Students & Faculty Present at WSPHA Conference

Students at WSPHA

UW Huskies represent at the 2018 Washington State Public Health Association’s Annual Conference in Wenatchee, WA: (L): Laura Robles-Calderon, Teresa Mata, Hanna Ashagre, and Charity Akhidenor. [Photo by Jody Early]

Health promotion on the college campus is an important part of public health. Few studies have explored the health promotion needs and preferences of commuter and branch campus students, a growing and diverse population of learners. Under the mentorship of School of NHS faculty, Drs. Jody Early and Hoa Appel, BA Health Studies majors and alums, Hanna Ashagra, Charity Akhidenor, Olivia Lawson and Claire Valdez delivered a poster presentation at the WSPHA meeting in Wenatchee on October 17 2018. They shared highlights of their mixed-methods study which examined the perceived well-being, health behaviors and factors that inhibit and promote wellness among college students enrolled at commuter/branch university campuses. 

In comparison to data from the 2017 National College Health Assessment (NCHA), students (at UW Bothell) reported less sleep, more bad mental health days, less oral healthcare, and less food security than the national sample of students. Issues reported by students that impact this population’s health and wellness include factors such as: working and caregiving responsibilities; commute time and parking; feeling less connected to campus and to their peers; stress and anxiety; lack of culturally tailored health promotion on campus; discrimination; less knowledge and self-efficacy around nutrition and physical fitness; and the need for direct healthcare  services on campus. Results of this study are being used by multiple units across UW Bothell (e.g. Rec and Wellness; Counseling Services; the new Health Access and Resource Center) and by Dr. Early and faculty in Nursing and Health Studies to plan and implement health education and promotion efforts at UW Bothell.

The research team of students and faculty are also working on a publication and planning the next round of the College Health and Wellness Survey to be implemented in Fall 2019.  

Students present at WSPHA

BA Health Studies students, Hanna Ashagre and Charity Akidenor, presenting their poster at WSPHA. [Photo by Jody Early]