What's Happening

Check out what our people and partners are researching, thinking, reading, writing, watching and doing! (Note: The opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of ETR as an agency.)


6 Opportunities to Increase Diversity in STEM-Related Fields
August 10, 2015

6 Opportunities to Increase Diversity in STEM-Related Fields

By Kieren Jameson, MLIS | August 10, 2015
Digital Solutions Manager, ETR

For most of my career, I've been a tech worker in nonprofits. I’ve worked mostly within majority-women workplaces. That means that I've seen more women in leadership and technology-related roles than is the norm in corporate America.

I think this is why, until the past few years, I’d completely missed the appalling lack of ethnic and gender diversity in STEM-related workplaces.

Once I opened my eyes and looked beyond my sheltered nonprofit world, the numbers were pretty clear. This is what they tell me: we have a serious diversity problem in tech. 

By Kieren Jameson, MLIS
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Tags: STEM, Diversity in technology, Women, Technology education
Taking the Stigma Out of Adolescent Pregnancy and Parenthood: What Schools Can Do
July 28, 2015

Taking the Stigma Out of Adolescent Pregnancy and Parenthood: What Schools Can Do

By Brittany D. Chambers, MPH, CHES | July 28, 2015
Doctoral Student, University of North Carolina, Greensboro | 2014 Kirby Summer Intern, ETR

When you think about adolescent pregnancy, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Most people think about the negative issues.

“Dropping out of high school.”

“Depending on government assistance."

“Single-motherhood.”

“Promiscuity.”

By Brittany D. Chambers, MPH, CHES
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Tags: Teen moms, Teen parents, Pregnancy prevention, Stigma
Affirmative Consent: Shifting the Culture
July 20, 2015

Affirmative Consent: Shifting the Culture

By Gina Lepore MEd | July 20, 2015
Research Associate, ETR

Yes means Yes. Yes, I want you. Yes, I want this. Yes, I want to be here. Yes, I am consciously choosing this now. Yes, I respect your boundaries. Yes, I will ask if I am in doubt. More, please!

Last September, California became the first state to pass legislation that sets a new standard for sexual consent on college campuses receiving state funding for financial aid. This legislative act followed policy changes on consent at several universities across the country. Systems have continued to adopt affirmative consent standards, including the State University of New York (SUNY) system

Although considerable progress has been made in recent years in supporting survivors of assault, the same is not true when it comes to changing attitudes and beliefs about the abusive approach to sex that causes assault in the first place.

By Gina Lepore, MEd
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Tags: Affirmative consent, Violence prevention, Sexual and reproductive health, College health
News Both Heartening & Chilling: UN Meets Goal to Treat 15 Million for HIV
July 15, 2015

News Both Heartening & Chilling: UN Meets Goal to Treat 15 Million for HIV

By Marcia Quackenbush, MS, MFT, MCHES | July 15, 2015
Senior Editor, ETR

Yesterday, I heard that the United Nations had met their goal to treat 15 million people with HIV before the end of 2015. Officials were pleased to have reached this point early. The report also mentioned drops in the number of new cases and reductions in worldwide deaths from HIV.

There’s actually all kinds of encouraging news about the HIV epidemic. More people are accessing treatment, people with HIV are living longer, cases among children are down by 58%, tuberculosis-related deaths among people with HIV are down, and investments in prevention and treatment are up.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says we are on our way to an AIDS-free generation, and we can end the epidemic by 2030.

Like many others in the health care and prevention education worlds, this kind of news feels personal to me. 

By Marcia Quackenbush, MS, MFT, MCHES
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Tags: HIV-AIDS, HIV treatment, High impact prevention, Community Impact Solutions Project
Losing the "E" in E-Learning
July 13, 2015

Losing the "E" in E-Learning

By Tamara Neff, MA | July 13, 2015
E-Learning Curriculum Developer, ETR

As technology is further integrated into our daily lives (and our very beings), so it has become an essential part of the learning experience. We see it from early childhood development on through emerging K-12 education standards. We find it in popular online higher education and professional development programs.

Technology continues to enhance and improve the quality and quantity of learning opportunities available to an ever-widening population of learners. This is true to such an extent, the “E” in E-learning is becoming redundant. Many of us in the field might assert that it already has done so.

By Tamara Neff, MA
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Tags: E-learning, Technology
Improving Sleep Disturbance in Older Adults with Mild Cognitive Impairment: Report on Our Research
July 6, 2015

Improving Sleep Disturbance in Older Adults with Mild Cognitive Impairment: Report on Our Research

By Erin Cassidy-Eagle, PhD | July 6, 2015
Director, Research, ETR

It’s almost time for bed and you get that sinking feeling in your stomach. Will it be like last night? And the night before? And the three weeks before that?

Sound familiar? If it does, you are not alone. An estimated 50-70 million US adults have sleep disorders. Older adults are much more likely to complain about trouble sleeping. Poor sleep in older individuals is also a risk factor for a range of other concerns, including declining cognition, depression and greater functional impairment.

By Erin Cassidy-Eagle, PhD
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Tags: Research, Sleep, Older adults, Mild cognitive impairment
Drive-Thru Training? Steer Clear!
June 30, 2015

Drive-Thru Training? Steer Clear!

By Debra Christopher, MSM | June 30, 2015
Director, Professional Learning Systems, ETR

OK, I admit it. I’ve been around for awhile. I taught health education in the classroom for four years early in my career. Then I made a shift, and for the past 25 years I’ve worked to support adult learners who deliver health education programs to youth.

The essence of my mission: create change (in adult instructional savvy) to create change (in youth behavior).

By Debra Christopher, MSM
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Tags: Professional development, Training design
#LoveWins. And So Does Public Health!
June 26, 2015

#LoveWins. And So Does Public Health!

By Marcia Quackenbush, MS, MFT, MCHES | June 26, 2015
Senior Editor, ETR

It has been a momentous morning. My wife and I took an early hike. We were out on the trail when we got the text from @HRC about the Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage. “Reply w/pics to show how you’re celebrating,” they asked.

We grinned. We cried. We took a selfie out there in our little patch of wilderness. And not surprisingly, we both began a survey of our lives, and this struggle, where we’ve been and this place we’ve come to now. Change is powerful stuff, for a person and for a nation.

Read More
Tags: Public health, Social justice, LGBTQ
Our Big "Ask" Problem
June 24, 2015

Our Big "Ask" Problem

By Michael Everett, MHS | June 24, 2015
CEO, Intimacy & Colour | Consultant, ETR Community Impact Solutions Project

We all know what it feels like to sit in the back of the room, praying we don’t get called on by an instructor. Or feel too afraid to ask a question despite the depths of our confusion on a given topic.

The culture of asking in this country is a complex one. On the one hand, as a greater society we believe in the power of help. Look at our public health policies, free HIV testing or charitable organizations. Even the values we learn in kindergarten—“Clean up the play area together”—promote helping.

On the other hand, we are not as hard wired to ask for help as we are to provide it. So this begs the question—what is our big “ask” problem?

Read More
Tags: HIV-AIDS, Mens Health, National HIV Testing Day, Community Impact Solutions Project
HPV Vaccine: What About the Boys?
June 22, 2015

HPV Vaccine: What About the Boys?

By William Spatafora | June 22, 2015
MPH Student, Tulane University | 2015 Kirby Summer Intern, ETR

“Why? He’s a boy.”

These were the first  words out of my cousin’s mouth last month when I asked if her 12-year-old son had been vaccinated against HPV. “Isn’t the HPV vaccine given just to girls, to protect against cervical cancer?”

By William Spatafora
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Tags: HPV, HPV vaccine, Vaccine, Public health, Gender, Kirby internship
STI? STD? What's the Difference?
June 17, 2015

STI? STD? What's the Difference?

By Marcia Quackenbush, MS, MFT, MCHES | June 18, 2015
Senior Editor, ETR

If your work involves talking to people about sexual health, you must be talking to them about STDs. Or STIs. Or both. Right?

As the great STD-STI terminology challenge continues, just about everyone has had to choose one term or the other. Well, everyone except for the people who use both interchangeably to mean the same thing. Or those folks who use each in distinct ways to mean different things.

I asked a few of my ETR colleagues to share their current thinking and preferred term for their work. Here’s what they had to say. 

By Marcia Quackenbush, MS, MFT, MCHES
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Tags: STDs, Terminology
Making a Difference: Science, Research & Public Health
June 16, 2015

Making a Difference: Science, Research & Public Health

By Monica Sun | June 16, 2015
MPH Student, Tulane University | 2015 Kirby Summer Intern, ETR

This summer, I have the fortunate opportunity to work at ETR with a group of intelligent, intriguing and passionate people. Just within this first week or so, I’ve met many inspiring minds who’ve come together in this organization with a common goal: making a difference in the fields of science, research and public health.

The atmosphere here inspires me! I’m even more determined to go after my goals of reaching out to the underserved and making significant contributions to these fields. 

By Monica Sun
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Tags: HIV-AIDS, Kirby internship, Research, Public health, HIV treatment
Creating a High-Vitality Organization That Embraces High-Velocity Change
June 8, 2015

Creating a High-Vitality Organization That Embraces High-Velocity Change

By Dan McCormick, MHA | June 8, 2015
Chief Executive Officer, ETR

Have you noticed that the pace of change is accelerating? Of course! We all have. And we're hearing about it over and over, with greater and greater frequency. “Be agile.” “Pivot quickly.” “Re-invent yourself.”

But how do we put these slogans to work to improve our organizations?

I believe one of the best ways to successfully navigate today’s world of high-velocity change is to create and sustain high-vitality organizations.

By Dan McCormick, MHA
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Tags: Organizational development, Vitality, Innovation
Déjà Vu: Big Tobacco Recruits!
June 2, 2015

Déjà Vu: Big Tobacco Recruits!

By Narinder Dhaliwal, MA | June 2, 2015
Project Director, California's Clean Air Project, ETR

“Nicotine is not addictive,” tobacco executives said in 1994, testifying before Congress in what are now known as the Waxman Hearings. They said this repeatedly, even in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary from authorities all the way up to the U.S. Surgeon General.

Over 20 years later, we have 20 more years worth of scientific evidence demonstrating that nicotine is addictive and harmful. We know these products are killing people in all kinds of ways, from direct smoking, to secondhand smoke exposure and even thirdhand smoke (the residual nicotine and other chemicals that remain on people and indoor surfaces—hair, skin, clothes, counters, furniture, drapes, bedding and more).

So what are tobacco companies telling us now that e-cigarettes are on the scene?

By Narinder Dhaliwal, MA
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Tags: Tobacco, E-cigarettes, Second-hand smoke
"Shocking" News: Pregnancy More Likely in LGB Teens!
May 28, 2015

"Shocking" News: Pregnancy More Likely in LGB Teens!

By Annika Shore, MPH | May 28, 2015
Professional Development Consultant, ETR

A study has recently come out that has everyone in my field talking. I’ve seen posts about it in newsletters and blogs about it on social media. Announcements were made in all my professional networks. This new study shows that lesbian, gay and bisexual teens are more likely to experience a pregnancy than their heterosexual counterparts.

I was happy to see that this new research was getting people in my community talking about an issue I care deeply about: the health and well-being of youth—especially the health and well-being of youth who identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual. However, this is not new information. This research confirms something we have known for many years and is not, in fact, “shocking.”

The shock people are feeling, I think, is due to the fact that this study requires us to reflect on our own assumptions about the lives and sexual behaviors of young people.

By Annika Shore, MPH
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Tags: Sexual and reproductive health, Professional development, Pregnancy prevention, LGBTQ
What Men's Health Crisis?
May 26, 2015

What Men's Health Crisis?

By Anne Freiwald, MPH | May 26, 2015
Founder, MenNavigate

“I feel like I’m having a heart attack.” That’s what he told people throughout the day that would be his last.

At 57, my dad was just 3 years away from retirement. He was an avid surfer, kayaker and cyclist. He was a beloved teacher and vice-principal at the school right around the corner from his home. He was ready for the sweet life he had worked so hard to create.

He never dreamed his life would be cut short, especially by a heart attack he knew he was having. He didn’t realize that his decision to “sleep it off” and find a doctor in the morning would have such tragic consequences for him, his family, friends and community.

His story is not uncommon. 

By Anne Freiwald, MPH
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Tags: Mens Health, Men
How Great Partners Are Moving Student Health Forward
May 11, 2015

How Great Partners Are Moving Student Health Forward

By John Shields, PhD, MSW | May 11, 2015
Senior Research Associate, ETR

I’ve been thinking quite a lot about my professional partnerships lately. Over the past 14 years, ETR has provided me with opportunities to partner with many community-based organizations and institutions. Now, I can’t honestly say they’ve all been easy. “Stuff” happens. But I can say each one has given me a chance to create fascinating relationships and do meaningful work that has a genuine impact.

By John Shields, PhD, MSW
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Tags: School health, Research, K-12, Partnerships
Parenthood Unplugged
May 7, 2015

Parenthood Unplugged

By Laura Perkins, MLS | May 7, 2015
Project Editor, ETR

Here we are in the middle of Screen-Free Week, May 4–10, 2015! One week a year, families are encouraged to “power-down” their screens—TVs, computers, tablets, phones, games and other electronic media—and engage with each other and their own imaginations.

This is the first year my family and I decided consciously to participate. We already limit movies to the weekend, and our 8-year-old daughter doesn’t have her own computer or tablet or phone....

Then our daughter got a bad sore throat, cough, low-grade fever, and stayed home from school for two days.

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Tags: Children
OMG Who's Texting Me Now? New Research on Electronic Dating Violence
May 4, 2015

OMG Who's Texting Me Now? New Research on Electronic Dating Violence

By Pamela Anderson, PhD | May 4, 2015
Senior Research Associate, ETR

I think most of us can remember the first time we had a crush on someone. I do. It was Axl Rose, lead singer for the band Guns N’ Roses. Much to my family’s chagrin, I had his pictures splashed across my bedroom walls. I played his music virtually nonstop for months, while imagining what it would be like to be his girlfriend.

By Pamela Anderson, PhD
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Tags: Electronic dating violence, Health education, Sexual and reproductive health, Technology
Sharing Luck and Dreams
May 1, 2015

Sharing Luck and Dreams

By Shukun Ma | May 1, 2015
Candidate for MBA, University of Michigan Ross School of Business

I believe opportunity and possibility make life exciting, and that education transforms life.

For me, earning my MBA and doing an internship with ETR has helped provide a pathway to my DREAM.

I was literally shaking with thrills when I received the offer to attend the MBA program at Ross School of Business. I saw this as a huge step closer to realizing my career aspiration—using business acumen to empower people. At the same time, it made me look back at my own trajectory. I could not have advanced as I had without resources of various types which had been offered to me and which, I realized, I had been taking for granted.

By Shukun Ma
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Tags: Ross MAP, STEM, Technology education

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