Building Links in Health and Education Undergraduate Event

On October 30, 2018 CSCH collaborated with the Public Health House Learning Community to host an event titled Field of Dreams: Building Links in Health and Education Using the Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child (WSCC) Model. The event built on prior opportunities to engage undergraduate students in learning and active discussion around topics related to child well-being. Dr. Sandra Chafouleas, CSCH Co-Director and Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor in Educational Psychology and Dr. Jaci VanHeest, Director of the Public Health House and Professor in Educational Psychology and Kinesiology moderated a faculty panel discussion about successes and challenges in working on health and education research. Panel members included UConn researchers and CSCH affiliates Dr. Ruth Lucas (School of Nursing), Dr. Jennifer McGarry (Department of Educational Leadership), Dr. Beth Russell (Department of Human Development and Family Studies), and Dr. Lisa Sanetti (Department of Educational Psychology). After the panel discussion, students divided into break-out sessions in which panelists led discussions about particular domains of the WSCC model. Topics included family engagement, employee wellness, health services, and physical activity.

Dr. VanHeest noted that collaborations such as this event facilitate student awareness about UConn researchers who are working with children’s health, and even helps them evaluate their career focus.

One student who attended the break-out facilitated by Dr. Sanetti on strategies to improve employee wellness, said “I am currently working in schools and see the everyday consequences of teacher stress, but I had never thought about it through this lens before watching the CSCH videos and talking with you tonight.”

At the end of the event, one pre-med student noted that “All of this is really great, and you are all focused on schools, which is essential, but it is cool how I can see that it applies in other settings too. Anyone going into a helping profession needs to remember to take care of the whole person.”