(Note: Opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of ETR as an agency.)
By Michael T. Everett, MHS | March 2, 2016
Project Director, ETR
This activity uses a participatory quiz to reinforce knowledge and learning. Teams develop quiz questions, then try to answer each others’ questions. Keep score. The team that knows the most wins!
By Daniel McCormick, MHA | February 29, 2016
Chief Executive Officer, ETR
ETR is a lucky nonprofit, for all kinds of reasons. One of them is embodied in the character of a single individual—Robert Keet, MD. This man has been a continuously active—and consistently dynamic—member of ETR’s Board for the past 35 years.
Think about that for a moment. What were you doing 35 years ago? How many of those things are you still doing today? With the same people or organization? Especially commitments that involve obligations such as weekend-long meetings where you review finance reports, business plans, performance data, legal issues and strategic goals?
Yes, it takes a special person to do this kind of voluntary work. And it takes an extraordinary person to do so for one organization over such a span of time.
By Marcia Quackenbush, MS, MFT, MCHES | February 25, 2016
Senior Editor, ETR
ETR’s inaugural Kirby Summit has started. While it’s not entirely clear what’s going to come out of this two-day event, I am certain it’s going to be powerful and different.
The Summit honors Doug Kirby, one of the greatest researchers the field of sexual and reproductive health has ever seen. Doug was also a senior research scientist here at ETR before his untimely death in 2012, and a colleague and true friend to many of us.
Doug had an insatiable curiosity and a love of civil debate. He’d certainly approve of this Summit!
By Tracy Wright, MAED | February 23, 2016
Project Director, ETR
Writing clear, measurable, achievable objectives that guide your training design is a critical part of good professional development. I call these healthy objectives. But creating them can be a bit tricky. In fact, in our Training of Trainer programs, we often find that writing healthy objectives is one of the skill areas where participants most need support.
Fortunately, there’s a wealth of information out there. Anyone with an Internet connection can discover exactly what objectives are, how to write them and how to share them with learners.
And, unfortunately, there’s a plethora of information out there. Anyone with an Internet connection can find dozens of different opinions about what objectives are, how to write them and how to share them with learners.
In other words, it’s difficult to find clear consensus on the what, why and how of learning objectives.
By Laura Perkins, MLS | February 18, 2016
Project Editor, ETR
The Hispanic/Latino community is disproportionately affected by HIV. In 2013, Hispanics/Latinos accounted for 21% of the estimated new diagnoses of HIV infection in the U.S., despite representing about 17% of the total population.
By John Shields, PhD, MSW | February 16, 2016
Senior Research Associate, ETR
Last month, I attended the annual conference of the Society for Social Work & Research (SSWR) in Washington, DC. I saw some dear old friends and colleagues, attended a few lavish university receptions (free crab cakes, anyone?), and heard some great presentations on new science in the field of social work. But one session stands out—the launch of the Grand Challenges for Social Work Initiative.
Dr. Richard Barth, distinguished professor and researcher, and president of the American Academy of Social Work & Social Welfare, gave an inspiring speech to launch the Initiative. He challenged social workers in all their forms (students, practitioners, educators, and researchers) to power up the impact of their work through the proven strategies of our field.
By John Henry Ledwith | February 11, 2016
Senior Sales Manager, ETR
It’s that time of year again. Early spring. Budget planning. Curriculum review committees. Educators at every level taking a look at what they’ve been doing and wondering if it’s time to try something new to reach their students more effectively.
As schools and districts make their projections and plans for the 2016-17 school year, the ETR crew starts to get calls from people all over the country. (After all, we’re the leading distributor of evidence-based prevention programs, as well as the publisher of the premiere comprehensive health program HealthSmart.)
The truth is, I never know exactly what questions will come up.
By Luca Maurer, MS, CSE, CFLE | February 8, 2016
Director, The Center for LGBT Education, Outreach & Services at Ithaca College
Transgender people are in our families, our communities, our workplaces, our faith communities and our schools. They are part of the fabric of our society. Yet stigma and discrimination can make it extraordinarily difficult for transgender people to make their way in the world, and for everyone to learn accurate information about the lives and experiences of transgender people.
Professional development and training can play a vital role in preparing educators and providers to offer the best possible services to transgender people. By extension, better services can be offered to their families, and, ultimately to entire communities and our society as a whole. Training can also prepare us to be more effective in our professional (and often our personal) roles.
The effort is well worth it!
Luca Maurer is the coauthor, along with Eli R. Green, PhD, of The Teaching Transgender Toolkit, a collection of resources and lesson plans for teaching transgender-related information to a variety of audiences, including high school and college students, educational professionals, medical and social service providers, community groups and faith communities. The toolkit enables facilitators and trainers to provide the most accurate and effective practical training, toward the goal of increasing awareness, empathy and skills.
By Aunsha Hall-Everett, MA | February 4, 2016
Executive Director, REACH LA
Throughout my time working with young people, I have had the opportunity to witness amazing conversations. I recently spoke with a group of young Black gay men (ages 16-19) about some of the sexual health and health promotion efforts we are building.
Hearing them share their experiences gave me two “ah ha” moments. First, I’m getting old. Second, we need to improve intergenerational relationships and build better communication between younger and older adults.
By Tracy Wright, MAED | February 2, 2016
Project Director, ETR
In 2015, I wrote a post about finding cheap or free graphics for trainings and presentations. However, like many things in our work—and everything related to technology—change has happened at a meteoric pace. Since that first post, many more new graphics sites have been born.
Some of you may be thinking (with an excited tone), “Wow! That’s great! Now I have more to choose from!”
And you’d be right, of course. More sites means more photos.
However, others of you may be thinking (with a less-than excited tone), “No! Now I have even more sites I need to search through endlessly, trying to find the perfect image for my presentation.”
And you’d be right too, of course.
By Cathy Maulsby, PhD, MPH & Kriti M. Jain, MSPH | February 1, 2016
Assistant Scientist & Doctoral Student, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
We’ve traveled a great distance in the fight against HIV since it first appeared in the 1980s. After decades of activism, research, and the development of effective medications, HIV is a manageable chronic disease for many. In fact, in the U.S., the average life expectancy for people living with HIV (PLWH) is inching towards that of all Americans. However, we still have much further to go to end HIV.
Today, around 1.2 million people in the U.S. are living with HIV, and certain populations (such as gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men, Black women and men, Latino men and women, people who inject drugs, youth aged 13 to 24, and transgender women) are disproportionately affected by the disease. Out of the 1.2 million PLWH in the country, too many lack access to ART—the lifesaving medications that reduce HIV transmission by lowering the level of virus in the blood (viral suppression).
By Louise Ann Lyon, PhD | January 28, 2016
Senior Research Associate, ETR
All my family, friends and colleagues know I’m a researcher interested in diversifying STEM. This means that I’m constantly receiving articles from them about all kinds of efforts being made to entice more girls/women and minorities to study or work in STEM fields—computer science in particular, as that has been my focus.
By Regina Firpo, MPH, CNC, MCHES | January 26, 2015
Director of Innovations, ETR
This is a group activity that can be used for reflection, idea generation, problem-solving, consensus-building and affirmation. It can also provide a nice change of pace for the group’s energy because it is both silent and physically active.
I learned this activity from Mary Harthun, a master educator at Arizona State University. I’ve used it many times in trainings and in day-long workgroup meetings, with both adults and youth. It allows participants to reflect, share and construct a compilation of what they’ve learned.
By Marcia Quackenbush, MS, MFT, MCHES | January 25, 2015
Senior Editor, ETR
One of my favorite things about ETR’s research staff is that everyone who is a part of the team is committed to mentorship. My colleagues understand that we cannot continue to advance the fields of health research and sexual and reproductive health without an effectively-trained cadre of new professionals joining our efforts.
ETR’s Kirby Summer Internship is the embodiment of that value. It is named after one of the premiere researchers in the field, Douglas Kirby, who, before his death in 2012, was a senior research scientist at ETR. Doug was also one of my favorite people ever. He would have fully approved of this internship program.
By BA Laris, MPH | January 21, 2015
Research Associate, ETR
People are talking about HIV and AIDS. You hear it, see it, Google it. Yep. There is a lot of talk.
But are people listening?
At ETR’s Community Impact Solutions Project (CISP), we believe members of the HIV prevention workforce are a vital part of this HIV and AIDS conversation. They need and deserve state of the art training to understand the many changing aspects of HIV and AIDS to help protect themselves, the community and families, friends, and partners.
By Jill Denner, PhD | January 19, 2016
Senior Research Scientist, ETR
On December 14, 2015, I had the privilege of attending a meeting on the grounds of the White House called MBK STEM+. The meeting was part of President Obama’s initiative called My Brother’s Keeper, which aims to mobilize education and career training resources for disadvantaged young people.
The focus of this particular meeting was to add STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) to the MBK initiative, specifically creating opportunities for young people of color to pursue innovation and entrepreneurship in STEM fields. The goal was to build connections across organizations and individuals working in this space by identifying needs and resources.
The room was filled with about 80 people, many working at organizations actively involved in providing STEM preparation and training for young people across the country.
By Karen Stradford, LCSW, & Madeline Travers, MPH | January 13, 2016
New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
The teen pregnancy rate in the United States is one of the highest in industrialized nations. New York City has one of the higher pregnancy rates in the country. The borough of the Bronx has a rate 45% higher than the national rate (61.7 per 1,000 females aged 15-19 years), with approximately 9% of teens (15-19 years old) becoming pregnant. At the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, our work is to address the disproportionally higher rate of teen pregnancy in certain neighborhoods.
So how do LGBTQ youth fit into this picture?
By Amie Ashcraft, PhD, MPH | January 6, 2015
Research Manager, West Virginia University
I grew up in Bridgeport, West Virginia. We had what passed for a Mexican and a Chinese restaurant. We had a convenience store with a drive-thru where you could buy smokes, beverages and live bait—everything needed for a fishing trip.
By local standards, my town was not at all rural. There was even a shopping mall in Bridgeport. The town was not quite so small that everyone knew everyone else, but it was small enough that if you were getting into trouble, you could be sure that word would eventually get back to your parents.
It wasn’t until I got a summer job in college with Energy Express, a reading and nutrition program for children, that I experienced truly rural areas of my state—undeveloped, mountainous areas where cell phone service still doesn’t reach and access to clean water and indoor plumbing are daily challenges for some.
By John Henry Ledwith | January 8, 2015
Senior Sales Manager, ETR
Recently I had the interesting experience of hearing Dr. Peter Gray deliver the closing keynote at the Texas State AHPERD (TAHPERD) meeting. This is an annual gathering of the Lone Star state’s physical and health education teachers.
The Texas Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance is committed to “the development of knowledge and programs that promote active, healthy lifestyles and enhance skilled, aesthetic motor performance.”
Dr. Gray’s topic was “How Free Play Promotes Children’s Social and Emotional and Intellectual Development." He has long been sounding the alarm about the decline of play and its impact on adolescents. (The Ted Talk video below is highly recommended!)
By Alicia Rozum, MSW, PPSC | January 6, 2016
Project Director, Mental Health, California School-Based Alliance
Have you ever tried to reason with an irrational person? Generally, it’s a pretty futile endeavor. You’re processing up in your cerebral cortex, being rational and using logic. The other person is literally or figuratively placing fingers in ears and saying, “La la la la la. I can’t hear you.”
By Salem Osland | January 4, 2016
Director, WISE Iowa
From Golden Oldies to Hip Hop, this activity was music to our ears! It was conducted during the October WISE annual meeting in Denver. The amazing Salem Osland led the group in what turned out to be an energizing, fabulously fun, community-building energy break. It also highlighted the untapped talent in the room. Who knew? Highly recommended if you need an energy shift and a bonding experience during training.
—Deb Christopher, MSM, Director, Professional Learning Services, ETR
By ETR | December 22, 2015
Yes, indeed, 2016 is right around the corner. We've had a fine year with our blog and hope you've enjoyed our posts. ETR and the blog will be taking a break over the holidays. We'll be back in 2016 with more great content from ETR staff and our partners and colleagues in the field. We've got some wonderful posts coming up in January, so be sure to check back.
In the meantime, we wish you, your colleagues, families and communities, a joyous holiday.
By Erin McCarthy | December 18, 2015
National Public Health Sales Representative, ETR
Here’s one of the things I love about my job. Every day, I get to work with people who are passionate about using education to promote healthy behaviors in their communities.
Programs focusing on health and sexuality seek to empower individuals. They want to support healthy sexual choices that reduce sexual risks. The coordination of this work takes dedication, determination and a desire to see positive change. This pretty much sums up Syida Huggins-Richards’ approach to her work.
By Debra Christopher, MSM | December 11, 2015
Director, Professional Learning Systems, ETR
As the winter months and the holidays approach, here are three simple Facilitation Quick Tips that might tap the spirit of the season! We’ve adapted a couple of classics and added a new one of our own that are suited to this winter season. With a little imagination, these can all be adapted for other holidays or special events.
Get ready to be grateful, throw snowballs and make an A-to-Z list!
By Michael T. Everett, MHS | December 9, 2015
Project Coordinator, ETR
Two questions plague any responsible person in a position of authority: (1) Am I a good leader? and, (2) How am I to know?
I’ve had a few years to consider these questions myself, and they have taught me a good deal about leadership. I’d like to share three of the lessons leadership has brought to my own work and life.