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Civic Engagement

Michael Dolan: Addressing the Epidemic of Childhood Obesity

With nearly 25% of the children in the United States being recognized as obese, it is clear that something must me be done to address this issue. After two terms and countless volunteer hours at the Boys and Girls Club I can proudly say that I have successfully raised awareness about childhood obesity and more importantly with the individuals that childhood obesity affects the most, children. After establishing a strong relationship with the children and staff of the Boys and Girls Club and after a long strenuous research process I was able to develop an educational program that recognized this problem and established a way in which it could be addressed. I cannot say that I have solved the problem of childhood obesity, but to be able to personally brainstorm with the children of the community and come up with personal solutions is the only gratitude that I need.  

 Mike comments,  “This was an experience that will be reflected throughout my entire life.”


Melissa Flowers: “Speaking the Truth: Educating African American Women About Breast Cancer

As a part of the Civic Engagement project for the Communication Studies major, this project sought to reach out to the African American community to educate them about breast cancer prevention. Research suggests that African American women respond more favorably to health messages that incorporate spiritual content; thus, this project focused heavily on how to incorporate spiritual messages into "secular" messages about breast cancer. Using the Elaboration Likelihood Model, Melissa constructed a message compatible with the women from the congregation at Truth Temple Apostolic Church in Rock Island and their religious views. The results of a survey distributed after the presentation indicate that not only was the presentation received favorably by the women, but also they saw themselves as more likely to seek mammograms.

Melissa reflects, “The best part about creating my project and carrying it out was learning about the lives of the women at the church and becoming a part of their congregation. It was invaluable to know them on a personal level when it came time to present my message about breast cancer.”