I was trained in public health and community health education by Dr. Luvenia “Vennie” Cowart at Syracuse University’s Department of Public Health, Food Studies, and Nutrition (Formerly under the Department of Health and Wellness). Under her program, The Genesis Health Project Network, we worked together to educate minority populations about improving health outcomes through research and program initiatives. The focus was on assessing the needs of the population and making clinical health information “more digestible” when addressing topics such as diabetes, cancer, and obesity.
I planned to continue the work that my advisor had begun and improve patient care and communications. My work has applied clinical theory and techniques from pharmacological fields and public health with patient care, advocacy, and health promotion among populations. By integrating therapeutic methods from counseling together with literacy models and scientific inquiry and methods, I hope to alleviate the fear that many individuals attain from courses within the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) discipline. In addition, I integrate these methods through professional communications and public relations to reach out to different audiences and ensure a stronger understanding of scientific literature and health documentation.
I am continually working to facilitate an understanding of the medical/health field by also increasing the basic knowledge of an individual’s mathematical and science background. Rather than instill fear by acknowledging the difficulty of the material (e.g., “Calculus is very difficult to pass”) or provoking anxiety from lack of health knowledge (e.g., “How can you not understand what hypertension means?”), my work focuses on promoting a better understanding of the material by generating interest as it can relate to the individual.
How do resources such as personal tutoring, online resources, and notes assist students with understanding complex material required from the STEM fields? What factors assist them with their success?
Do societal factors play a role with an acceptance of failure in a STEM class (i.e. acceptable to fail calculus versus failing a sociology course)? In a sense, has it become normalized to do poorly in a STEM class versus a non STEM class?
I am continuing Dr. Vennie Cowart's research in health literacy and health program development and also branching it out by applying it to the STEM discipline. By combining genuine interest in a person's success (whether it is through symptom management or making sense of complex formulas), I hope to encourage people to explore these fields without feeling lost or incapable.