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Life Sciences Magazine

In the Spotlight: Public Health

Three BYU public health undergraduates competed in the National Society for Public Health Education Case Competition. This competition, which was held on March 26th this year, gives undergraduate and graduate students of health education the opportunity to display their developing expertise.

Teams of two to three students are challenged to solve a real-world health issue using the competencies required for school or community health educators. Case scenarios are provided to confi rmed teams two weeks before the competition, which takes place prior to the annual conference. Students prepare a response to judges in a twenty-fi ve minute closed forum without the aid of technology.

Ida Tover, Ashley Crowder, and Jordyn Hansen were awarded fi rst place for their case study on preventative measures for breast cancer among Native Americans.

From an interview with Jordyn Hansen:

How did you get involved with the case study?

I do research for assistant professor Lori Spruance. She let me know she thought I'd be a good candidate, and I interviewed with her to get a spot in the case study.

When did you start working on your case study?

We received the prompt on March 12 and started working on it the next day.

What was the topic of your case study?

We were given the topic to increase mammography rates on the Uintah and Ouray Reservation—each team was given the same topic. Our job was to come up with an intervention and a solution to the problem.

Which professors did you work with and how did they help?

We weren't allowed to work with any professors—this was all done on our own. We did a community assessment, however, and contacted people who worked on the reservation to give us a better idea of the population we were working with.

What did you have to do for the case study?

We pretty much had to create an entire program plan in two weeks and then present a fifteen minute version of it. We take a program planning class where we write a program plan over the course of one semester, so imagine cramming a semester’s work into two weeks. Based on the judges’ reviews of our program, I learned that we had taken the correct steps and come up with an intervention that would probably actually work in the real world. It was a great practice for our future careers.

What has your experience been like so far in the public health department?

It’s been amazing. I’m graduating this summer and I've had countless research opportunities, professors that care and help me apply things practically. Public health is all about actually doing things, not memorizing random facts. BYU's program does a great job. I love it!