University of Nebraska Medical Center

National Public Health Week

COPH PHamily PHeud

Public Health Community Advisory –  The UNMC College of Public Health Student Association hosted a week of fun-filled events in April to celebrate National Public Health Week sponsored by the COPH Dean’s Office, COPH Alumni Association, COPH Research Committee, the UNMC Center for Healthy Living, and the NU Foundation.

Starting on Monday with a PHamily PHeud style Game Day, hosted by Kathleen Brandert (pictured), more than 40 students, faculty, and staff attended and learned public health tips on how to be the Healthiest Nation in 2030! Team “Prep Ted” from the Center for Preparedness Education won it all and earned the title “Public Health Champions” for the week.

On Tuesday, Dr. David Corbin led students, faculty, and staff at the College of Public Health in a relaxing tai chi session. Due to the cold weather, the event was moved from outdoors to 3rd-floor common space, but participants were still able to learn how to “stroke the horse’s mane” and “repulse the wild monkey,” which is stress-relief at its finest. The College of Public Health celebrated their tenth anniversary with a dinner sponsored by the University of Nebraska Foundation and UNMC. Paul Estabrooks, Ph.D., was recognized as the inaugural recipient of the Harold M. Maurer, M.D., Distinguished Chair in Public Health. Also recognized were Dr. and Mrs. Maurer and two of UNMC’s most generous supporters, Ruth and Bill Scott of Omaha. The Scotts established the chair with a $1 million gift in honor of Dr. Maurer, who served as UNMC chancellor from 1999 to 2014 and was instrumental in establishing the College of Public Health in 2006. The Chancellor Robert D. Sparks, M.D., Award in Public Health and Preventive Medicine was presented to Nebraska State Sen. Mike Gloor, from District 35.

On Wednesday, the Research and Development Committee held their annual Student Research Conference to showcase our recent student research at the College of Public Health. Over 20 posters presented by COPH students were judged by COPH faculty. Delicious refreshments were provided by the COPH Alumni Engagement Council. There was an unprecedented tie of both MPH and Ph.D. program students for 1st place poster winners: Kaeli Samson (MPH, Biostatistics), Jocelyn Herstein (MPH, Environmental, Agricultural and Occupational Health), Katherine Rieke (Ph.D., Epidemiology), and Bodhisattwa Mondal (Ph.D. Environmental, Agricultural and Occupational Health). Monetary prizes were awarded by the College of Public Health Student Association. Congratulations to everyone’s hard work who participated and helped plan this event!

Thursday held an Opportunity Fair for our students. It was a fantastic day of networking and career building for students, alumni, and the organizations involved. Thanks to coordination with public health organizations and the College of Public Health Alumni Engagement Council, students were able to visit 11 booths to network and also sign up for mock interviews for career building. Students and organizations alike enjoyed the public health focused group of individuals present at this networking event.

On Friday, the Student Association organized a 1 Mile Wellness Walk around campus with help from Wellness Council and the Center for Healthy Living. Over 30 participants took a lap around a planned route, complete with marked flags and posters with healthy living tips. After finishing, walkers could re-fuel with granola bars, waters, and bananas at the College of Public Health. Saturday was the last day of National Public Health Week and offered a college-wide community service volunteer day. There were 50 participants, including students, faculty, and staff, who joined forces decorating and filling candy bags at the Siena/Francis House or gardening and mulching at Fork n Farm. At the end of the busy morning, all volunteers met again at the College of Public Health for a delicious barbecue lunch.

This article was written by Brianna Rooney, BS, Graduate Assistant, Center for Preparedness Education, Student Association, President, MPH Student, Epidemiology

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