Laura Paulsen

Healthy Living Program Specialist
Laura Paulsen

Laura provides leads the 4-H Healthy Living program priority area. Her role entails collaborating with youth and staff statewide to deliver health and well-being programming and experiences for youth. In partnership with ISU, she helps to coordinate the implementation of SWITCH (School Wellness Integration Targeting Children’s Health) in schools across Iowa, helping children and families “switch what they Do, View, and Chew”.

Areas of Focus

  • Food and Nutrition
  • Health
  • Outdoor Adventures
  • Horticulture

Professional Awards

  • Achievement in Service Award, NAE4-HYDP, 2020
  • YouthFest COVID-18 Exceptional Efforts Award - 4-H Distance Learning Team, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, 2020
  • Youth Program Specialist Award, Iowa 4-H, 2019
  • Youthfest Team Cytation Award, ISU P&S Council, 2019 Outstanding Team Award - SWITCH Program Team, Iowa 4-H, 2019


  • SWITCH, School Wellness Integration Targeting Child Health. National Health Outreach Conference. 2021
  • SWITCH what you Do, View, and Chew: The Impact of Iowa 4-H on School Wellness Initiatives. Poster presentation at NAE4-HYDP. 2021
  • YouthFest Presentations: Grilled Cheese Challenge, SWITCH, SEL: What's this Buzzword All About, H2Oh! (Water WELLness program), Healthy Living Program Showcase

Published Research

  • McLoughlin, G., Vazou, S., Liechty, L., et al. (2021). Transdisciplinary Approaches for the Dissemination of the SWITCH School Wellness Initiative through a Distributed 4-H/Extension Network. Child & Youth Care Forum, 50:99-120.
  • DeShaw, K., Ellingson, L., Liechty, L., et al. (2021). Brief Motivational Interviewing Training for Outreach in School Health Programming. American Journal of Health Studies, 36(1).
  • McLoughlin, G., Welk, G., et al. (2020). Evaluating the implementation of the SWITCH school wellness intervention and capacity-building process through multiple methods. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 17:162
B.S. Dietetics and Global Resource Systems, 2012, Iowa State University
1259 Stange Road