WMU public health, Unified clinics faculty forge ahead with experiential learning grants

Contact: Joel Krauss

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Three separate groups of faculty from Western Michigan University's College of Health and Human Services (CHHS) earned Experience-Driven Learning Venture Grants from the Office of the Provost. The grants are part of a program to start and strengthen experiential learning programs at the University. Two of the grants are focused on programs at the WMU Unified Clinics, which is home to eight separate clinics led by faculty from CHHS.

The provost's grant program was announced during President Montgomery's 2023-24 State of the University address

"Experiential learning has always been integral to education in the health and human services professions and to the degrees we offer in the College of Health and Human Services," says Dr. Jennifer Harrison, interim dean of the college. "It's amazing to see the whole University mobilized to promote these kinds of growth and learning experiences for all of our students. I'm proud of all the CHHS faculty and staff who pulled these grant applications together and who continue to develop these valuable experiences for our students each and every semester." 

Expanding the Practical Application Experience of Public Health Students. 

This project will build a network of numerous public health related agencies in nine counties of Southwest Michigan. All public health students will engage in paid practical experiences in the network, where they will immediately be able to apply concepts from the classroom to real life situations. The project will strengthen ties between WMU and the agencies and provide students with resume-building experiences to prepare them for careers after graduation.

The proposal was driven by Drs. Robert Bensley and Mark Kelley. Read more

TechBoost: A Technological Infrastructure Upgrade for Experiential-Learning Excellence at WMU Unified Clinics

The Unified Clinics was awarded a grant to upgrade technological infrastructure and to provide excellence in experiential learning for CHHS students. Among other things, these technological upgrades will facilitate learning experiences to prepare students to excel in their fields as telehealth providers.

This proposal was developed by an interprofessional team including Dr. Adriana Degani, Dr. Laura DeThorne, David Longjohn, Dr. Andrea Perez, Kathy Rigley and Dr. Michelle Suarez. Read more

Animal-Assisted Interventions Course Series

Dr. Angela Moe is a professor of sociology and the coordinator of the therapy dog clinic at the WMU Unified Clinics. This spring, she launched a course focused on animal-assisted interventions which brings specially trained animals into health, education and human service environments. She has received a grant to expand course offerings related to animal-assisted interventions in partnership with Dr. Andrea Perez in Unified Clinics and Dr. Lori Gray in the holistic health studies program in the School of Interdisciplinary Health Programs. Read more

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