A number of offices in the Division of Student Affairs are currently searching for their next group of student leaders for a variety of programs, from new student and transfer orientation and Chicago Quarter to peer health educators in the Office of Health Promotion and Wellness. This month, we asked one of the current Health Education Action Team members to tell us more about her role and herself.
Meet Haley Majetich, a senior who is a San Antonio, Texas native and relational communications major, with minors in public health, and bioethics and society. She is passionate about health education and for nearly three years has served as a peer health educator on the HEAT team.
"I feel it's important to be part of creating a comfortable space for students to explore issues around our health and our bodies," Majetich says. "Engaging students in peer-to-peer dialogue on important health-related topics, including stress, consent, sexual health, alcohol and other drugs and self-care, is critical in creating that space."
HEAT members facilitate workshops and lead presentations for classes, student organizations and other DePaul offices, as well as staff tables at events around campus to raise awareness about the group and to educate students about critical health issues.
"The staff and other peer educators in the office have been really supportive and nurturing, and through my work, I have had a lot of freedom to pursue topics that interest me," Majetich says. Because of this positive experience, she has applied to the program year after year.
Of course, to be a peer health educator at DePaul, she first had to be a DePaul student. Majetich says that DePaul was an attractive choice for many reasons, including its commitment to service and social justice, its location in Chicago and the small-town feel that the Lincoln Park campus provides.
"I sometimes am overwhelmed by all of the wonderful possibilities that Chicago offers, but I can also walk around the Lincoln Park campus and neighborhood and see a lot of familiar faces," she says. "I like being part of a community full of passionate people who want to learn and do better."
Majetich notes being involved in activities outside of class is important to finding community and being successful at DePaul. She says the DePaul Drag show, hosted by Act Out and the Office of Multicultural Student Success, is a fun and welcoming event she has enjoyed.
"The environment in the performance space is always full of love, light and laughter, and students dance and sing and do not worry about looking silly," she says. "All identities are welcome and celebrated, and it has always been a strong, unifying experience for me and for others who enjoy that type of expressive art."
If this kind of event isn't for you, there are a number of other on- and off-campus events that students would enjoy, she adds.
"I would recommend that students take advantage of any program with free food and other goodies. Finding fun things to do is easy if you keep up to date with the OSI calendar, as they are always holding some sort of event or offering discounts on tickets for things going on in the city," Majetich says.
As her college career comes to a close, Majetich is looking forward to working in health communication, and believes that her path will take her to graduate school to pursue a doctorate, eventually.
"I feel like higher education will allow me to delve deep into areas of research and explore specific issues I am interested in," she says.
If you or someone you know is interested in the peer health educator role in the Office of Health Promotion and Wellness, you can learn more here