(530) 898-5382 Fax
ptrivedi@csuchico.edu

Priya Trivedi, MS, RD, is a registered dietitian who specializes in nutrition education and supermarket nutrition. She graduated from California State University, Chico with a Master’s Degree in Nutrition and completed her Dietetic Internship at The College of Saint Elizabeth in New Jersey, with a focus on Food and Business Communication.

Priya is originally from India where she completed her Master’s in Nutrition and Food Processing and gained experience in clinical and the food industry settings. She believes that food and eating are at once a universal cultural experience and a completely individual practice. She is passionate about helping people enjoy eating while receiving the utmost nutritional benefit from their choices. After working with CNAP for two years as a student, Priya recently returned as a staff member and currently implements various nutrition education activities in Yuba County.

Marsha Vernoga, MS, RD

Picture of Marsha VernogaNutrition Education Specialist III

Colusa Unified School District
Marysville Joint Unified School District
Modoc County
Colusa County Office of Education
Program Manager
(530) 898-6752 Office
(530) 898-5382 Fax
mvernoga@mail.csuchico.edu
25 Main St., Suite 201C
Chico, CA 95929

Marsha Vernoga, MS, RD, is grateful to be in a field she absolutely loves! As a Registered Dietitian, she has worked in clinical hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, outpatient counseling clinics, and senior nutrition sites. Presently, Marsha is a Nutrition Education Specialist for SCNAC and implements nutrition activities in Marysville, Colusa, and Los Molinos schools. She is also part of the Worksite Wellness team and presents various wellness topics to community businesses. Outside of her work with SCNAC, she is a food safety consultant for Head Start preschool sites in Tehama County and the Community Action Agency of Butte County. Her passion is teaching populations of all ages about health, nutrition, and the importance of physical activity. She promotes eating a whole food, plant-based diet from local food sources and wishes to inspire others to eat more fruits and vegetables! Marsha spends her free time taking long walks with her husband, cooking, reading, and practicing yoga.

Kathy Watje

Picture of Kathy WatjeCNAP Office Assistant

(530) 898-5323 Office
(530) 898-5382 Fax
kwatje@csuchico.edu
25 Main St., Suite 101
Chico, CA 95929

Kathy Watje began working for the CNAP program in the summer of 2009 as an Administrative Assistant. She entered Chico State University as a re-entry student and graduated with a BA in Multi-Cultural & Gender Studies with a Women's Studies Option. She has worked in education for over 30 years in a variety of positions. Kathy enjoys outdoor activities, gardening, and taking care of her small walnut orchard.

Alyson Wylie

Picture of Alyson WylieHealth Education Specialist I

Program Manager
Red Bluff Union Elementary School District
Red Bluff Joint Union High School
Corning Union Elementary School District
Los Molinos Elementary School District
Tehama County Department of Education
(530) 898-5442 Office
(530) 898-5382 Fax
awylie@csuchico.edu
25 Main St., Suite 201
Chico, CA 95929

Alyson Wylie is a Health Education Specialist with the Center for Nutrition and Activity Promotion. In January 2010 she started serving Red Bluff schools as a Site Assistant and has transitioned to a Program Manager role. She coordinates the implementation of nutrition and physical activities and events for low income students in K – 12 settings in Tehama County. While working as a Site Assistant Alyson was also the facilitator of the SERRF after school program in Tehama County. She partnered with local farmers and businesses to promote healthy eating practices for the students and their families; and regularly hosted Family Fitness Nights. Due to her efforts, her site was recognized as a Healthy Behaviors Learning Center for California as part of the Healthy Behaviors initiative, one of 16 in the state. Before coming to Tehama County she taught 3rd grade in Watsonville, CA and P.E. and literature to middle school students in Concord, CA. She earned her bachelor’s degree at California State University, San Francisco and her teaching credential through California State University, Fresno. Her favorite part of the job is mentoring Chico State student staff and interns to effectively share the benefits of healthy choices with the population we serve.