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October Peer Health Educator Spotlight – Nathan Salyer

Nathan Salyer
Peer Health Educator, Nathan Salyer

Nathan Salyer is a third-year junior at WSU completing a B.S. in neuroscience and a B.A. in Chinese. He joined the peer health education program in the spring of 2019. His peers in the program nominated him for the October 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 Nathan to hear more about his time in the program and why he thinks other students would benefit from joining.

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

Nathan Salyer: I’ve always been passionate about health education throughout high school. It has been good to be in a program where I can go out into the public and reach people who are interested in learning. It is a great way to help people become more comfortable with healthcare and learn to do things on their own.

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

NS: One skill has been the customer service aspect of health education. I want to become a doctor and learning how to teach is definitely vital. If someone doesn’t understand what you’re saying, you have to be patient with them. You try to find another way to explain to them so they can understand what you are trying to say.

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

NS: One of the most important things I’ve learned is it’s okay to not have the answer. There is a large amount of information I need to know to be able to present a workshop, but it doesn’t cover everything actually known about a topic.

If someone asks a question in a workshop I’m facilitating with someone else and I don’t have the answer, I can step aside and look it up really quick. If I’m by myself, I can say that’s a great question, but I don’t know and ask them to talk to me afterward. Then we can figure it out and look it up together or I can give them contact information for people who are much more knowledgeable than I am.

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

NS: I’d say go for it. The time and effort you put in to learn all the information is very beneficial if you want to have an impact on people. If you have any sort of passion for it, then go for it.

 

Become a peer health educator

Photo of Cougar Health Services Peer Health Educators

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 27. Due to COVID-19, applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis rather than having a strict close date.

Students who are accepted into the program will receive BACCHUS training on Sunday, August 30 from 9:00 am – 5:00 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 –6:00 pm.

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

Vaping-associated Pulmonary Illness

As of December 4, 2019, 2,291 cases of lung illness associated with the use of e-cigarettes and other vaping products have been reported to CDC. This includes 48 deaths. No evidence of infectious diseases has been identified; therefore the lung illnesses are likely associated with a chemical exposure. The CDC’s investigation has not identified any specific substance or e-cigarette product that is linked to all cases. Please consider not using e-cigarette products.

If you vape and you experience symptoms like those reported in this outbreak, seek medical care promptly. Some patients have reported that their symptoms developed over a few days, while others have reported that their symptoms developed over several weeks. A pulmonary infection does not appear to be causing the symptoms, which have generally not improved with antibiotic treatment alone. Patients in this investigation have reported symptoms such as:

  • cough, shortness of breath, or chest pain
  • nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
  • fatigue, fever, or weight loss

Regardless of the ongoing investigation young adults should not use e-cigarette products.

  • The use of e-cigarettes is unsafe for teens and young adults.
  • Most e-cigarettes contain nicotine. Nicotine is highly addictive and can harm adolescent brain development, which continues into the early to mid-20s.
  • E-cigarettes can contain other harmful substances besides nicotine.
  • Young people who use e-cigarettes may be more likely to smoke cigarettes in the future.

Additional information can be found on the CDC website. 

Those experiencing symptoms or who have questions about their health should contact their healthcare provider. Pullman students can contact Cougar Health Services at 509-335-3575 or schedule an appointment at https://cougarhealth.wsu.edu/appointments/

Faculty and staff guide for helping students in distress

Aerial view of Pullman campus
Picture of WSU Pullman campus on a sunny day

Faculty and staff are often able to recognize when a student is struggling, but it can be hard to know what to say or do.

To ensure students get the support they need, Student Affairs created a comprehensive guide that faculty and staff can reference when they’re concerned about a student.

The guide covers how to recognize common signs of distress, helpful ways to respond to a student, campus and community support resources, and reporting options.

Each WSU location has a guide with specific campus and community resources. View the guide for your WSU location below:

Join the Culture of Respect campus team

 

The Culture of Respect initiative had a great start as we welcomed nearly 35 campus and community partners to the kickoff event February 27. This campus-wide initiative uses a framework focused on broad participation which allows us to come together and collectively develop goals and next steps for WSU Pullman.

The first step we are taking is completing the CORE Evaluation by the end of April. We are using this self-assessment to determine which aspects of the Culture of Respect framework are most relevant for our campus. As we review what WSU is already doing to prevent sex- and gender-based violence, we are able to assess how we can build off this strong foundation and how we can collaborate to address gaps we identify.

If you missed the kickoff event, check out this video of the presentation above.

If you would like to know more about the Core Evaluation or are interested in becoming a part of our campus team, please contact Tara Johnson, Health Promotion Specialist, at tara.l.johnson@wsu.edu.

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.

Help us facilitate ‘Booze, Sex and Reality Checks’ for incoming students

Instructor speaking to a room of students
Instructor speaking to a room of students

 

Our Health Promotion team is offering an exciting opportunity to lead new Cougs through the Booze, Sex, and Reality Checks (BSRC) workshop. Incoming students under the age of 21 attend this evidence-based program as part of their Week of Welcome experience.

As a Facilitator, you will gain public speaking experience, receive training in motivational interviewing, and become equipped to facilitate group discussions. As Support Staff, you will participate in implementing Week of Welcome workshops and develop skills in customer service.

Opportunities Available

BSRC Lead Facilitator and Co-Facilitator

  • ROLE: Lead Facilitators take the lead in presenting content for BSRC workshops. Co-Facilitators assist Lead Facilitators during BSRC workshops and present basic content
  • WHO CAN APPLY: WSU staff or graduate students (undergraduate students can also apply for Co-Facilitator role)
  • PAY RATE: Will be discussed once application has been submitted

Support Staff

  • ROLE: Help set up workshops, sign-in students, direct students to correct workshop locations, and answer general questions.
  • WHO CAN APPLY: Anyone (undergraduate students encouraged to apply)
  • PAY RATE: $12 per hour

Job Requirements

BSRC Lead and Co-facilitator

  • Attend all 10 Facilitator trainings (8:30am – 12:00pm)
    • On Tuesdays – June 25th, July 9th, July 16th, July 23rd, and July 30th
    • And on Wednesdays – June 26th, July 10th, July 17th, July 24th, and July 31st
  • Attend 1 logistics training (2 hours long)
    • Either on August 8th or 9th
  • Available to facilitate workshops August 10th through August 17th

Support Staff

  • Attend 2 Support Staff trainings (8:00am – 5:00pm)
    • Both August 8th and 9th
  • Available to work full-time August 10th through August 17th

How to Apply

BSRC Lead Facilitator and Co-Facilitator

Applications for these two positions will be accepted through May 31st. If you are interested, apply here.

Support Staff

Applications for this position will be accepted until filled. If you are interested, apply here.

 

We hope you’ll join us this summer!

Questions?

Contact Health Promotion:

Phone: 509-335-9355
Email: cougarhealth.healthpromotion@wsu.edu

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.

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 cougarhealth.shac@wsu.edu.