The HANDS (Health and Nutrition Diversity Scholars) program is designed to recruit, retain, provide mentors and train high-quality undergraduate multicultural scholars in nutrition. Special features of the program include a scholars' seminar; a one-credit course aimed at developing social support, mentorship and professional preparation through research projects and community service projects; a peer tutoring system where senior nutrition majors provide tutoring in math, science, nutrition and other courses; finding community mentors who are nutrition practitioners or researchers in the field; and giving participants the opportunity to serve as mentors to first-year students.

The overall goal of HANDS is to build the capacity of students to study and practice nutrition in diverse settings and communities nationally and globally. The program began in 2006 when The Department of Nutrition received a $90,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to fund the Nutrition Multicultural Scholarship Program. The effort, dubbed HANDS (Health and Nutrition Diversity Scholars), is being run by Nancy Cohen, professor and head of the Department of Nutrition; Pamela Marsh-Williams, assistant provost and dean for the Undergraduate Advising and Learning Communities (UALC); and Mathew L. Ouellett, director of the Center for Teaching, with assistance from current and former HANDS scholars. While the program no longer offers scholarship funding, recruitment is ongoing for HANDS Scholars to participate in the Scholars Seminar and affiliated academic and community supports.