Assistant Professor Ghadah Alshuwaiyer is looking to expand upon health and wellness service projects as part of her “Life of Service” course.
This year, students participated in a Health Wellness Fair during Wellness Week, held just before spring break. Prior to the activities, the class conducted a survey to assess their peers’ knowledge about alcohol and sexual practices. Students in the class then targeted activities to what they wanted classmates to know based on survey results.
One group played a “beer” pong game using water instead of alcohol. Students were challenged to get a ball into the cup, and if they failed, they had to answer a question about alcohol’s effect on the body. Also during the fair, held in the student center, students had a chance to wear special goggles to simulate alcohol impairment to see how it impacted their balance. The class also made posters to bring awareness to sexually transmitted diseases.
Alshuwaiyer said she hopes the project showed her students the importance of assessment.
“In order to have a successful educational program, they must assess the needs of the population prior to developing the program,” she said. “We cannot assume that students know a lot about these issues just because they have access to the Internet. Therefore, participating in the wellness fair is important.”
She also said she believes students learned that audience engagement is also critical—the best way to educate is through fun activities.
Alshuwaiyer hopes in the future, these types of awareness activities can be held throughout the school year, not just during a week.
A blurb about the class’s projects is expected to run in the July issue of Nation’s Health, a nationally recognized newspaper of the American Public Health Association.
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