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April Peer Health Educator of the Month – Mari Irvan

Photo of Mari Web
Photo of Mari Web

 

Mari Irvan is a fourth year senior at WSU completing a B.S. in psychology and a B.A. in human development. She joined the peer health education program in the fall of 2018. Her peers in the program nominated her for the April Peer Health Educator of the Month award. This award is given to peer health educators in recognition of their hard work and dedication to the program. We sat down with Mari to hear more about her time in the program and why she thinks other students would benefit from joining.

How has being a peer health educator been meaningful to you?

MI: Going into the program, I was excited about the opportunity to make a difference on campus and be involved in a club that promotes various aspects of health. Being in the program has opened my eyes to different opportunities after graduation and my trajectory has definitely changed.

I’m going to be trained as a community coalition coordinator working for the state to prevent substance abuse at the community level. And I don’t think that would have happened without this spark of interest.

How do you think being a peer health educator has built career skills?

MI: Throughout school, you get opportunities to stand up in front of a classroom and do a presentation. But something I didn’t expect from [being a peer health educator] was being able to gain skills in how to present in a very engaging way.

You learn how to get the audience to want to participate and to feel the information personally relates to them, no matter who they are. I think this makes presenting a lot more effective and fun for everybody.

What is the most important thing you’ve learned as a peer health educator?

MI: One of the most impactful things I did as a peer health educator was go through Mental Health First Aid training. I liked how it teaches you how to respond to someone who is having a crisis. This isn’t something covered in a lot of my psychology classes and it can be really difficult to respond in these situations.

What do you do in the moment? Or what do you do if you see someone who you’re really concerned about? How do you be direct and ask them ‘hey, are you ok?’ I think this is easier said than done. [What we learned] was very applicable and is something everyone should know.

What would you say to someone who is considering becoming a peer health educator?

MI: [Being a peer health educator] is a great opportunity to be a leader and to be part of something that is making a positive impact. You will be surprised at how much you learn as an individual about different aspects of health and safety. What I learned was super applicable for when I was starting to look for internships to complete my human development degree and for what I would do after graduation.

I don’t regret joining at all. It has been one of my favorite things I’ve done at WSU. I’m glad I was able to snag the opportunity before I graduated, and I would definitely recommend it.

March Peer Health Educator of the Month – Nives Quaye

Photo of CHS Peer Health Educator Nives Quaye
Photo of CHS Peer Health Educator Nives Quaye
CHS Peer Health Educator Nives Quaye

Nives Quaye is a fifth year senior at WSU completing a B.A. in human development and a B.S. in biology, with an emphasis in basic medical sciences. She joined the peer health education program in the fall of 2018. Her peers in the program nominated her for the March Peer Health Educator of the Month award. The award is given to peer health educators in recognition of their hard work and dedication to the program. We sat down with Nives to hear more about her time in the program and why she thinks other students would benefit from joining.

How has being a peer health educator been meaningful to you?

NQ: Well I actually want to go into Public Health, and health education is one of the things I want to do in the Public Health realm. I want to do programming and health education, so I feel that these tie in perfectly with what my future goals are. I feel it has given me more knowledge about health education in general and how to present to people about sensitive topics.

How do you think being a peer health educator has built career skills?

NQ: It’s definitely given me some experience in public speaking and how to interact in a large group setting. I also went to some workshops with Tamera Crooks, [the leadership coordinator for student involvement], where I learned about how different personalities can be integrated in the workspace and about being able to collaborate better with partners and in group settings.

What is the most important thing you’ve learned as a peer health educator?

NQ: I would say learning how to use more inclusive language when speaking to people was really emphasized in this position. For example, learning how to say pronouns when introducing yourself in a group of people. In my other positions I’ve been in [on campus], we never really went as in depth as in this program.

What would you say to someone who is considering becoming a peer health educator?

NQ: I would say, if you are passionate about educating other college students about just regular things that affect them on a daily basis, then apply for this position. If you see yourself as always being a friend that’s being asked about certain things or you like being asked for advice and you feel these things come naturally to you, I would definitely say this would be a good position. [As a peer health educator], you would be able to tell others about different resources they can use to help themselves and have an impact on a large amount of people.

Become a peer health educator

Photo of Cougar Health Services Peer Health Educators

This fall, our health promotion team is continuing a peer health education program. Peer health educators are a diverse group of undergraduate leaders who work with us to educate and empower their fellow students. Students who participate in this program facilitate workshops, represent CHS at campus events, table, and collaborate with campus partners.

We consistently hear from students who are interested in peer health education programs, and studies show that students view peer health educators as credible and trustworthy sources of information. The program is supported by the Service & Activity Fee and will help increase our collaboration with students.

Students who participate in the program will receive a range of professional development opportunities, including training and hands-on experience. Peer educators will develop leadership and public speaking skills, foster positive working relationships, and gain foundational knowledge in a variety of health topics, including violence prevention, mental health, substance use, and sexual health.

The application for becoming a peer health educator will open March 18 and close on April 19.

Students who are accepted into the program will receive BACCHUS training on Sunday, September 8th and Sunday, September 15th from 10:00 am – 4:00 pm. Students will then take an exam for their peer educator certification. The program has a one year commitment with 25 hours of involvement per semester and bi-weekly meetings which occur on Wednesdays from 4:00 – 5:30pm.

If you have questions about the program, please contact Peyton Prothero.

Community is invited to join WSU’s Culture of Respect

On February 27th, WSU Pullman is inviting the community to participate in the kickoff event for the Culture of Respect, a campus-wide initiative. The Culture of Respect is a two-year commitment where a team of faculty, staff, students, and community partners from across Pullman will evaluate and enhance our efforts to prevent sex- and gender-based violence on our campus.

Everyone is welcome to come and get involved. Opportunities for you to participate and learn more include:

  • Join our campus team (5 hours per month commitment)
  • Request a Culture of Respect Overview for your department or RSO
  • Attend the kickoff event on February 27th at 11:30am in Lighty 405
  • Share this information with colleagues and friends

Since 2011, WSU has grown tremendously in the prevention of sex- and gender-based violence and the Culture of Respect will continue to build on this strong foundation. At this first meeting, we will be forming the campus team and providing more information about what the initiative involves.

Over the course of the spring term, the CORE Evaluation will be completed to assess our current work and working groups will be established to address the areas our campus can continue to grow in.

The areas we will focus on include:

  • Survivor support
  • Clear policies on misconduct, investigations, adjudications, and sanctions
  • Multitiered education for the entire campus
  • Public disclosure of statistics
  • Schoolwide mobilization with student groups and leaders
  • Ongoing self-assessment

We will be sharing our goals and progress throughout this process, which began in January 2019 when WSU Pullman joined the third cohort of NASPA’s Culture of Respect Collective. The third cohort includes WSU and 37 other higher education institutions in the United States and internationally.

The next meeting will be held March 22nd at 1pm in Lighty 405. If you are interested in getting involved, please contact Tara Johnson, Health Promotion Specialist, at tara.l.johnson@wsu.edu

Get involved in student health

Get involved in student health
Get involved in student health

Want to advocate for student health concerns, influence decisions around health services and initiatives, and gain valuable working knowledge of management and leadership? Then join our Student Health Advisory Committee (SHAC)!

SHAC works to improve Health & Wellness Services and Counseling and Psychological Services by acting as an advisory group to the executive director and serving as a liaison among students, student government, and administrators.

SHAC will review programs and services, recommend new programs, and advise on financial matters. Students on SHAC also work closely with our staff to provide insightful feedback on services and initiates related to mental, physical, and emotional health.

By joining SHAC you’ll:

  • Have opportunities to network with professionals in the health industry
  • Bolster your resume with real experience in health care
  • Gain essential communication and leadership skills

We’re looking for exceptional student leaders to get involved in SHAC. If you’re interested, contact Rachel Oliver.

Get your flu vaccine!

Get your flu vaccine

Flu season is approaching fast! You can prevent the flu by getting your flu vaccine at one of our Flu Shot Friday events or by making an appointment with your health care provider.
It’s important that you get your flu shot early in the season. After getting a flu vaccine, it takes about two weeks for your body to develop the antibodies that will protect you from flu virus.

Flu Shot Fridays 2018

Every Friday from September 28 to October 26 *
10 am — 3 pm
Washington Building, ground floor entrance

* Additional flu vaccine outreach will occur on Thursday, October 11 and will be hosted in Bustad Hall 110J, 10:30-1:30

Flu Shot Fridays are open to WSU students, faculty, and staff. We won’t be able to give the vaccine to those who are pregnant or under age 18.

Show up early if you can! We’re giving away free thermometers to the first 150 students each Friday.

Can’t make it to a Flu Shot Friday or want your shot sooner? Flu vaccines are available now in our clinic. Students can make an appointment to get a flu shot.

Cost

Flu shots are covered in full by most insurance plans. If you don’t have insurance or are concerned about costs, we’re here to help you! Contact our billing office at 509-335-3575.

Make sure to bring your insurance card! We won’t be taking payment at the time of service for Flu Shot Fridays, but we’ll get your insurance information for billing.

Parking options

We’ll have some parking spaces reserved in the green lot at Stadium Way and SE Nevada St. for Flu Shot Fridays. Reserved spaces will be marked with orange cones. Metered parking spots are available on NE Washington St.

There are also a number of zoned parking lots available nearby for permit holders. For a detailed parking map, visit Transportation Services. Our building is also easily accessible via public transit. Visit Pullman Transit for routes and schedules.

Get stress management tips on your phone

Get stress management tips

Feeling stressed, need help coping, or just want tips for managing your stress? We can help!

Join our text messaging program and we will:

  • Check in with you every week to see how you’re doing
  • Send you weekly tips for lowering stress
  • Share information about health-related events and resources around campus

To sign up, text “STRESS” to 30644. You can join at any point in the semester!

You can also check out our stress management workshops and other programs.

Make your health a priority

Front entrances of the Washington Building

Your health plays a major role in your success as a student. We provide comprehensive care right here on campus, making it easier for you to get the care you need.

Our highly-skilled health care providers and counselors understand the unique needs of students and offer a wide range of services to support all Cougs.

We’re here for you!

Make sure you’re familiar with our services and the resources we provide.

We hope you have a wonderful year. Stay healthy, Cougs!

New mental health promotion specialist

Earlier this month, we hired a new mental health promotion and suicide prevention specialist, Nikita Alimohammad. Nikita previously worked on our team as a health educator, and will now lead suicide prevention efforts on campus, including coordination for our grant work. This includes SAMHSA’s Garrett Lee Smith Grant and the JED Foundation campus program.

We created the specialist role two years ago as part of WSU’s focus on mental health and suicide prevention. The position was vacant for the majority of the 2017-2018 school year, and filling the role will help us build on previous success in promoting mental health on campus.

In her new role, Nikita will collaborate with campus partners on our community-based approach to mental health promotion. She will analyze collected data and feedback to identify high-risk student populations and improve health promotion student outreach trainings.  One of her first projects will be coordinating the Healthy Minds study, an online survey conducted every year to collect information on student mental health.

Nikita earned her bachelor’s degree in health sciences with a focus in administration and management from California State University, East Bay. She then went on to earn her master’s degree in public health at San Diego State University.

In her previous role as a health educator, Nikita led Mental Health First Aid trainings and supported our IMPACT program and student reinstatement and enrichment workshops.