facebook twitter flickr you tube pinterest


Students Present Public Health Research at State Conference

Students Present Public Health Research at State Conference

By Alli Bates ’16

For Health and Sport Sciences Assistant Professor Rob Braun, undergraduate research is key to a solid education in public health. He encourages his students to conduct and present research beyond campus. With his guidance, four of his students—Ashleigh Thornton, Grant Seredick, Dani Bigham and Jerrin Hill—presented their research at the conference of the Ohio Society for Public Health Education (SOPHE) during fall semester.

“Ohio SOPHE promotes healthy behaviors from an individual perspective and promotes healthy communities and advocates for the environment. We do this through professional development opportunities, our listserv and social media network as well as through numerous partnerships with other organizations,” said Braun, who currently serves as the organization’s president.

Thornton and Seredick worked together on a research project that assessed “Trends of Diabetics Using the BRFSS Data from 2008-2012 by Race/Ethnicity.” Bigham presented “The Impact of a Community Garden on a Local Township.” Hill presented her thesis project, “Assessing Trends of Ohio Residents with Diabetes by Socioeconomic Status and Individual Demographics.”

“My personal hope is to have all my students join Ohio SOPHE and present at our state conference or work on a potential peer-reviewed publication before they graduate,” said Braun. “I believe in offering as many opportunities for our students as I can. These are great ways to build their resume, learn more about their chosen field and set themselves apart from the other potential applicants for jobs when they graduate.”

Public Health Educators are found working in a variety of settings, including city, county and the state health department, as well as non-profits, schools and universities, worksites, and in healthcare settings.

Braun hopes to expand opportunities for his students within SOPHE, including bringing the national conference closer to campus.

“My greatest achievement and personal goal will be for SOPHE to select and hold their national conference in Columbus in a few years. I plan to submit paperwork laying out our reason why this national conference should be held here,” said Braun. “I am truly passionate about this profession and holding this position has meant the world to me.”


Learn more about Otterbein’s Department of Health and Sport Sciences.

For more about SOPHE, visit the organizations website.