COMM:ing to a close

With the end of the semester just around the corner, many of my classes are in full review mode. Looking back at the past couple of months we’ve covered quite a bit of material, it’s not often you get a class that covers three topics. From the inequality in health around the world, and how even racism can cause complications with health to the global catastrophe in the making, climate change.

As an engineering major, my other classes don’t offer a lot of material to talk to non engineers. This class however, has consistently given me something to talk to friends and family about that are real and relevant. From the Bhopal disaster to green washing, every class ends up giving me something to talk about to people outside of class.

The thing that stuck with me the most was a video we watched near the beginning of the semester. It was about stress and its adverse health effects. I’ve always heard stress is bad for your health, I think most of us have. The surprising part was exactly how, I had always assumed it was because of your behavior when you’re stressed, not directly as a result of the hormones you release when you’re stressed. The more far reaching implications of stress having that kind of effect are for those who have stress from things that are out of their control. It was really eye opening and allowed me to look at health and especially communication in health in a completely new perspective.

I’ll admit, coming in to the class I was skeptical on how useful the class might be beyond fulfilling my BoK requirement, but I am coming out the other side with a fresh perspective, a new understanding of many of the areas we discussed in class and a bolstered appreciation for hearing both (all) sides of an issue.

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Dylan Nourse


The final countdown

By: Lauren Reinhard

I found out a lot in this class and it surprised me how much I did learn. I did not think this class was going to teach me so much. I am a pre-pharmacy major and I take basically every mother science class available. This class was very different for me not only the structure but how we learned. In my normal classes it is basically memorizing and regurgitating facts for the exam. In this class I learned more and more everyday and there was more room for ideas and opinions. I think I learned most about how much companies will try to influence consumers to buy their product. It makes me think every time I buy a product about whether to not this company is trying to persuade me or not.

I think the most interesting days for me were when we would have debates or talk about everyones opinion. I always think everyones different opinions are super interesting and diverse. Thats an aspect of this class that I enjoyed the most because I’m not used to my science professors asking me what my opinion is. I also found it super interesting when we got into the environment and how much we have destroyed it with pollution. My favorite story was the people of Bhopal. I had never heard of this story and it made me realize how much companies can take advantage of environments and also people just to make money.  It was super interesting to study the affects of income when writing my paper. I was able to look at the health disparities that are very apparent in our world. I have learned so much in this class and I’m glad that I took this course it has changed my views on many subjects.



Goodbye Everyone!

I have to say – This class was probably my favorite class this semester. With the range of topics discussed, I wasn’t sure how it would appeal to me. I was definitely more interested in the health portion of this class, since I’m studying healthcare communication. Once the health section was done, I thought that I would start to tune out and become disinterested, but both the science and the environment sections were presented in such an interesting, thought-provoking way. Throughout the semester, I would share what I learned in this class with my best friends, fiance, and my dad. I’m sure they’re happy the class is coming to an end – it’s probably almost as if they took the class with me. (Seriously, I would show them various video clips we would view in class.)

I think that this class was a major asset in my education, and really helped change my perspective on how to communicate about each of these topics, especially health, since that is what I wish to pursue for my career. I think the literature we read, especially “Talking About Health,” were fantastic and very informative. I think that one of my biggest take-aways from the course is how each of these topics connect. I never necessarily thought that science and the environment would have an impact on how people view health, but after studying each section I think the connection is absolutely present, and I think this class was really beneficial in shaping how I phrase things in the future and how I will communicate with others about each topics.

Overall, I am definitely going to miss this class. Even though I came into the course not particularly interested in the science and environment sections, I learned a lot from each and I think it definitely helped enlighten my own views on various topics, as well as giving me an alternative perspective in some cases. I am 100% glad that I signed up for this course, and I will definitely recommend it to others in the future. I’ll miss you all, have a great exam week and further semesters!


Amanda Hecker

Communication is Key

The Modern-Day Doctor-Patient Relationship Goes Beyond the Practice

There has been a recent increase in the tendency of civilians to take on the attitude of a consumer when seeking medical care. Since many are now more directly responsible for their healthcare costs , Americans have begun to place greater emphasis on the quality of the relationships that they have with medical professionals. This has caused professionals to develop their communication skills and extend those skills outside the walls of their institution. Fortunately, advancements in communication technology can help, as organizations now have more opportunities than before to expand patient communication at any time between appointments.

This is critical to Health, Science, and Environmental communication because it calls attention to the methods in which we choose to relay important messages and how those messages are understood. Traditionally, patients would only be able to get reliable health information from professionals during appointment times; however, after patients depart from their appointments, a lack of communication and education from their doctors can lead to feelings of isolation from practices. Consequently, less education also means patients are not as likely to experience better outcomes.

This course has been crucial in the development of my career path. As a Social Work major, much of my education has revolved around children and families, policy, and health disparities. Although I have learned a number of ways to address these issues, communication is an underlying issue that I wish my program would have addressed more directly. With that being said, I am so grateful for the relevant information I have acquired this semester. I now feel more confident in my abilities to address health disparities with a little more background in the basics of how messages are conveyed.

Final blog post – take aways from the semester

As we finish the semester I can say that I have been pleasantly surprised with the outcome of this course. When I initially signed up I thought it was a course all about personal health and diseases and how we communicate about them such as we did in the first chapter of the semester. I found that information to be extremely interesting and also very valuable for the future. As we approached the chapter about environmental health I was honestly dreading it. I thought it was just going to be the same stuff we constantly hear about global warming but with no actual facts presented and I can say I was happy to find out this was not the case. This chapter actually ended up being my favorite of the semester. There were so many things I learned about that I did not have any idea of before taking this course. It also has opened up my mind and made me more curious about what is going on in the world around us and how big of an impact we as humans have on this earth. It has made me more conscious of the decision I normally forget to think about and hopefully I continue to be more aware. I think it is very important that as citizens of the world we stay informed and work our best to take care of the world that we live in.


Initially I did not like the blogs, but after getting a hang of them I think they were a really good way to help us students understand and reflect on the topics we discussed in class. I also struggled with the quizzes, which just showed me that I needed to read more thoroughly and take more in depth notes. I really took away a lot from this course and would highly recommend it to my peers.

Final Blog

Over this past semester I have learned a lot. This was a very different class for me. Even though I am in environmental studies, I still gained knowledge and insight into the environment in a new way. This class has taught me to try to look at things from every perspective and to try to see who is benefiting from different situations. It may seem like this class has made me cynical or at the very least skeptic but the class made me this way for good reasons.

The different sections of this class has showed me all the different ways that people will exploit communities in order to get a profit. The health section showed that a health of a person can be completely determined by the zip code he or she lives in. This could be easily prevented by creating equal health care, fast food zoning laws, or supplemental education in the longer income areas. The science section showed how corporations will exploit peoples’ lack of science literacy in order to give people the idea that climate change science or other research isn’t accurate. The final section of this class showed how corporations will use lack of laws or regulation against pollution or waste disposal as a way to receive as much profit as possible. The movies and videos we watched in the class were very informative as to the topics we learned about.

All of these topics that we went over in class have helped me to see the world through a more questioning lens. I think that this class has been beneficial to me because of that fact. This new insight into the world will follow me throughout my life and help me to see how people and big corporations truly act and think.



This course definitely turned out to be more than I had thought it would be. Most of the electives I have taken in the past are just classes that soon become memories, that honestly, I struggle to remember details about in the future. Although, it’s not a surprise that I found it very relatable and interesting to me since this class does appeal to my major, unlike most other electives of mine. From reading about different people’s opinions on blogs, in the class assigned books, and even hearing opinions in class, it was all very eye opening and helpful. I loved that I was able to get a taste of how my peers think about different subjects such as the communication between professionals and regular society in the health or science field, or even with the environment. I’ve never actually been able to have a class where we discuss things I love hearing about in the real world aspect, rather than the typical biology and chemistry that I am used to.

I learned so many things from this course that are apart of everyday life but I just never seemed to notice or think about before, such as greenwashing. I am a shy student that doesn’t particularly enjoy speaking up in class but this class helped me in expressing my thoughts in a different way, through blogs. Being able to talk about things like greenwashing in the blog, and actually being able to comment back to someone (since I’m not very good at doing that in class) has really helped me become more confident in my abilities to talk to other people about these kinds of topics.

Overall, I really enjoyed having this course in my schedule and I would recommend it to others as well. So thank you to my peers, our professor, and our teaching assistant for being so helpful and open minded throughout the semester!

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By: Josie Silvey