I am serving a three-year appointment as a member of the National Conference On Race & Ethnicity (NCORE)’s National Advisory Council (NAC). The NAC provides recommendations to the University of Oklahoma’s Southwest Center for Human Relations Studies (SWCHRS), the SWCHRS Executive Committee and the NCORE staff for the planning and programming of the annual NCORE conference.
As a student of USF’s Master of Science in Behavioral Health (MSBH) program, I am empowered with a foundation in understanding best practices in developing interventions and analyzing programs that promote self-efficacy towards positive growth outcomes. The knowledge I have gained from the MSBH program will contribute to NAC’s ability to assisting higher education institutions:
- - create inclusive higher education environments, programs, and curriculum;
- - improve campus racial and ethnic relations; and
- - expand opportunities for educational access and success by culturally diverse, traditionally underrepresented populations.
Prior to starting the MS Behavioral Health program, I received my bachelor’s at San Francisco State University in Kinesiology. I went on to serve in Belize with the US Peace Corps. There I worked on implementing the country’s health education curriculum countrywide. Through that experience I knew I wanted to help underserved populations gain access to the knowledge and resources of all aspects of health.
From my experience abroad, I was able to gain a better understanding that someone’s health isn’t merely treating the symptom, it is about understanding their social determinants. USF’s MS Behavioral Health program has provided me with more of an understanding about how to address health gaps. More than half way through the program, I am very pleased with my choice. I enjoy the small class sizes, the interdisciplinary nature of the courses, engaging professors, and the opportunity to complete an internship at a local nonprofit (LIFT-Levantate in San Rafael, CA).
In addition to my internship, I also have had the opportunity to volunteer as a peer counselor for students at USF’s Health Promotion Services and be a part of the MS Behavioral Health Student Association. All of these experiences have kept me busy, but more importantly have helped me gain experience beyond the classroom.
Eventually, I hope to work with youth through a nonprofit and provide them with primary prevention through health education classes and services. The MS in Behavioral Health program at USF is providing me a quality education that is collaborative, engaging, diverse and committed to social justice.
I chose the MSBH program at USF because of its comprehensive approach of addressing the gaps within the healthcare field. I have worked in an inpatient hospital setting for the last three years and was quickly aware of how important an interdisciplinary team was to the success of a patient’s health outcomes. The MSBH program has provided me with vital skills in the areas of program development, program evaluation and interdisciplinary collaboration. I have enjoyed being one of the first students to go through the program, as it has given my classmates and I the chance to shape our coursework into what we need to be successful in our respective fields.
In order to better understand the culture of Pediatric Primary Care (my area of interest), I have been working with the Child Life Department at UCSF to implement developmental and psychosocial care in the primary care clinic. Through research, collaboration, and in-person developmental interventions, I am creating a needs assessment, which will hopefully lead to funding for a full time Child Life Specialist within a primary care setting. I see that the health care field is changing and I am excited to possibly be one of the individuals responsible for shaping a new way to provide care to patients across the nation. I could not have done any of this without the help of USF’s MSBH program.
Carl Schuler and Natalie Macias, Cohort 3, at Stress Less Day
According to the American College Health Association, the number one health impediment to academic performance is stress. MSBH students collaborated to put on a successful Stress Less Day on October 4, 2014. Students participated in all types of stress-reducing activities, which ranged from making potpourri to creating works of arts with crayons and coloring book pages.