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TWU student receives scholarship to attend national health advocacy summit


DENTON —Texas Woman’s University student Cynthia Johnson of Lewisville was one of only two graduate students in the nation to receive the Society for Public Health Education (SOPHE) 2008 Health Education Student Support Award. This $500 scholarship enabled Ms. Johnson to attend the 2008 Health Advocacy Summit held March 15-17 in Washington, D.C.

“Receiving this award has been the highlight of my educational experience at TWU,” said Ms. Johnson, a health studies graduate student. “Attending this conference gave me valuable insight on federal appropriation bills that currently affect the health education field, particularly pertaining to minority and underserved populations’ health disparities.”

As a scholarship recipient, Ms. Johnson also will write a 1,000-word article for SOPHE’s newsletter detailing her experience at the conference.

“In writing the article, I hope to reach out to other students and convey the importance of health advocacy,” Ms. Johnson said. “We must remember that we, as health educators, have a responsibility to those who do not have the tools or power to speak up for themselves.”

SOPHE is an independent, international professional association made up of a diverse membership of health education professionals and students. With its primary focus on public health education, the society promotes healthy behaviors, healthy community and healthy environments through its membership, its network of local chapters and its numerous partnerships with other organizations. For more information, visit www.sophe.org.

“The SOPHE scholarship selection committee indicated that they were extremely impressed with Cynthia’s active role in community organization and her passion for health advocacy,” said Dr. Jody Oomen-Early, TWU assistant professor of health studies. “Whether she is organizing community needs assessments to improve health conditions in low-income neighborhoods or giving a presentation on an empowerment program for adolescent females to the Dallas City Council, Cynthia is an advocate for change. She is an example to her peers and to her instructors.”

The 2008 Health Education Advocacy Summit, sponsored by the Coalition of National Health Education Organizations, consisted of advocacy training, seminars on issue-specific legislative priorities and congressional visits with legislators and key staff on public health issues. For more information, visit www.healtheducationadvocate.org.



Media Contact:

Amanda Simpson
Director of News and Information
Tel: (940) 898-3456
e-mail: asimpson1@twu.edu

Page last updated January 22, 2009

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