Public Health:

Promoting Wellness for Self and Community

Civic Engagement Day

2011-12 Civic Engagement Theme

The field of public health has been described as "the science and art of protecting and improving the health of communities through education, promotion of healthy lifestyles and research for disease and injury prevention." 
The World Health Organization defines health as "a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being..."  This vision of wholeness echoes the gospel message of good news to the poor, release for the captive, restoration of sight to the blind, and freedom for the oppressed.  During the 2011-12 academic year the Bluffton University community examined the intersections between public health and other academic disciplines and explored ways to improve the health of ourselves, our communities and our world.

Civic Engagement scholar

As the civic engagement scholar for 2011-12, Dr. Ross Kauffman, assistant professor of public health, presented the annual civic engagement lecture.
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Civic Engagement Day
March 28, 2012

Ambassador Tony Hall delivered the keynote address titled  Changing the Face of Hunger on the evening of Civic Engagement Day. Hall has served both as a U.S. Representative from Ohio's third district and as the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Agencies for Food and Agriculture. He is executive director of the Alliance to End Hunger. In all these roles, Ambassador Hall has been a tireless public health advocate for efforts to meet people s basic needs for food, education, and healthcare.
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A full day of presentations and activities were held Wednesday, March 28, for Civic Engagement Day programming related to the theme of Public Health: Promoting Wellness for Self and Community.

 Summer reading/fall convocation

First year students read Strength in What Remains by Tracy Kidder before arriving on campus in the fall. Deogratias Niyizonkiza, whose story is told in this book, spoke at fall convocation.

Strength in What Remains is story of Deogratias Niyizonkiza who arrives in the United States from Burundi in search of a new life. Having survived a civil war and genocide, he lands at JFK airport with $200, no English and no contacts. He ekes out a precarious existence until he meets the strangers who will change his life, pointing him eventually in the direction of Columbia University, medical school and a life devoted to healing. Kidder breaks new ground in telling this unforgettable story as he travels back over a turbulent life and shows us what it means to be fully human. (back cover)

Deo's visit was supported by academic affairs and a grant from the Luce Foundation secured by the advancement office.