News & Events

In the Field

  • Dr. Jolynn Gardner moderated the Cancer Disparities and Inequities Panel at the National Cancer Prevention Workshop on Capitol Hill on February 6, 2019.
  • Dr. Elizabeth Cotter facilitated a continuing education seminar on February 6, 2019 at Children's National Medical Center titled, "Mindfulness as a Tool to Promote Healthy Eating." This continuing education seminar focused on the use of mindfulness-based interventions to address eating and weight-related concerns, integrating theory and research with practical tools that can be used with clients.
  • New article from Anastasia Snelling, Sarah Irvine Belson, and Emily HeapReconsidering Maslow: The Role of the School Health Policy in a Holistic Approach to Child Health and Wellness
  • Dr. Anastasia Snelling has been awarded Healthy Corner Store Grant from the DC Deparment of Health. The grant will evaluate the corner store program to increase access to fresh fruits and vegetables in Wards 5, 7, and 8. This grant is targeted to SNAP recipients. The project will provide monetary incentives to SNAP customers every time they purchase fresh produce by giving them a $5.00 coupon to be used on their next purchase of fresh produce.
  • Dr. Kathleen Holton was an invited speaker at the 2018 Multiple Sclerosis Wellness Research Symposium in Portland, OR on October 30, 2018. Dr. Holton's talk was titled “Utilizing Antioxidants in MS Research.”
  • Dr. Elizabeth Cotter and Professor Allison Tepper spoke in October 2018 at the Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo held in Washington, DC.
  • Professor Celeste Davis spoke at Not on My Turf: Strengthening Athletic Communities Against Abuse
  • Professor Elizabeth Cotter has been awarded Common Threads' Community Insight Grant.
  • Jody Gan published Atima, Honduras: Transformative Health Education on the ETR blog.
  • Jessica Young published When It Comes to Your Health, Where You Live Matters in The Conversation.
  • Article from Jolynn Gardner, Anastasia Snelling, and Cynthia Ronzio: Transformational Learning in Undergraduate Public Health Education: Course Design for Generation Z

Fall events included talks with Bob Rosen and Karambu Ringera:

Bob Rosen

Bob Rosen is Chairman and CEO of Healthy Companies International. Bob Rosen is the best-selling author of eight books, including the New York Times bestseller, Grounded: How Leaders Stay Rooted in an Uncertain World, and the Washington Post bestseller, CONSCIOUS: The Power of Awareness in Business and Life. Bob Rosen presented to faculty and staff in the Department of Health Studies, Human Resources, and AhealthyU about leadership on September 18, 2018. 

Dr. Karambu Ringera

On October 4, 2018, Dr. Karambu Ringera from Meru, Kenya gave an enlightening talk on the importance of empowerment for creating social change. Regardless of a person’s life situation, it is imperative for a person to feel that they have the self-efficacy necessary to take charge of their life. This is essential for improving health behaviors, yet people who come from challenging situations often think of themselves as victims, rather than leaders. Dr. Ringera challenged this paradigm and gave examples of how she is inspiring change in marginalized groups in Kenya by empowering individuals to find change within themselves.

Speaker address crowd beside a slide that says My New Story

The Department of Health Studies showed the documentary, The Liberation, on November 5, 2018. The Liberation tells the story about recovering addicts, former drug dealers, and felons going through the DC Central Kitchen Culinary Training Program. Students from Professor Young’s Living and Dying in DC class and Professor Davis’ Food Justice Matters class attended the event, as well as students, faculty, and staff in the Department of Health Studies. Brendan Canty, one of the directors of the film and Professors Celeste Davis and Jessica Young led a panel to answer questions and discuss the film.

Two women with a microphone at a table speak to a man in a chair.

Health studies group and donated presents

The Department of Health Studies held their fifteenth annual Adopt-A-Family Holiday Party on December 8, 2018. Every year the Department of Health Studies partners with a different organization in order to help families that are in need during the holiday season. This year, the organization that the department selected, United Planning Organization (UPO), was even more special since Dr. Snelling and her team work with UPO to implement nutrition education and wellness programming in their twelve early childhood education centers.

The Department of Health Studies adopted four families from UPO. Faculty, staff, and graduate students from the department were touched by their stories and were excited to be able to help the four families during the holiday season. Over forty faculty, staff and graduate students from the department purchased gifts for the families and attended the holiday party. During the holiday party, presents were wrapped, laughs were shared, and bonds between colleagues and classmates were strengthened.

There were over seventy gifts in total donated, totaling close to $1,700 worth of goods. Each family received winter coats, shirts, pants, shoes, toys, winter accessories, and gift cards. When the gifts were dropped off at UPO, the reactions from the staff were priceless. The staff at UPO were overwhelmed and could not wait to deliver all of the gifts to the families.


AU Health News

Professor Ethan Mereish (left) with research coordinator David Hawthorne.

Science ·

The Lavender Lab: Using the Power of Youth Voices to Improve LGBTQ Health

The Lavender Lab is a new research lab in the Department of Health Studies which seeks to produce and disseminate knowledge to better understand and reduce sexual orientation, gender identity, and racial/ethnic disparities in health.
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Cardboard containers of tomatoes, squash, and peppers at a farmer's market.

Science ·

AU Showcases Online Nutrition Degree

On September 28 and 29, AU kicked off its inaugural Nutrition Education Conference, a two-day event featuring a campus tour and cooking class, career panels, skill-building workshops, and more.
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Isaac Calvert, SIS '20, participates in the dead-lift challenge during Healthy Campus Week.

Student Life ·

Lifting Away Stress

Student uses time in the gym to help deal with the stress.
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Maria Rose Belding

Achievements ·

AU Student Maria Rose Belding Named CNN Hero

American University student Maria Rose Belding (BS public health '19) has been named a CNN Hero for her work to get food to hungry Americans.
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Liliana Zigo seated on campus in front of building.

Achievements ·

Inspiring Grad Stories: Lili Zigo

Faith and family fueled this AU grad’s improbable journey.
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Winning Team stands together at AU's Global health Competition

Achievements ·

Educate, Empower, and Elevate: Team Wins AU’s Global Health Competition

Six teams competed in AU’s 2018 Intramural Public Health Case Competition
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