Niese joins Extension Office staff

May 14—The Purdue Extension Nutrition Education Program has hired Catherine Niese as the Community Wellness Coordinator for Decatur, Shelby and Rush counties.

Niese is from Decatur County and attended Greensburg Community High School. The primary area of her work will be in Decatur County, with consulting counties Rush and Shelby.

The Purdue Extension NEP aims to make the healthy choice the easy choice. The program is supported by two U.S. Department of Agriculture educational programs: the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education and the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program.

Community Wellness Coordinators improve nutrition and health in limited-resource communities statewide by concentrating on five focus areas: diet quality, physical activity, food security, food safety and food resource management.

Niese will begin by learning the community's needs, networking, and building relationships. She will then work with community partners to help develop programs that address those needs. Niese will be involved in a variety of initiatives that could include anything from school and worksite wellness to farmers markets and food pantry access.

"We are beyond excited to bring Catherine on board in the Community Wellness Coordinator, CWC, position in Decatur County," Purdue Extension Decatur County Director Christopher Fogle said. "The CWC position has a lot of potential to help close gaps related to nutrition/food and physical activity in the community. Catherine is extremely driven to impact change in her home community and I anticipate she will achieve a high level of success in her new position."

Prior to accepting this role, Niese served as the Health Coordinator for Head Start with Southeastern Indiana Economic Corporation. She holds Bachelor degrees in Nutrition, Fitness, and Wellness and Public Health from Marian University.

For more information about the Purdue Extension NEP, visit or contact the Decatur County office at 812-663-8388.