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Health Promotion and Wellness now accepting applications for peer educators

Health Promotion and Wellness is currently accepting applications for HealthWorks, a peer outreach and education program at University Park. The deadline to apply is March 2.

HealthWorks offers two unique opportunities for students who are interested in health and wellness. These opportunities include facilitating one-on-one wellness services and conducting outreach events and educational workshops. During the application process students prioritize which opportunity they are most interested in.

Participation in the program is a three semester commitment, which includes one semester of training (during fall 2018)  and two semesters of service. For this reason, students who wish to apply must plan to graduate in fall 2019 or later.

Training for the program requires the completion of a three-credit course offered through Biobehavioral Health in the fall semester.  Students learn about the following topics in the course: alcohol and other drugs, financial literacy, sexual health, nutrition, physical activity, sleep, and stress. There are no prerequisites required to register for the course.

After completing the 3-credit course, participants are required to complete 45 hours of service each semester. Members participate in one of two opportunities:  1) deliver free wellness services about stress and time management, physical activity, nutrition, sleep, sexual health and healthy relationships, and financial literacy;  or 2)  conduct educational workshops, hold outreach events, plan and implement health promotion initiatives.  A few examples of the health promotion initiatives include conducting healthy cooking demonstrations, writing blog and social media posts for Healthy Penn State and appearing in The Body Monologues.   A small group of students are trained to provide HIV test counseling.

If you’re passionate about health and promoting the well-being of all Penn State students, then HealthWorks is a great fit for you,” said Christina Volpicelli, a senior majoring in biobehavioral health.  “HealthWorks also offers many leadership and learning opportunities for its members such as video editing, leading health campaigns, public speaking and teaching skills to educate the Penn State community.  Everything you will learn and the people you will meet through this organization will benefit you throughout any career you wish to pursue.”

For more information about HealthWorks, including an application, please visit  http://studentaffairs.psu.edu/health/wellness/healthWorks.shtml.


Love Your Body Week October 23-27

HealthWorks is hosting Love Your Body Week at University Park October 23 – 27. The week-long series of events is designed to encourage students to appreciate, nurture and respect their bodies. Students will have an opportunity to participate in Love Your Body table events including: create your own affirmation cards for yourself or a friend; take a KIND bar to spread KINDness; and tell us what you love about your body while posing for a picture with the “Inspire Hope, Empower Change” Instagram frame. Handouts and information will be available at each table with tips to improve body image as well as other Penn State resources and giveaways.  The Love Your Body tables will be on the ground floor of the HUB Monday 10/23 – Wednesday 10/25 from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.  Additionally, HealthWorks will have a Love Your Body table in the Intramural Building on Thursday 10/26 and Friday 10/27 focused on body positive reasons to exercise and ways to fuel one’s body.Tuesday night guest speakers Lindsay and Lexie Kite will share simple strategies for building body image resilience. They will share how the media and society are negatively impacting many people’s view of themselves and how we can counter the messages and improve our wellbeing.  The Kite sister’s presentation will take place at Freeman Auditorium in the HUB, on Tuesday, October 24th at 7pm.

Passionate about health and wellness? Apply to be a HealthWorks peer health educator

Do your friends turn to you for health advice?  Do you enjoy cooking healthy meals? Or are you looking to prepare yourself for a career in the health industry?  If any of these sound like you, you should consider becoming a peer health educator through HealthWorks. 

HealthWorks peer education program flyer HealthWorks is a three semester commitment for University Park students.  It requires one semester of training and two semesters of service on the UP campus. Training includes a three-credit class through the Department of Biobehavioral Health (BBH) during the Fall semester.  The course covers topics that will be helpful in your role as a peer health educator, like: health promotion theories and strategies and health issues, including alcohol and other drugs, sexual health, nutrition, physical activity, sleep and stress. Weekly meetings and outreach activities continue during the spring semester.

HealthWorks volunteers become active on campus, helping to coordinate and execute Safer Sex Parties and HIV test counseling.  Their various outreach activities raise awareness about topics like flu prevention, sustainability, and body image. Past projects have included campus walking maps, healthy cooking tutorial videos, and a healthy options cookbook that features fresh produce in its recipes.

Students interested in HealthWorks can apply by visiting http://studentaffairs.psu.edu/health/wellness/healthWorks.shtml starting Feb. 2.  The application window will be open until March 6.

Cut back on spending without cutting back on fitness

It’s no secret that as college students, we’re often short on cash and need to save whenever possible. However, one area that we should never cut back on is our physical fitness. Regular physical activity benefits both body and mind—it can reduce your risk of many chronic diseases and stimulate areas of the brain associated with memory and learning.

If purchasing a fitness membership is tough on your wallet, there are still plenty of options around campus for getting a great workout. Check out some of the best free resources in the area, including some hidden gems:

1. Running:

Running and walking around campus is a great, easy way to work out. Did you know there is a free indoor track above the volleyball court in Rec Hall? There are also beautiful running trails north of the Arboretum in Hartley Wood to enjoy during the warmer months.

2. Yoga:

In addition to improving your flexibility and fitness, yoga can help you to relax. University Health Services offers free yoga in 205 Student Health Center. Classes are taught by local instructors and are appropriate for all skill levels. Yoga mats, straps and blocks are provided.

3. Sports:

Our campus offers many fields and courts for basketball, volleyball, tennis, football, and soccer. Stop by a commons desk to check out equipment, and get a game started! Bad weather? No problem– basketball, racquetball, squash, and volleyball courts are available in Rec Hall and the IM building. Stop by the equipment office to borrow gear or bring your own.

4. Open Space:

Ever notice how big our recreation facilities are? Turns out not everything requires a fitness membership. As long as the rooms aren’t reserved, you can find a room full of mirrors perfect for dancing in the White Building. In addition to the free indoor track, Rec Hall also offers mats, pull up bars, monkey bars, and stahl bars under the bleachers of the volleyball court. This is a great quiet place to do stretches and core work.

Photo of Emma

About the Blogger: 

Emma is a senior majoring in Nutrition. She is a physical activity team leader for HealthWorks, a peer health education program within University Health Services.