Sarah Misyak

Sarah A. Misyak, PhD

Research Assistant Professor
Graduate Program Faculty

Research focus: social determinants of health, community food systems, and health disparities

Teaching interests: community/behavioral nutrition, public health nutrition, and community food systems

The Food Security Project with Virginia Cooperative Extension is designed to increase the food security of low-income Virginians by: 

Increasing the linkages between SNAP recipients and their local farmers markets by helping markets develop their abilities to accept and welcome SNAP recipients.

Training volunteers to perform low cost, healthy meal demonstrations at markets that accept SNAP.

Combating food deserts through developing mobile farmers markets.

Educating SNAP participants to use their benefits to buy food-bearing plant starts and seeds.

Demonstrating the basics of container gardening for youth participants with the goal that they will help their families start small gardens at home.

Ledlie Johnson, M., Misyak, S.A., McFerren, M. & Serrano, E. (2014). Virginia Cooperative Extension program assistants’ motivation for teaching a farmers market orientation lesson. Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program’s National Coordinators’ Conference, Arlington, VA, February 25, 2014.

Ledlie Johnson, M. & Misyak, S.A. Keeping Local Foods Affordable: An optional, open source farmers market lesson for SNAP-eligible populations. National Webinar. eXtension Foodshed Community of Practice, November 21, 2013.

Misyak, S.A. Leading a healthy lifestyle: Farmers markets fruits and vegetables. Guest Lecture. Language and Culture Institute, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA, November 15, 2013.

Misyak, S.A., Ledlie Johnson, M., McFerren, M. & Serrano, E. Virginia Cooperative Extension health educator’s motivation for teaching a novel, optional farmers market orientation lesson. Oral Presentation. International Food Studies Conference, Austin, TX, October 15-16, 2013.

Helms, J., Misyak, S.A., & Cricenti, J. Crossing disciplinary boundaries: Exploring current and future roles of graduate students as knowledge producers and educators in higher education. Oral Presentation. Conference of the North American Colleges & Teachers of Agriculture, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA, June 25-29, 2013. 

Misyak, S.A., Ledlie, M., McFerren, M. & Serrano, E. Promoting farmers market attendance through SNAP-Ed: Real and perceived barriers in Virginia. Poster Presentation. Annual Meetings & Conference of the Agriculture, Food, and Human Values Society, Association for the Study of Food and Society, and Society for Anthropology of Food and Nutrition, East Lansing, MI, June 19-23, 2013.

Misyak, S.A., Byker, C., Pinard, C., & Serrano, E. Nutrition Assistance Programs at Farmers’ Markets Improve Dietary Quality in the U.S. Poster Presentation.  Annual meeting of the International Society for Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, Ghent, Belgium, May 22-25, 2013.

Misyak, S.A. & Serrano, E. Promoting fruit and vegetable intake through farmers markets: Perceived barriers in Virginia. Poster Presentation. Annual meeting of the International Society for Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, May 22-25, 2013.

2014, Ph.D., HNFE, Behavioral & Community Science, Virginia Tech
Dissertation: Farmers Market Access by Snap-eligible Mothers of Young Children: Barriers and Impact on Nutrition Education Programming for Cooperative Extension

2008, M.S., HNFE, Behavioral & Community Science, Virginia Tech
Thesis: Development of a SNP Assay for the Differentiation of Allelic Variations in the mdx Dystrophic Mouse Model

2006, B.S., HNFE, Exercise Science and Health Promotion, Virginia Tech