WMU News

Report on HIV education programs features WMU

May 1, 2000

KALAMAZOO -- A recent national report on model campus-based programs aimed at HIV prevention education prominently features Western Michigan University.

The "Report of a Study of Successful Programs of HIV Prevention Education in Colleges and Universities" is the culmination of a project begun in 1997 by the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators with grant support from the Centers for Disease Control. The project was designed to identify premier campus-based educational programs related to HIV, the virus associated with AIDS, and determine the key characteristics that make them so successful.

NASPA selected WMU for the study out of 100 nominations from across the country. Only seven other schools were selected: Broward Community College, Creighton University, the North Carolina School for the Arts, Stanford University, Syracuse University, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and Western Washington University.

Case studies for each school are included in the NASPA report. Officials from the organization hope that higher education administrators will use information in the report's case studies and conclusion section to enhance their prevention education programs for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections.

"Regarding Western Michigan University, the report specifically focused on the innovation and comprehensive nature of our program directed by Chris Zimmer," says Scott Musial, acting director of the Sindecuse Health Center. Zimmer directs the health center's Office of Health Promotion and Education, which develops and oversees a variety of University health and wellness programs, including its multi-disciplinary, collaborative program for HIV prevention education.

"The report reviewed five components of our program and commented on Chris' powerful and extremely dynamic leadership and her motivation, organization and ability to succeed with limited resources," Musial adds. "Having strong, effective leaders who work across campus boundaries is one of the four key characteristics that NASPA concluded are necessary for HIV education programs to be successful.

The other three necessary characteristics concern the structure of the programs, the providing institutions' setting and structure, and the direction and support the programs receive from their institutions and individuals within their institutions."

To obtain a copy of the HIV prevention education report or to learn more about WMU's program, contact the Office of Health Promotion and Education at (616) 387-3263.

Media contact: Jeanne Baron, 616 387-8400, jeanne.baron@wmich.edu

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