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Community Health


Emily AlbertEmily Albert '22

Why did you decide to study community health?

When I came to Whitworth, I knew that I wanted to help people in some way, but I just didn't know how. After finding out about the Community Health program, I knew that it was perfect for me. I loved the idea of being able to work one-on-one with the families and people around me to aid their health in a preventive way.

What are some of your favorite classes so far?

I would have to say that Anatomy & Physiology and Personal Health have been my favorite classes so far. In both courses the professors were excited to help us learn the content and find personal meaning within the information. I also enjoyed these classes because they were some of the first courses I took that allowed me to study the topics that interested me.  

Tell us about a unique experience you've had or project you've worked on for your major. 

This spring I will be completing an internship with Family Promise of Spokane. They are an organization that works to end family homelessness within our community. I so grateful to have the opportunity to be their community and media intern, and I can't wait to start.

What advice would you give to someone thinking about majoring in community health?

The community health program is great because it allows you to follow almost any path within the healthcare industry. My advice would be don't stress over not knowing what you want to do; just find something that interests you.

Who has been an important connection for you at Whitworth, and why?

Dr. Abbey has helped me immensely in my academic journey. I loved taking her classes, and she has put in so much time and effort to help me through the process of finding and registering for an internship. She is easy to talk to, and I know that I can always to go her if I need advice.

Why did you choose to attend Whitworth?

During my senior year of high school, I really struggled to know which university I should attend, but once I visited Whitworth, I knew I was exactly where I needed to be. The feeling of community and liveliness that I received during my short visit is something I will always remember. I have gained what I consider to be a second family here at Whitworth, and for that I will always be grateful.

Molly HansonMolly Hanson '24

Program: ROTC 
Why did you decide to be in ROTC (Reserve Officers' Training Corps)?  

I joined ROTC because I missed the physical aspect of sports in high school, I wanted to have a plan after college, and most of all I loved the challenge. ROTC has been the most challenging and rewarding program I have ever been a part of. 
What class has been your favorite so far?

My all-time favorite class was Community Health taught by Shane Wibel. The class talks about health disparities based on region, culture, race, historical public health issues, and current environmental factors that are affecting our health. I was a nursing major when I went into the class and came out a community health major. Community health is a diverse combination of politics, social issues and medicine.

Tell us about a unique experience or project you’ve been a part of.  

A couple of unique experiences that I've had at Whitworth are through the Summer Fellowship Program and with Honor Flight. I've done two fellowships: one in Leavenworth, Wash., working with the disabled community and one in Santa Maria, Calif., working at a men's addiction recovery center. Both fellowships taught me a lot about the nonprofit world and helped me grow as a person as well as personally in my faith. I am now the lead ambassador for the program. 
The Honor Flight program that I got to partake in was fully funded by Whitworth’s Military & Veterans Resource Center (MAVRC). Honor Flight is a nonprofit that sends veterans to Washington, D.C., to visit the war memorials. Watching a Vietnam veteran find the name of their fallen brother on the wall is very powerful and moving. I would not be able to be a part of this program if I weren't in Whitworth ROTC. 
What advice would you give to someone thinking about being in ROTC?

If you have any military interest or want to be challenged, ROTC is the place for you. There is not a certain stereotype that does ROTC; there are all kinds of people. You will find a place to fit in. The opportunity to potentially have your school, housing and books paid for is also very notable.  
What is something that has surprised you about your major?

There are so many opportunities to delve deep into the subject that you are studying. I am going to Scandinavia in May Term to learn about social medicine in Europe. I get to do this alongside my peers who are interested in studying the same things that I am.
What is your dream job or plans?  

In the Army, I hope to use my community health degree and serve in the Medical Service Corps. Once I have completed my military service, I want to work for nonprofits for a while and then eventually go into politics. 
Who are three people who have made a difference for you at Whitworth?

  1. Dr. Julia Stronks, my political science advisor. I have had a deep breadth of experiences within her classes. Because of her classes, I've listened to amazing speakers, gone to conferences, and heard countless perspectives that have greatly shaken my worldview.
  2. Kent Mcdonald, theology adjunct faculty member. Taking the class Foundations of Christian Leadership was one of the best decisions I could have made as a freshman. It's a perfect class to find friends, have support from a group of people as a first-year, and learn very relevant and current information about the Bible.
  3. Gracey Jo Gonzalez, program & fellows assistant for the Summer Fellowship Program. She does a lot of recruiting on campus, facilitates connections, and cares about students deeply. Gracey Jo embodies Whitworth energy, heart and love of God. 

 How would you describe Whitworth?

I would describe it as a community. People at Whitworth care about others on more than just a surface level. Whitworth is a place where people can find connection and a place that allows you to be who you are.

Learn more about Whitworth's Community Health, B.A. program

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