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Students Selected to SOPHE Champion Program

Students Selected to SOPHE Champion Program

November 19, 2018

The Society for Public Health Education (SOPHE) has selected Moravian College seniors Prishaani Govender (center, photo) and Will Pelletiers to its Collegiate Champion program for the 2018-19 academic year. Only 22 students were selected from across the United States and only 8 were undergraduate students (most were master’s of public health or doctorate students).

SOPHE is a nonprofit, independent professional association with a membership of nearly 4,000 health education professionals and students in the United States and 25 other countries. Members work in schools, universities, volunteer organizations, health care settings and workplaces, as well as local, state, and federal government agencies. “SOPHE is the premier health-promotion-focused society in the United States,” says James Teufel, Moravian’s director and assistant professor of public health.

Collegiate Champions serve as liaisons between SOPHE and their campuses, sharing news and information about the field of health education and promotion and making fellow students aware of professional and academic award opportunities. Champions are also charged with organizing and hosting campus events. 

“We're hoping to team up with the Public Health Club on campus to come up with some activities to get students engaged in public-health-related activities and initiatives,” says Pelletiers. “For example, three clubs on campus are going to work together in the coming weeks to run a coat drive for refugees in Philadelphia. We also hope to get students to participate in health-themed conferences and webinars.”

Each collegiate champion serves two years—the first as a champion and the second as a mentor to a successor. Colleen Payton, assistant professor of public health, will serve as faculty advisor to Pelletier and Govender.

“I’m excited to learn more about the public health field and to meet people who have dedicated their lives to teaching others about the importance of public health and learn how they arrived in the positions they hold,” says Pelletiers. “I’m also excited to meet other public health students and learn about their interests.

“It’s an opportunity to become involved in public health and start to have an impact as a student.”

To learn more about SOPHE and the organization’s work visit their website at sophe.org.