Public Health Practice – In September, the Rural Health Education Network College of Public Health (RHEN-COPH) hosted a first-time dual visit for the students and faculty of the Public Health Early Admissions Student Track (PHEAST) program and rural public stakeholders. The dual visit promoted interest in public health careers among rural students and provided a forum for stakeholders to learn about graduate opportunities in public health offered at COPH. A total of 19 students and 22 stakeholders attended the meeting. Stakeholders included faculty and Office of Multicultural Affairs staff from PHEAST partner institutions, local health department directors from the regions in which the undergraduate institutions are located, and Nebraska Area Health Education Center (AHEC) Directors. While faculty and staff from rural partner institutions engaged with local health departments and AHEC directors, the students learned about concentration areas of the college’s Master of Public Health Program and engaged in conversations with Dean Khan and current COPH students. A special highlight of the day’s activities included a celebratory moment and surprise visit by Dean Khan congratulating RHEN’s first PHEAST student, Shelby Zimmerman Watson, a recent UNK graduate, on her successful matriculation into the COPH Master of Public Health program. Shelby ‘s mentor Derry Stover, also a UNK graduate and alumni of the COPH Master of Public Health program, also participated in the dual PHEAST student visit. Four new students were accepted into the PHEAST pipeline in 2014, bringing the total number of students enrolled to nine since the program’s inception in 2011.
This article was written by Sonya Russell, MPH BSEd, Administrative Program Coordinator, College of Public Health Rural Health Education Network