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Students in Southeastern’s health education and promotion program put their academic preparation to practical use as they conduct a mini-health fair in the War Memorial Student Union.
Angelle Fury, Ponchatoula, kinesiology senior
Maria Godoy, New Orleans, health education senior
Holly LeBlanc, Denham Springs, health education senior
Dr. Wynn Gillen, Assistant Professor of Health Studies
Dr. Ralph Wood, Coordinator, Health Education and Promotion
There’s no better way to learn something than to actually perform the task.
That’s precisely what Southeastern health studies students taking a health behavior change course did when they conducted a mini-health fair for other students, faculty and staff in the Student Union mall.
Health education and promotion students conducted
the health fair under the guidance of their professor,
Wynn Gillan, far right, and other faculty.
Students enrolled in the course learn how to assess health in individuals and what information to provide those seeking to improve their health. The health fair was the practical application for those students to practice their skills, taking blood pressures, measuring cholesterol and blood sugar levels, checking body mass indices and other tests on willing participants.
“We’ve been preparing for this all semester,” said Angelle Fury, a senior kinesiology student from Ponchatoula. “We want to get information out there. We want to let people know what the good numbers are in their weight and cholesterol, as well as how to prevent major diseases.”
“We are seeing how people our age are taking care of themselves,” said Maria Godoy, a senior health education major from New Orleans. “We get to explain what all the numbers mean and, if they don’t like what the results show, how they can go about improving their health.”
The health fair is held every semester and is part of the Health Education and Promotion degree at Southeastern, the only program of its kind in south Louisiana.
“The purpose of the health fair is to give the health studies students a chance to practice what they’ve learned in class,” said Wynn Gillan, assistant professor of health studies. “We want them to have the skills they will need in their field, as well as be able to talk to people about what they can do to improve their health.”
“The Health Education and Promotion degree program develops and prepares students to take an active role in the prevention of chronic diseases, such as cancer, diabetes, and heart disease,” said Ralph Wood, the coordinator for the Health Education and Promotion program in the Department of Kinesiology and Health Studies. “Our students complete a rigorous curriculum that prepares them to complete community health needs assessments, design programs to meet the identified community needs, and evaluate the success of those programs.”
While a relatively recent degree program at Southeastern, the Health Education and Promotion program already has produced some impressive results. Students in the program have gained jobs and internships at NASA, the White House, Louisiana Office of Public Health, and various hospitals and health centers.
“It’s a fairly new degree, but it is amazing,” said Holly LeBlanc, a senior health education major from Denham Springs. “The internships and experience really gets you prepared for working in the field.”