The Health Education & Awareness Team (HEAT) is a group of students trained by the health educators at Hokie Wellness to deliver fun, interactive, and educational health and wellness programs to student groups and residential halls throughout the campus community.
HEAT’s mission is to develop an effective peer network within the campus environment that promotes, supports, and encourages healthy living for all students. The program seeks to make students more aware of the consequences of unhealthy behaviors by providing educational life-skills training with the most up-to-date information about healthy life-style choices.
HEAT members do public health outreach events and workshops about safer sexual behaviors, contraception, healthy eating choices, sleep, skin cancer prevention, tobacco-use prevention, cold and flu awareness, among others. All of our events address issues that will make the campus community healthier, safer, and more enjoyable. We also sponsor events like the Tobacco-Free Hokies T-Shirt Campaign and Wrap that Package Week.
HEAT is a student development program sponsored by Hokie Wellness and is registered through the Leadership and Student Organization Program as a University Student Life Program. photo
Students in the HEAT (Health Education & Awareness Team) program gain life skills in leadership, responsibility, organization, and networking. HEAT members are motivated by personal experience and the desire to improve lifestyles for themselves and their peers. They become more knowledgeable about public health issues and develop self-confidence, public speaking skills, group facilitation, and communication skills. HEAT members also learn and practice effective problem solving, decision making, and program planning skills. They learn the importance of sharing ideas and learning from others. Although HEAT members are not paid, they receive valuable training and experience from participation.
Here are some things that past HEAT members have said about being in the program:
- “You can influence others in positive ways!"
- "It's a great way to meet friends on campus!"
- "Being a part of the group places you in a group of people with common purpose and ideals."
- "You will have the opportunity to gain leadership skills such as how to run an effective meeting, delegation, team building, and motivation."
- "As a peer educator, you will learn to be a better listener, a caring helper, communicate better, and gain confidence in confronting people."
- "This leadership experience can help build your resume for future education or a career."
- "As a student, you may have the opportunity to attend area conferences for greater education and leadership."
- "You will feel good about yourself and your efforts to improve the lives of those around you!"
How long has there been a HEAT program?
In some form or another (and with other names), Health Education has had a HEAT program for 30 years. It has been thriving in its current form for nearly 15 years.
Are HEAT positions paid?
No, we do not pay members in the traditional sense. We like to think that the experience, learning, friendship, and all the other positive things members get from the program make all HEAT members' efforts worthwhile.
What is the time commitment?
The weekly time commitment for Health Education and Awareness Team members is at least 3 hours with significant (and mandatory) training and attendance requirements. This is a minimum amount; many members complete far more hours than this.
How will I be trained?
We provide for free (and require) extensive training. We have a major training at the beginning of your HEAT experience, have semester update trainings, and you will be learning new things every week.
How long do people serve as HEAT members?
The minimum period is 1-year with most members staying 2 or more years. If you are not interested in being on the team for at least one year, this program isn't for you.
When do you accept applications?
The application process for these volunteer positions is competitive. The next time we are accepting applications in the spring of 2017 for the FALL 2017-18 HEAT class.
Who can apply?
We accept applications from "Rising Sophomores" and "Rising Juniors."
Do you accept graduate or professional students?
No, HEAT is a service and leadership opportunity designed for undergraduates only.
How many people are in HEAT ?
The group has 25-35 members.
Do you accept new members every year?
No, HEAT is on a two year cycle. We recruit new members every OTHER year. The next time students can apply is spring 2017.
What majors do you accept?
There is no "major" restriction. We have had a wide variety of majors over the years.
What is the deadline to apply?
The next deadline to apply will be announced in the spring of 2017.
How do I apply?
We will post a link here in spring of 2017.
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