Fall 2011

School News

SPHHS Students Help Launch the HCOP Summer Scholars Program
HCOP students
High school students in the UMass Amherst HCOP Summer Scholars Program.

This summer, students in the School of Public Health and Health Sciences helped launch the University of Massachusetts Amherst Health Career Opportunity Program (HCOP) Summer Scholars Program. Natasha Rossi, an MPH candidate in Community Health Education, served as the Program Coordinator, and Jenna O’Neil, an undergraduate Public Health Sciences major, acted as the Program Assistant.

Dr. Nathaniel Whitmal III, Assistant Professor in Communication Disorders, instructs students in the summer program.

HCOP is an initiative of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service’s Health Resources and Services Administration. The program works to build diversity in the health fields by providing students from disadvantaged backgrounds an opportunity to develop the skills needed to successfully compete, enter and graduate from health professions schools. The goal of the 2011 UMass Amherst HCOP Summer Scholars Program was to provide HCOP participants with an extended college readiness experience to facilitate their entry into higher education institutions and foster success for completion of a degree program. The program aimed to create the type of atmosphere that would increase students’ awareness of a variety of college majors and tracks associated with pursuit of a career in the allied health field.

“We found this experience to be extremely rewarding, and we believe it was very valuable for the participants,” commented Rossi. “In helping to organize this program, we were able to gain a better understanding of the processes of health promotion program planning, implementation and evaluation. Most importantly, we were able to witness the positive impact that this program had on program participants, and this experience helped to realize just how important these types of programs are in reaching and impacting youth in the area.”

Rossi and O'Neill
Program coordinator Natasha Rossi (left) with program assistant Jenna O'Neil (right).

The summer scholar experience encompassed a variety of lessons, instructors, and activities from departments within the School of Public Health and Health Sciences, College of Engineering, and College of Natural Sciences, including Computer Science, Communications Disorders, Natural Science and Mathematics, and Sports Medicine. Students participated in hands on demonstrations and activities from UMass faculty of Kinesiology, Nutrition, Veterinary and Animal Sciences, and Athletic Training and Polymer Science. Students also had an opportunity to visit and tour other institutions, such as Springfield College, UMass Medical School and Amherst College in order to broaden their awareness of various application and admission processes of other institutions.

The overall intent of the summer program was to introduce HCOP students to the 4-year college system and all of its diverse programs and initiatives that support health-related majors and careers. The Summer Scholars Program contributed greatly to expanding students’ understanding of what steps they need to take at this very critical juncture of their high school careers.

“Based on all of the feedback we received from students and faculty and staff, it was clear that both Natasha and Jenna put everything they had into making this program the success that it was,” said Jon Pike, project assistant from the UMass Donahue Institute (UMDI) for the PV-HCOP program.

“We are confident that each student left the month-long program equipped with tools and knowledge to prepare themselves for the college application process,” added Rossi.


In This Issue

School News

Dean's Welcome
Fall Alumni Events
Kinesiology-CYBEX Partnership
Military in Online Program
Flooding Creates Health Problems
National Public Health Week
In Memoriam: Pauline Hollister

Faculty News

In the Spotlight: Barry Braun
Conferences & Appearances
Honors & Awards
Grant News


Student News

Student Profile: Eden Ketema
HCOP Summer Scholars Program
Around the School

Alumni News

Alumni Profile: Suzanne Ducharme
Alumni News Briefs

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