By Tanya Henderson, PhD | December 1, 2015
Project Director, Community Impact Solutions, ETR
When I first heard this quote, it really hit home with me. I was always a planner, a bit of an overachiever, but things really didn’t come together for me until I began doing work in the HIV/AIDS arena. Today, on World AIDS Day, I reflect not only on what I see as my calling, but also why I do this work.
In the early days of this new millennium, HIV/AIDS was one of the top five health disparities affecting African Americans and underrepresented minorities in the U.S. This was also true in my hometown of Nashville, Tennessee. I don’t think I’d fully understood to that point that a disease like HIV could run rampant, so disproportionately affecting some communities.
HIV was sexually transmitted and surrounded by great stigma and misinformation. It was sometimes passed between people who loved one another deeply. All of this tugged at my heart strings.
During this time, I first heard of the death of someone I knew.
By Andrea Gerber, MSEd, & Kari Kesler, MA | November 16, 2015
Public Health, Seattle & King County
The topic of sexual violence on college campuses has received much attention in the media recently. Many colleges are clamoring to implement or improve education programs in an attempt to reduce the number of rapes perpetrated on their campus.
These high-profile cases have left many people wondering if education about sexual violence prevention shouldn’t start younger, perhaps much younger. What role can sexual health education in middle and high schools play in this effort?
By Betül Czerkawski, PhD | November 13, 2015
Associate Professor of Educational Technology, University of Arizona
In recent years there has been a strong emphasis on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education for a number of reasons. Strong STEM education allows us to:
STEM education has two key foci that provide support to all of these outcomes. The first is training new generations in STEM professions. How do we make sure our children and youth are ready to step up and lead in these fields?
The second is implementing strategies that develop computational thinking (CT) skills in all students—even those who are not planning to select STEM-related professions themselves.
By Vignetta Charles, PhD | November 10, 2015
Chief Science Officer, ETR
I’m not only a scientist! People also play me on TV!
Well, actually, that’s Mr. Spock, Chief Science Officer from Star Trek and the starship Enterprise. I’m Vignetta Charles, the new Chief Science Officer at ETR. Which, by the way, has its headquarters on Enterprise Way. Coincidence? I think not.
I embrace the challenge to live up to the esteemed reputation of my job title. Indeed, we all can tap into our inner scientists. And, taking to heart the advice of my Vulcan mentor—“Insufficient facts always invite danger”—I’d like to suggest we all make the effort to be scientists in our work, no matter what our role.
By Michael Everett, MHS | October 29, 2015
Project Coordinator, ETR
What responsibility do HIV/AIDS organizations have concerning the wellness of staff who are also Black men who have sex with men?
I have pondered this question often throughout my 15-year career in HIV services.
By Marcia Quackenbush, MS, MFT, MCHES | October 22, 2015
Senior Editor, ETR
Here’s a shout out to SOPHE—the Society for Public Health Education. They’re the hosts of National Health Education Week, which we are thoroughly enjoying. (Check the hashtag #NHEW2015 on Twitter for some fine content.)
They started the week by asking us to reflect on our health education heroes. This theme has started some great conversations here at ETR. I asked a few of my colleagues who their heroes are and why. Here’s what they said.
By Michael Everett, MHS | October 15, 2015
Project Coordinator, ETR
Confinement has its costs. There are costs to being confined physically, emotionally, sexually, mentally or spatially for any period of time. You can often tell when people have grown up in isolation, or with little social interaction. They seem unprepared for social exchanges.
I have seen a version of this with members of the LGBT community. We grow up and discover that what we feel on the inside is seen as wrong in the larger world around us. We learn that who we are “goes against” religious and historical principles.
This can really do a number on you.
By Deirdre Hickey Sturm, BCBA, CCC-SLP | October 13, 2015
Program Director, Including Special Kids & Clinical Director, Special Kids Crusade
Imagine, for a moment, that you’re back in middle or high school. Your class is about to explore a topic that really interests you. You can hardly wait for your teacher to get started.
And now imagine that you aren’t able to mention to anyone that this is a favorite topic. You cannot pick up your pencil to show that you’re ready to take notes and learn. You aren’t quite able to bring your eyes up to meet your teacher’s gaze. Instead, you look at a spot on the floor, ears wide open and eager. Suddenly your hands are flapping in excitement.
And then, one of these scenarios unfolds.
By Tamara Kuhn, MA | October 5, 2015
Research Scientist & Director of Technology, dfusion
I’ve had an interest in innovation since childhood. I was thrilled by the technological wonder of my Easy-Bake Oven. I marveled over the magic of freeze-dried ice cream you could take on camping trips.
Later, I felt genuine affection for my first Polaroid camera and my Commodore 64 in all its boxy computer glory. As an adult, I was pretty dazzled by the first iPhone, a magical device offering constant Internet access and the ability to locate the nearest Starbucks with the flick of a finger.
By Allison Siebern, PhD, CBSM | October 1, 2015
Sleep Health Integrative Program, Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Fayetteville, NC
When I tell people that I’m a sleep psychologist, their first response is usually to tell me how they sleep. Sleeping is a universal process that everyone can relate to in one way or another. Because it is something we all do, there is little stigma or hesitation in discussing it openly.
One population that is greatly affected by sleep disruption is veterans. It is estimated that veterans are four times more likely to be affected by sleep issues than the general population. This is why I joined the Veterans Administration (VA) as a frontline provider. I love the field of sleep medicine and want to help veterans improve their sleep.
By Jacqueline Peters | September 17, 2015
Administrative Specialist & Trainer, ETR
The last time I was in DC was in the mid-nineties. Four presidents and two generations later, I found myself heading to the nation’s capital for the United States Conference on AIDS (USCA). I would be representing ETR’s Community Impact Solutions Program (CISP) in our booth and around the conference.
I am new to the world of AIDS service and prevention, and this was my first foray into a national conference focused entirely on HIV/AIDS. I was excited. I was nervous. I was curious.
I was ready for USCA 2015.
By Alicia Rozum, MSW, PPSC | September 15, 2015
Project Director, Mental Health, California School-Based Health Alliance
Student mental health is a big concern among educators. Over 20% of youth have a diagnosed mental health disorder. Many classroom behavioral issues, such as acting out, poor self-regulation and attention issues, are related to mental health concerns.
By Narinder Dhaliwal, MA | September 8, 2015
Project Director, Calfiornia's Clean Air Project, ETR
Hookah. The very word brings a sense of excitement to the minds of many young adults. Not only can they sit around a table among friends and smoke, they can share this beautiful, ornate device that makes it an extra-special experience!
What was once a cultural tradition dating back 500 years in Middle East regions of the world has become a trend. It’s “cool,” “sexy,” “fun,” “relaxing.”
By Tanya Henderson, PhD | September 3, 2015
Program Director, Community Impact Solutions Program, ETR
In my companion blog post, “HIV and Older Adults: 6 Steps to Building Better Awareness,” I discuss some of the issues we need to address if we want to succeed in HIV prevention efforts with older Americans. However, no understanding of these matters can be complete without the voices of people living the reality of being over 50 and coping with HIV.
I am extremely grateful to three people in that circumstance—Vanessa, Ed and Kathy—who took the time to share their experiences with me. Here are some of the things they had to say.
By Tanya Henderson, PhD | September 3, 2015
Project Director, Community Impact Solutions Program, ETR
September 18 is the 8th annual National HIV/AIDS and Aging Awareness Day (NHAAAD). NHAAAD focuses on the challenging issues facing the aging population regarding HIV prevention, testing, care and treatment
The campaign, spearheaded by The AIDS Institute, seeks to:
At ETR’s Community Impact Solutions Program, we think it’s also important for everyone of every age to understand the message that unsafe practices can put anyone at risk for HIV. Whether you’re young or old, your age will not protect you.
By Dan Rice & Nicole Cushman, MPH | September 1, 2015
Director of Training, Answer & Executive Director, Answer
The writing is on the screen! Technology has enabled us to access information in myriad digital forms and changed how we interact with the world around us.
Today, people turn to the Internet for everything from personal and professional correspondence to researching the latest trends. Educators are no exception. They’re searching for new ways to integrate technology into the classroom to further engage their students in all different subject areas. Many are also looking online for the most up-to-date professional development opportunities.
Why are so many professionals seeking out online professional development?
By Marcia Quackenbush, MS, MFT, MCHES | August 27, 2015
Senior Editor, ETR
Heard any good stories lately? Particularly about the work you do and the positive impact your organization has in the world?
Here at ETR, we’ve been thinking about these kinds of stories ever since we read Joan Singson’s blog post on Storytelling for Sustainability. We decided to do an all-staff activity where we explored some of the stories we have to tell about ETR’s work.
By Monica Sun | August 20, 2015
MPH Student, Tulane University | 2015 Kirby Summer Intern, ETR
Currently, there is heated debate on how colleges are handling campus sexual assault cases. One in every 4 or 5 women (between 20%-25%) will experience a sexual assault during her academic year. Nearly 5% of college women will face this experience in any calendar year. These statistics emphasize the significance of the issue and the importance of finding mechanisms to reduce these rates.
Within the U.S. Congress, both the House of Representatives and the Senate have introduced bills (H.R.1490 and S.706) that require colleges receiving certain types of federal funding to designate an independent advocate to oversee campus sexual assault prevention and responses. A bipartisan group of representatives has just introduced a bill (H.R.2680) designed to remedy the tendency of colleges to cover up and under-report incidents.
It’s not only the government that is trying to improve efforts of colleges to effectively investigate sexual assault cases. Many organizations are developing mobile apps for students and young adults to use to protect themselves with the involvement of the community.
By Susan Telljohann, HSD, CHES | August 18, 2015
Professor Emeritus, Department of Health Education, The University of Toledo
Something quite remarkable has occurred over the past two decades in the field of school health education. We’ve gotten evidence!
We’ve explored, examined, tested and refined everything we know about how to provide meaningful, effective health education in school settings. We know enough now to design and deliver programs that have a true impact.How do schools committed to program success choose the program that’s going to work best in their setting?
By Vignetta Charles, PhD | August 17, 2015
Chief Science Officer, ETR
At a recent meeting with others working in the nonprofit world, I was telling colleagues about an Action Alert I’d just received. It was sent out by one of the many advocacy listservs to which I subscribe. The people at my lunchtime table all reeled in horror.
“You can’t do that!” they exclaimed. “That’s lobbying. You’re federally funded.”