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Talks at Twelve: Christine Bozlak, Tuesday, September 17, 2013

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Adolescent Health and Wellness Research: Translating Community–engaged Research into Policy as Part of a Participatory Action Research Process
Christine Bozlak, University at Albany School of Public Health

Tuesday, September 17, 2013
12:00pm - 1:00pm
Beebe Hall, 2nd floor conference room

This talk is open to all. Lunch will be served. Metered parking is available in the Plantations lot across the road from Beebe Hall.

Dr. Bozlak’s presentation will focus on two youth participatory action research projects that she conducted within a community setting outside Chicago. For each study, the findings were fed back into the community to affect policy and impact the well-being of the adolescents (and others) within the local geographic setting. One of the studies focused on youth participation in a local clean indoor air ordinance campaign where the youth were instrumental in the success of the campaign. The youth involvement, contributions, and benefits from their participation will be highlighted. The other study focused on youth participation in a local school wellness policy dialogue. In that study, Dr. Bozlak utilized Photovoice with the research participants, 9-11 year old youth in an after-school setting. Dr. Bozlak took a social ecological approach to the study. The research participants took photos of their various environmental settings and discussed how these settings enhanced and detracted from their conceptualization of “wellness.” The youth communicated their perspectives to local community leaders, including an advisor for a state representative and school officials, through a photo exhibit and adult and youth discussion. As part of her presentation, Dr. Bozlak will provide lessons learned and recommendations on how best to involve youth in participatory action research projects to enhance their well-being and the well-being of their community settings.

Christine Bozlak, PhD, MPH, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Policy, Management and Behavior at the School of Public Health, University at Albany. Prior to joining the University at Albany in 2012, she was at the School of Public Health at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) where she received her doctorate from the Maternal and Child Health Program in 2010 and then held an Adjunct Assistant Professor appointment. As a student, she was a recipient of the Alan W. Donaldson Award as well as the Paul Q. Peterson Public Health Doctoral Award, the UIC School of Public Health’s two most prestigious student awards.

In addition, she previously worked as the first Advocacy Program Manager for the Consortium to Lower Obesity in Chicago Children (CLOCC), a program of the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago where she was responsible for managing the childhood obesity prevention policy initiatives for the organization. Her prior work experience also includes the completion of a James H. Dunn Memorial Fellowship focused on health policy, especially child health issues, in the Illinois Governor’s Office. She also worked in grants administration at the Harvard School of Public Health.

Her research interests focus on maternal and child health, specifically childhood obesity prevention, wellness promotion, and positive youth development in the form of youth participation in health promotion interventions. At the University at Albany School of Public Health, Dr. Bozlak teaches Adolescent Health, Childhood Obesity from a Public Health Perspective, and Program Development in Health Promotion. She is also developing an Honors Undergraduate course in Maternal and Child Health for the University at Albany. In addition to these activities, Dr. Bozlak serves on the Third and Fourth Grade Action Team for the Albany Promise Cradle-to-Career Partnership, which brings together regional civic organizations, school districts, colleges, and elected officials in a commitment to improve the education pipeline locally. She is also a member of the Pioneering Healthier Communities (PHC) Leadership Team for the new Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and YMCA of the USA grant to the Alliance of New York State YMCAs.

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