N&D 545 01: Nutrition in Disease Prevention and Wellness

ND 545 - Nutrition in Disease Prevention and Wellness

2023 Summer Syllabus, Section 01, CRN 5938

Course Information

You are responsible for knowing this material, so please read carefully. Any changes will be announced in a Blackboard Announcement. You will be responsible for any changes. Your continued enrollment in this course is your implicit agreement to abide by the requirements of this class.

This syllabus describes the requirements and procedures for Nutrition in Disease Prevention and Wellness

Live class sessions are:  5/25 5-7 pm CST, 6/3 8:30-5 CST, 7/13 5-7 pm CST

The rest of the course is not live. 

Instructor Information

Brenna Swanson, MS, RDN, LRD, CDCES, NBH-WC

Email: brenna.joy.swanson@und.edu

2023 Summer Office Hours:
Office hours in the summer are by appointment. Send me an email any time. We will schedule a zoom call. I ENCOURAGE you to connect with me. Zoom calls help if students are feeling uncertain about any part of the course.

Office Phone: 701.777.0849

About the Professor

I am a clinical instructor teaching a mix of graduate and undergraduate courses. Outside of UND, I am a consultant dietitian and love to share about my experiences in the critical access hospital and rural health clinic, Early Head Start, and dabble on the side in online entrepreneurship. My favorite hobby professionally and personally is health coaching! My most enjoyable parts of every course are the live sessions! I prefer to be called Brenna or Professor Swanson. I am currently a student in the PhD Teaching and Learning program, emphasis higher education. This means I still understand what it is like to be a student as well. Check out the “About me video” in Welcome folder 

Course Description

An exploration of prevention and wellness models specifically designed to decrease the mortality and morbidity of chronic disease in the United States population. The course focuses on the involvement of optimal nutrition and health behaviors in prevention of disease and promotion of wellbeing that encompasses a whole person perspective.

Prerequisites:  Admission to program

Learning Outcomes

Course objectives:  At the end of the course, the student will be able to: 

  1. Apply the concepts of wellness and wellbeing to generate a personal definition of wellness.

  2. Apply wellness and disease prevention models to address nutrition-related problems.

  3. Evaluate the scientific literature for the role of nutrition in wellness, prevention and complementary or integrative medicine.

  4. Assess nutritional health disparities among minority groups and under served populations

  5. Identify the role of behavioral, cultural, and environmental characteristics for improved nutritional outcomes related to wellness and disease prevention.

  6. Recall the impact of sleep, stress, physical activity, tobacco, alcohol, and other drugs on health and wellbeing. 

Course Materials

Coulsten, A.M., Boushey, C. J., Ferruzzi M.G., & Delahanty, L.M. (2017). Nutrition in the prevention and treatment of disease (4th ed.). San Diego, CA: Elsevier. ISBN: 978-0128029282

Additional readings as assigned throughout the semester will be posted in Blackboard. 

Technical Requirements/Assistance

Whether you’re taking courses in the classroom or online, it’s important to have the right technology and equipment.  Visit the UND Technical Requirements webpage for more information. Students are expected to use their official UND email in the course. For technical assistance, please contact UND Technical Support at 701.777.2222. Visit the University Information Technologies (UIT) website for their hours, help documents and other resources.

Minimum Technical Skills Needed

In order to succeed in this course, at a minimum, you should be able to: 

  • Navigate in and use basic Blackboard functions 

  • Download and open electronic documents 

  • Create, save, and upload/attach electronic documents 

  • Send, receive, and manage email 

  • Have a camera and microphone on your computer to participate in class and create presentations 

Course Logistics

Access and Log in Information

This course was developed and will be facilitated utilizing Blackboard. To get started with the course, please go to: http://blackboard.UND.edu and log in with your NDUS.Identifier, Username and Password. If you do not know your NDUS Identifier or have forgotten your password, please visit Your NDUS Account page on the UIT website. 

Course Overview

This course is organized into 12 weeks. Each week will have a folder in Blackboard under “Lessons” and will contain a variety of links to the required readings, videos, lectures, and assignments. Class meetings, quizzes, partner discussions, and other assignments will be used to assess your comprehension and completion of the course objectives. New content will be posted at least one week in advance of any assignment or quiz that is due. 

To get the most from your experience, I recommend that you consider the following: 

  • Review the syllabus and course schedule posted in Blackboard

  • Organize your schedule and make note of important due dates

  • Create a habit for your learning. Online courses require higher levels of self-direction and creating a schedule can be helpful for students. 

  • Email Brenna with questions or concerns as they come up (brenna.joy.swanson@und.edu)

  • Participate fully and in a timely manner to get the benefit of learning from your peers and instructor 


Many services are available to UND students such as writing assistance from the UND Writing Center, free online tutoring, and more. Visit the Student Resources page for more information. Students also have access to the UND Student Resource Site via Blackboard. It is recommended that you become familiar with the tools and tutorials within the site to better equip you in navigating the course. 

Course Requirements/Expectations 

Students and faculty members each have a role in learning. Outlined here are the things you can expect from me as your instructor and things I expect from you.  


Students are expected to: 

  • Log in regularly to the class site in Blackboard
  • Use respectful language when communicating with the instructor
  • Submit assignments on time (see policy on late assignments)
  • Ask questions about materials/information that is not clear
  • Listen to all lectures and read assigned materials
  • Attend class sessions and actively participate
  • Know the due dates for assignments and dates for class sessions (see schedule)
  • Use UND email and check it regularly 


The instructor is expected to: 

  • Use respectful language when communicating with students
  • Respond to questions/emails/phone calls within 48 hours on the weekday/business days
  • Provide multiple methods/modes of learning and assessment
  • Review feedback from course evaluations to make changes/improvements to the course
  • Provide resources as needed to support your individual learning needs
  • Provide meaningful and useful feedback to improve your learning in graduate school
  • Provide feedback on assignments within 1-2 weeks of submission (1 week for shorter work and allow 2 weeks for larger projects/papers)



Announcements will be posted in Blackboard on a regular basis. Be sure to check the class announcements regularly as they will contain important information about class assignments and other class matters.


I welcome your questions via email and welcome scheduled video meetings. I will respond back to you within 48 hours during the week and may not respond on the weekend/Holidays until the next business day.

Course Etiquette 

When participating in class (online or in person) it is important to interact with your peers in an appropriate manner. Always use professional language (no netspeak) in your postings and emails. Please be respectful of your classmates at all times even if you disagree with their ideas. 

Assessment & Grading 

This course is made up of a series of assignments and assessments to assist you in achieving the course learning objectives/outcomes. Each week you will work on a combination of assignments, activities, discussions, readings, research, etc.

Late Work 

You are expected to complete assignments at the designated due dates and times. If you are unable to complete the assignments at the time indicated on the syllabus, you must contact the instructor prior to the due date via email and provide a new due date that fits your needs. The instructor will respond and agree or offer a different date for submission. If you do not connect prior to the due date with the instructor or fail to submit the assignment after the agreed upon date, the assignment will be graded as zero points. I will gladly extend due dates with prior notification as able, no questions asked.

Assignment Format and Submission

All assignments, citations, references, papers format, and submission need to follow APA format style.  

All assignments must be submitted via Blackboard unless approved otherwise. Assignments will be due on Thursday's before midnight. See schedule for exact due dates. For consistency all times referred in this course will be central time zone.


This course will require submission of a series of items in the form of a journals, partner interactions, lecture comments, and a final project 


Discussion (27%)

Introduction, Wiki Wellness Timeline, Class Prep20

There will be an intro discussion board (5 points) to help me get to know you and to help other students get to know each other better. This will help create our online community. One Wiki creation project worked on as a group (5 points). Two short activities based on class (prep) will be used to help prepare for class discussions (5 points each).

Lecture Comments 50

We will be using VoiceThread in this course for you to interact with the lectures. There will be 10 weeks of comments required. The purpose of these comments to help you analyze the content, reflect on the information, hear thoughts from classmates, and keep you up to date on the course. 

Partner Discussion40

Your classmates are a wealth of information and have a broad range of experiences. In graduate school it is important to hear from and interact with others. You will utilize Zoom to meet with your partner and together discuss the required content and submit your work per the assignment. 

Quiz (20%)

Quizzes 80

There will be a total of 8 quizzes covering content from the course. These quizzes will help you prepare for the final exam. They will be open book/open note.  

Reflection (10%)


There will be creative writing/reflection assignments gathering thoughts and connecting content. 

Project (25%)

Individual Project100

For the project you will have three options to choose from. These projects are designed for you to explore current research and create plans using the information from the literature. There will be multiple due dates associated with the final project including deadlines for which option you have chosen, an outline, and final submission. Final projects should take about 10-15 hours of total time to complete. Further instructions will be provided. 

Option 1: REQUIRED for Health Coaching Students (optional for others) – 8 Hour Training Day 

To be eligible for the NBHWC exam, you must attend a minimum of 40 hours of live training. During this training day we will cover concepts on ethics, legal requirements for coaching, how to give advice during a coaching session, plans for confidentiality, the coach role, and making referrals. You will submit a 2-3 page reflection of the training.

Option 2: Book Review  

If you are a book worm this project will help you analyze content in popular media books against the scientific literature. This will give you an opportunity to read and report on books your clients may be reading and requires you to analytically review the book. You may contact me about your book choice or choose between the following books:   

  • The Longevity Paradox – Steven Gundry, MD 

  • In Defense of Food – Michael Pollan 

  • How not to Die Michael Greger, MD

Option 3: Artistic/Creative Endeavor  

For all of you who enjoy creating and adding content in unique ways this project will get your brain active in different ways. You will choose to create a website, educational video series, or educational podcast series. You will choose the audience and topic for your materials and will need to incorporate the information from this class and text into your creation. 

Discussion Board Individual Project Feedback 

Final Projects will be shared with the class via the discussion board. You will be required to review classmates final projects and provide feedback.  

Exam (19%)

Final Exam75

A final comprehensive exam will cover all of the content from the course lectures, text, and assigned readings. It will be open note/open book but will be time limited so studying and preparing prior to the exam is necessary. 

Assessment Summary

Grading Breakdown

Assignment Total Points
Intro Discussion Board, Class*2, Wiki @ 5 points 20 points
Quizzes x 8 @ 10 points each 80 points
Partner Discussions x 2 @ 20 points each 40 points
Journals x 4 @ 10 points each 40 points
Project or 8 hour Training Day Reflection 80 points
Project Discussion Board Comments 20 points
Final Exam 75 points
Total 355 points

Final Grade Scale

| A | 90% to 100%  | B | 80% to 89%  | C | <79%

Tentative Course Schedule*  

*Subject to change depending on the needs of students or instructor 

Schedule of Topics and Assignments

Week of Reading(s): Agenda/Topic: Due:
5/18 Introduction to Course
Health Disparities & Population Considerations
Wellness & Wellbeing Concepts
Discussion Board Intro
Lecture Comments
Wiki Wellness Model Timeline
5/25 Overweight & Obesity, BMI, WC
Introduction to Nutrigenomics
Biomarkers for Weight
Healthy Weight
HAES Concepts
Class Meeting 5.25 5-7 pm
Project Selection
Quiz 1
Lecture Comments
6/1 Diabetes
Fasting Glucose
Other Biomarkers for DM
What is our Role
Journal Reflection #1
Quiz 2
Class Meeting 6.3 8:30 am-5 pm CT
Saturday - this is required for Health Coach Certificate students. It is optional for other students. It can be used as individual final project for all students & may be a good fit to get that final project done!
Lecture Comments
6/8 Cardiovascular Disease
Risk Factors & Genetics
Partner Discussion 1
Project Outline
Lecture Comments
6/15 Cardiovascular Disease cont.
Lipid abnormalities, lipid panels
Prevention & Treatment of HTN, CAD, Stroke
Quiz 3
Lecture Comments
Journal Reflection #2
6/22 Metabolic Syndrome
Inflammatory Conditions
Immune Function
Quiz 4
Project Draft
Lecture Comments
6/29 Nutrition for Wellbeing
Dietary Guidelines for Americans
Partner Discussion 2
Quiz 5
Lecture Comments
7/6 Anti-inflammatory Diet
Mediterranean Diet
Healthy Eating Plate
Plant-based diets
Journal Reflection #3
Quiz 6
Lecture Comments
7/13 Antioxidants
Bioactive Compounds for Health
Mental Health
Social Determinants of Health
Physical Activity
Alcohol, Tobacco, & Other Drugs
Final Projects
Class Meeting 7.13 5-7 pm CT
Quiz 7
Projects Due
Lecture Comments
Quiz 8
Project Feedback
Lecture Comments
Journal Reflection #4
Lecture Comments
Final Exam
Course Wrap Up

Course Evaluation

Around the middle of the semester, we will complete a formative assessment to see how the course is going. Near the end of the semester, you will be asked to complete an online course evaluation form (SELFI). Your feedback on the course is extremely valuable to me. I read my students’ comments carefully and use them to improve the course the next time I teach it.

  • When the time comes, please let me know which aspects of the course helped you learn—and which aspects might be modified to help future students learn more effectively. 
  • Please note that the course evaluations are anonymous and that I won’t see the results until after the grades for the course are submitted, allowing you to provide honest and constructive feedback. 
  • And if you have feedback to offer before the end of the semester, please let me know. 

Course Policies


It is expected that students will complete all requirements for a course during the time frame of the course. For reasons beyond a student’s control, and upon request by the student or on behalf of the student, an incomplete grade may be assigned by the instructor when there is reasonable certainty the student will successfully complete the course without retaking it. The mark “I,” Incomplete, will be assigned only to the student who has been in attendance and has done satisfactory work up to a time within four weeks of the close of the semester, including the examination period, and whose work is incomplete for reasons satisfactory to his or her instructor. More information regarding UND’s Incomplete policy can be found on The Grading System webpage. 

Resolution of Problems

Should a problem occur, you should speak to your instructor first. If the problem continues to be unresolved, go to the department chair, and next to the college Dean. Should the problem persist, you have the right to go to the Provost next, and then to the President.

University of North Dakota Policies & Resources

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a serious matter, and any deviations from appropriate behavior will be dealt with strongly. At the discretion of the professor, situations of concern may be dealt with as a scholastic matter or a disciplinary matter.

As a scholastic matter, the professor has the discretion to determine appropriate penalties for the student’s workload or grade, but the situation may be resolved without involving many individuals. An alternative is to treat the situation as a disciplinary matter, which can result in suspension from the University, or have lesser penalties. Be aware that I view this as a very serious matter and will have little tolerance and/or sympathy for questionable practices. A student who attempts to obtain credit for work that is not their own (whether that be on a paper, quiz, homework assignment, exam, etc.) will likely receive a failing grade for that item of work, and at the professor’s discretion, may also receive a failing grade in the course. For more information read the Code of Student Life.

Access and Opportunity, Disability Support, & Medical Services

The University of North Dakota is committed to providing equal access to students with documented disabilities. To ensure access to this class and your program, please contact Disability Services for Students (DSS) to engage in a confidential discussion about accommodations for the classroom and clinical settings. Accommodations are not provided retroactively. Students are encouraged to register with DSS at the start of their program. More information can be obtained by email UND.dss@UND.edu or by phone at 701.777.2664.


UND is committed to maintaining a safe learning environment while providing quality learning experiences for our students. COVID-19’s continued presence within our UND community may necessitate changes in classroom management as the academic year progresses. As such, UND asks students and instructors to be flexible when necessary to promote a safe environment for learning. Please do not attend an in-person class or lab if you are feeling ill, particularly if you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, or if you have been directed by health professionals to quarantine or isolate. If you are not able to attend class or lab, please notify your instructor as soon as possible and discuss options for making up any missed work in order to ensure your ability to succeed in the course. If you will have an extended absence due to serious illness or other uncontrollable circumstances, you may request an absence notification through the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities. Similarly, if your instructor is ill they may need to cancel class or temporarily move your course to online delivery to ensure that you are able to complete the course successfully.  Instructors may require students to wear masks in the classroom or in the laboratory as a preventative measure designed to facilitate uninterrupted classroom engagement and to facilitate health and safety in the classroom.   If your instructor does require masks in class or in a laboratory, you are expected to comply with that request.

UND also strongly encourages all members of the University community, including students, to get vaccinated, seek out testing when needed, and model positive behavior both on- and off-campus to foster a healthy and safe learning environment for all students. Individuals who would like to discuss disability accommodations regarding masks should contact the Disability Services for Students (DSS) office at 701.777.2664 or UND.dss@UND.edu. Individuals who are unable to wear a mask due to a sincerely held religious belief should contact the UND Equal Opportunity and Title IX Office at 701.777.4171 or UND.EO.TitleIX@UND.edu.

Religious Accommodations

UND offers religious accommodations, which are reasonable changes in the academic environment that enable a student to practice or observe a sincerely held religious belief without undue hardship on the University. Examples include time for prayer or the ability to attend religious events or observe a religious holiday. To request an accommodation, complete the student religious accommodation request form. If you have any questions, you may contact the Equal Opportunity & Title IX Office.

Pregnancy Accommodations

Students who need assistance with academic adjustments related to pregnancy or childbirth may contact the Equal Opportunity & Title IX Office or Academic Affairs to learn about your options. Additional information and services may be found at Pregnancy Resources.

Notice of Nondiscrimination

It is the policy of the University of North Dakota that no person shall be discriminated against because of race, religion, age, color, gender, disability, national origin, creed, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, marital status, veteran’s status, or political belief or affiliation and the equal opportunity and access to facilities shall be available to all. Concerns regarding Title IX, Title VI, Title VII, ADA, and Section 504 may be addressed to Donna Smith, Assistant Vice President for Equal Opportunity & Title IX and Title IX/ADA Coordinator, 102 Twamley Hall, 701.777.4171, UND.EO.TitleIX@UND.edu or the Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Dept. of Education, 230 S. Dearborn St., 37th Floor, Chicago, IL 60604 or any other federal agency.

Reporting of Discrimination, Harassment, or Sexual Misconduct

If you or a friend has experienced sexual misconduct, such as sexual harassment, sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking, please contact the Equal Opportunity & Title IX Office or UND’s Title IX Coordinator, Donna Smith, for assistance: 701.777.4171; donna.smith@UND.edu; or visit the Title IX webpage. You may also contact the Equal Opportunity & Title IX office if you or a friend has experienced discrimination or harassment based on a protected class, such as race, color, national origin, religion, sex, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, pregnancy, marital or parental status, veteran's status, or political belief or affiliation.

Faculty Reporting Obligations Regarding Discrimination, Harassment, or Sexual Misconduct

It is important for students to understand that faculty are required to share with UND’s Title IX Coordinator any incidents of sexual misconduct or of discrimination or harassment based on a protected class that they become aware of, even if those incidents occurred in the past or are disclosed as part of a class assignment. This does not mean an investigation will occur if the student does not want that, but it does allow UND to provide resources to help the student continue to be successful at UND. If you have been impacted by discrimination, harassment, or sexual misconduct, you can find information about confidential support services on the Equal Opportunity & Title IX webpage..

UND Cares Program

How to Seek Help When in Distress

We know that while college is a wonderful time for most students, however, some students may struggle or have issues that arise. You may experience students in distress on campus, in your classroom, in your home, and within residence halls. Distressed students may initially seek assistance from faculty, staff members, their parents, and other students. In addition to the support we can provide to each other, there are also professional support services available to students through the Dean of Students and University Counseling Center. Both staffs are available to consult with you about getting help or providing a friend with the help that he or she may need. For more additional information, please visit the UND Cares Program Webpage.

How to Recognize When a Student is in Distress

The term “distressed” can mean any of the following:

  • Student has significant changes in eating, sleeping, grooming, spending, or other daily activities.
  • Student has cut off or minimized contact with family or friends.
  • Student has significant changes in performance or involvement in academics, sports, extracurricular, or social activities.
  • Student describes problems (missing class, not remembering, destructive behavior) that result from experiences with drinking or drugs.
  • Student is acting withdrawn, volatile, tearful, etc.
  • Student is acting out of character or different than usual.
  • Student is talking explicitly about hopelessness or suicide.
  • Student has difficulty concentrating or difficulty carrying on a normal conversation.
  • Student has excessive dependence on others for company or support.
  • Student reports feeling out of control of one’s emotions, thoughts, or behaviors.

Land Acknowledgement Statement

Today, the University of North Dakota rests on the ancestral lands of the Pembina and Red Lake Bands of Ojibwe and the Dakota Oyate - presently existing as composite parts of the Red Lake, Turtle Mountain, White Earth Bands, and the Dakota Tribes of Minnesota and North Dakota. We acknowledge the people who resided here for generations and recognize that the spirit of the Ojibwe and Oyate people permeate this land. As a university community, we will continue to build upon our relations with the First Nations of the State of North Dakota - the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation, Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate Nation, Spirit Lake Nation, Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, and Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians.

Additional Resources

It is my goal to foster an environment of mutual respect in which everyone feels comfortable voicing their opinions, sharing their stories, and learning about potentially heavy or personally relevant material. If, at any point, you feel like the information covered in this class elicits thoughts, feelings, or concerns that you would like to discuss further, don’t hesitate to reach out to me, or the UND Counseling Center (701-777-2127).

Further, if you experience extenuating circumstances, sexual violence, identity-based harm, or any other personal crisis during the semester, don’t hesitate to reach out to me so we can provide academic assistance and help you in this course, and put you in contact with the appropriate resources and services (if needed).