Last Blog!

What I learned from taking the communication health, science and the environment class was that we were surrounded by fallacies. I find that I have learned many things from the class. For example, I understood how health messages contribute to behavioral and attitude change, I learned how current media technology has been used to advocate being in good physical and mental health, learned about relationship between the consumer health and the effects of the entertainment media, and also I learned the significant of social support to maintain a healthy lifestyle. In more details, my favorite topic that we covered in the class so far is the media environment. How the internet has been one of the top source of national and international news. Additionally, how the social media affect the science nowadays in different aspects such as allowing individuals to not differentiate from “serious” news, and having less coverage of scientific issues in the internet. Lastly, I would like to add that I have really enjoyed the experience of the communication health, science and the environment class. It has been good for me to learn about the practice of motivating and informing individual, health-related issues, and health professionals. Thank you for your help and patience.

-Rawan Algahsan

keep-calm-the-semester-is-about-to-end

This is the last time…

*sigh of relief*

This semester has easily been one of the hardest semesters of my life. From balancing 40 hour work weeks, to taking in my little sister when she got pregnant-I think I have the freedom to say that I am so relieved that the end of the semester is so close. One of the joys of the last few months have definitely been this class. What has set it apart is the discussions that we had in class over really significant topics right now. I think that being able to interact with my fellow students in a [sometimes] respectable setting over very controversial issues has been very eye opening to me. It’s really amazing that we were able to share our viewpoints and sometimes reach a common ground.

The primary reason I took this class was because it was about communicating health. I honestly very much overlooked the part about science and environment. I think that’s why I enjoyed it so much. I’d say I’m pretty well versed in the health department, but science and especially environment, not so much.

 

The most “punch you in the stomach” thing for me was the discussion of how corporations can define our notions of natural, “green”, or environmentally safe. I honestly have fell victim to so many of the aspects to greenwashing. I have definitely been fooled into buying green. I’m so glad that I’ve been made aware of some things to look out for. This class is truly applicable to my life and the lives of others.

Allison Loayza

Relfection

Before going back to school this semester in over eight years, I was happily roasting coffee as a profession. I had been in the trade for two years and while I was happy with my work, I couldn’t help but notice occupational health hazards in the workplace. Last summer an occupational health hazard became apparent the in the coffee roasting field. Investigative reports showed that large scale coffee roasting can cause irreversible lung damage if proper measures aren’t taken. Measures my work refused to do, while others were making those changes with better ventilation. None of these hazards had ever been brought up to me or me or my coworkers. I understand all occupations come with some type of hazard, but when I presented this information to my manager and owners of the company it was meant with severe backlash. What made me leave that job was that I didn’t know how to communicate these occupational health hazards effectively.

               I may have left that hazardous occupation, but I constantly think about my previous coworkers and the hazardous they are continuously exposed to. I called one of them the other day to see how things are going. When I asked if they are wearing the recommended masks by NIOSH that I had implemented they simply said they hadn’t since I left. The owners who are required to provide and train simply stopped caring or they cared more about profits. Some of the important things I learned in this class how to communicate more effectively about environmental problems. How to use facts like 97% of climate scientists know climate change is happening and caused by man but more importantly by more people knowing that leads to change in policies and legislation. I know to not sit quietly or idle when an important environmental issue rises.

 

Lukas Allen

              

Relection

Communication. It’s the imparting or exchanging of information or news. And weather you know it or not communication is a big aspect of our life. It allows us to share information tell story and trade opinions. And there is no exception when  it comes to the environment and health. In class I’ve learned about many environmental and health problems I’ve never even though about an example would be Bhopal which i can honestly say impacted me the most. And chances are if I brought this up with other people they would also be unknowing to it. But why is that? Communication. That’s why. As stated before communication can be use to share information with others. If there is none, information can’t be shared to others. But the main thing to think about is how the information is spread. There are many many different types of medians in which information can be spread. Examples are TV, Radio, Friends, Ads, Newspaper, Articles the Internet and the list goes on. Another thing to keep in mind is your audience. Who are you reaching out too. Because depending on who it is will determine the affect a certain approach will have on them. In short over the course of this class I’ve learned the importance of communication. How it can be use for “good” and “evil” and the effectiveness of it in regards of spreading information. How it varies from person to person and how it impacts others. And that in itself is something I use for years to come.
Danny Wells

Semester Recap

I really enjoyed this course surprisingly. As a communications student I had no interest in science particularly environmental science what’s so ever. I enjoyed and understood the way two different topics were incorporated and everything was cohesive.

Learning about health, science and the environment doesn’t seem too exciting but it actually was. I realized how blinded I was to to many things going on around the world. It was shocking to me that I had never even heard of the Bhopal crisis that occurred 30 something years ago, but I was well aware of the holocaust that occurred decades before then. I’m not saying the two are comparable at all, but it goes to show that we can’t just rely on schools or others to teach us about what’s going on we need to take initiative.

Learning about how major corporations greenwash advertisements to make consumers more likely to buy and how consumers “fall” for it is fascinating to me. I never really paid much attention to those kinds of things before taking this class. It just opened me up to a lot and made me more aware. This was the only class I had on campus this year, so commutting 30 minutes every Tuesday and Thursday to sit in a close for only an hour and twenty minutes justifies that this course was pretty great.

-Skylar Barkley

Semester Review

Looking back at this semester, I feel that we have covered literally just about everything under the sun.  Now after a bit of reflection, I can see how all of the topics that we have covered are interrelated in some form or another.  Upon reading the syllabus during the first week, I thought that the course’s title would most likely be misleading, but now it is exciting to see the relationships between each class discussion, as well as the readings.  The topics that interested me the most from the past 15 weeks of class included; the health gap between the wealthy and those living in poverty, the importance of understanding scientific language and the role it plays in how we view health, and also discussing the plethora of segments that have differing views of the natural environment, and how we communicate effectively with those different segments.

It is hard to wrap my head around the severity of the gap between the unhealthy and the healthy, and how money controls those two groups. Specifically the video we watched that investigated this gap in Louisville KY really hit home, because much like in the video, I can drive through Cincinnati, and notice the same divide in wealth and health just by driving not even a half of a mile in some areas.  In a perfect world I would love to see the gap in incomes shrink, but I know that will not be the solution.  Instead we have to find ways to change the ongoing cycle of poverty by offering educational outlets for youth, and opportunities for adults to become more successful.  In my opinion, the education of our youth is the key.  If we can reach children who are growing up in poverty, and give them the knowledge and skills to become a contributing member of society I think that we would see the gap get more narrow.  As for adults who are suffering in poverty, I think that they need opportunities to either learn new skills that give them a chance to find work, and we need to realize that even though universal healthcare may be too much of a drastic change, we must find a way to reach out to those who simply cannot afford help.

Before this semester, I never really cared to try and understand scientific language.  It is dry, and difficult for the average person to understand.  After reading our second assigned text, it was clear to me that being able to decipher scientific language is a crucial skill to develop.  Emphasis on crucial, because a surprising amount of scientific research directly or indirectly effects me personally.  For instance, our 1st case involved understanding and communicating the Zika virus to an audience of college age women.  To be honest I had heard of the Zika virus, but could not tell you one thing about the virus.  I assumed that it was only prevalent in undeveloped countries, but after researching the virus, and deciphering what it truly is I came to find that not only can it effect people near me, but it becomes more of a risk during the approaching summer months, and more importantly it could effect children I may plan on having.  The scariest part though is I would not even know until it was too late.

Lastly, I enjoyed learning about the differing segments of the US population with regards to climate change, modeled off of the Yale study.  In my mind climate control was split down the middle, 50/50.  I never imagined that there would be so many variations of beliefs.  Not only was it interesting to see what those segments were, but also how we as health communication professionals could effectively communicate facts to those segments.  Most importantly the 97% of the scientific community backing the fact that climate change is real.  From our class discussion, I tend to believe that we need to focus communication efforts on the segments of the population that do believe climate change is a thing, and convince them to educate themselves, and do something about it together.  Do not ignore attempting to educate the other side of the spectrum, but those who do not believe, or have knowledge of climate change are not the majority of our population.

Cullan McCarthy

 

This Class as a Whole

We’ve spent the past three months or so going through a load of different information. We’ve talked about things like what it means to have, “normal health”,  what science literacy (and illiteracy) is, as well as what we are doing the environment and how people view it. The two things that really jumped out to me the most were how we describe having a normal sort of healthy life and how misinformed the general public is when it comes to advertising about the environment. This class certainly opened my eyes to many new ideas and challenged me to think for myself and formulate my own ideas about them.

The first part that really stuck out to me was the idea of normal health. The thing that amazed me the most was how relative everything is. The first example, and really the one that resonates in my mind, is the growth in weight of children and how those numbers in the United States are somehow supposed to represent the whole world. We learned of firsthand experience of our Professor’s child supposedly being far behind the curve in the United States, when in India, he would be seemingly way above the curve. They tried to categorize this measurement and make it so everyone could be based on the same numbers. It amazed me because people in America have drastically different lifestyles than everyone everywhere else in the world. We live in different societies and have different cultures that involve so many different day-to-day practices. To compare the U.S. to a different countries cultures and say certain things aren’t normal, is incorrect. It’s all relative.

The second part that struck me was the advertising about organic and all-natural products on the market today. People are so rushed to believe everything they see on labels. These oranges are labeled all natural, that must mean they are better than the other brand of oranges that don’t clarify if they are all natural in the first place. What does all natural even mean? We have talked about this a great deal in class and the more I think about it, the more I get disgusted with it. The companies are distributing guarantees that their products are all natural or organic and sometimes have nothing to back it up. Somehow putting a label on your product saying it was grown in a sustainable way and somehow if you buy this product you are contributing back to the environment is a load of crap. This aspect of the class was something that I took to heart and will continue to look out for in the news as well as journals.

All in all, this class was extremely informative. I learned to take an issue and dissect it and take a look at it from different angles and perspectives. I was introduced to different issues that I actually wasn’t aware of in the first place. It was nice being able to learn about things that are actually applicable to everyone’s day in and day out lives. I truly did enjoy this class!

Mike Montague