Western Kentucky University

Communication Disorders News

Faculty, Students Participate in Annual Winter Term Program in Belize

Students and faculty from four departments in WKU's College of Health and Human Services participated in the Winter Term's annual International Health and Human Services Learning Program, also known as the Belize Program.

The program was led by Dental Director Daniel Carter and Supervising Dental Hygienist Bonny Petty of WKU’s Institute for Rural Health Development and Research. This year’s participants included students and faculty from WKU’s Social Work, Communication Disorders, Dental Hygiene and Nursing departments.

The Belize Program extends the mission of WKU and the College of Health and Human Services by providing services that promote wellness of body, mind and environment to the underserved community of Gales Point, Belize. Participants engage in hands-on and reflective projects teaching them to be socially responsible citizen leaders of a global society.

The WKU International Health and Human Service Learning Program started during the summer of 2007. Since then, WKU students, faculty and staff have visited the remote and underserved village of Gales Point each year.

While the program consists mostly of College of Health and Human Services faculty, staff and students, the program has spread in the recent years to include other WKU colleges and majors that have gone on to start new programs in Belize.

Students participating in this year’s program received hands on clinical experience ranging from dental restorations and cleanings, to extensive women’s health screenings and exams, to classroom health education in Belizean schools. In addition, the students worked collaboratively with the Belizean Ministry of Health to provide many services to the citizens of Belize City and Gales Point.

Students participating in the 2012 Winter Term course included: Alicia Azimipour, a senior Dental Hygiene major from Bowling Green; Katie Bittel, a Social Work graduate student from Madisonville; Sarah Crabtree, a Social Work graduate student from Owensboro; Lucas Hall, a Social Work graduate student from Bowling Green; Jill Howe, a Social Work graduate student from Owensboro; Brenda Lewis, a Social Work graduate student from Leitchfield; Jessica May, a junior Nursing major from Madisonville; Jennifer McDivitt, a Nursing graduate student from Evansville, Ind.; Jerri McMillan, a junior Social Work student from Vine Grove; Erin Miller, a senior Nursing student from Evansville, Ind.; Alyssa Nantz, a senior Dental Hygiene student from Nashville; Devan Russell, a senior Dental Hygiene student from Franklin, Tenn.; and Kasey Sears, a senior Social Work major from Russellville.

Faculty and staff involved in the Belize Service Learning program were Daniel Carter and Bonny Petty of the Institute for Rural Health Development and Research; Eve Main of Nursing; Trish Desrosiers of Social Work; Jan Sandidge of Communication Disorders; and Joseph Evans of Allied Health.

The College of Health and Human Services Belize Program is offered every year during the Winter Term through the Institute for Rural Health Development and Research.

More: Photos from the trip are available on the WKU Facebook page.

Contact: Stacey Forsythe, (270) 745-6948.

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 Last Modified 7/22/13