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Professional Development Using Student-Led, Community-Based Activities

Martin, Ashley E. MPH; Cunningham, Stacey C. MS; Magnus, Jeanette H. MD, PhD

Journal of Public Health Management & Practice: July/August 2011 - Volume 17 - Issue 4 - p 354–357
doi: 10.1097/PHH.0b013e3182140c18
Original Article

As a community health education center affiliated with an academic institution, we recognize that by investing in the professional development of our students, we not only maximize our own outcomes but those of our students as well. Our project, Creating Community Connections, was developed to aid the work of our Center in characterizing the evolving community landscape following Hurricane Katrina while providing opportunities for students to engage in experiential learning. Students in the project could gain skills in program planning and community assessment, as well as leadership and communications. Twenty-three students worked on the project during its 2 years, developing data collection tools, organizing and conducting key informant interviews, facilitating focus groups and community forums, managing data, and summarizing project findings for community presentations. Participation in this project allowed our students to grow as public health leaders and researchers while gaining a greater appreciation for community collaboration.

This article describes how the participation in this project allowed our students to grow as public health leaders and researchers while gaining a greater appreciation for community collaboration.

Mary Amelia-Douglas Whited Community Women's Health Education Center, Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana.

Correspondence: Ashley E. Martin, MPH, Mary Amelia-Douglas Whited Community Women's Health Education Center, Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana (amarti@tulane.edu).

The authors thank Melissa Lovell, MPH, former program coordinator at the Mary Amelia Women's Health Education Center for her hard work and dedication on the Creating Community Connections project.

Copyright © 2011 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.