During the February 2021 UW Health and Wellness Management virtual info session, Spring 2020 bachelor’s graduate, Pamela Mueri, presented her fieldwork project. Pamela was uniquely tasked with completing the HWM 494: Health and Wellness Management Fieldwork course at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. These are the highlights from her presentation:
How did the 100% online UW Bachelor’s in Health and Wellness Management fit into your life and career goals?
I was still working full time and raising a family, so being able to complete the bachelor’s degree online worked out really well with my schedule. I am the wellness program manager at Partnership for a Healthy Lincoln, where I oversee school wellness initiatives in our city.
Healthy Lincoln is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit in Lincoln, Nebraska that provides community wellness resources and programs. A lot of our work focuses on serving low-income youth and families in medically underserved areas. At Healthy Lincoln, we implement cooking courses, physical activity clubs, gardening, among other initiatives. We also partner with other nonprofits to push out wellness programs.
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Can you tell us about your UW Health and Wellness Management fieldwork project?
I was able to do a really great fieldwork experience with faith-based schools within the community that had been looking for a new kind of wellness program. I worked with four different schools and partnered with their principals, staff, and teachers to provide wellness resources.
How did the start of the COVID-19 pandemic affect your fieldwork experience?
I worked with my instructors, especially Dr. Schaben, to formulate how the fieldwork would go during the pandemic.
Of course, everyone was really concerned about wellness and how they could stay healthy. I ended up supporting the schools’ staff with mindfulness resources, physical activity ideas, tips for healthy eating habits, and more. We also designed resources for youth in the classroom, as well as materials for parents to do with the students at home.
The local gyms were closed and youth sporting events were cancelled, so we wanted to make sure that we kept families active and healthy during the pandemic by providing alternatives to do safely at home or in the community.
A lot of our programming had to be done virtually—through Zoom or recording resource videos. We also sent out newsletters, email blasts, and focused on social media work as well, ultimately serving roughly 400 staff and students.
How did you use what you learned in the UW Health and Wellness Management program in your fieldwork?
I pulled a lot of our resources from what I learned throughout coursework. This was helpful when I trained staff on various curriculum throughout the school system. Each week, we had a wellness theme that everyone was aligned with. We also worked with the principals to support these curriculum goals with their current schools’ wellness policies. I’m so thankful for the experience, even though it was different than I had anticipated.