The health and wellness program at Buffalo State was officially recognized in 1992, with the first 15 health and wellness graduates in 1994. Since then, the program has continued to grow and evolve, with more than 330 current majors.
Health and wellness students work towards a bachelor of science degree and take core classes exploring topics including personal health, fitness, community health, and nutrition. Upper-level electives are offered on topics such as alcohol problems, women’s health, and kinesiology (the study of human movement). By choosing courses carefully, students can tailor their studies towards their desired careers.
“The health and wellness program is unique in that you can find your passion and run with it,” Rachel Woock, ’04, ’06 said. “I wanted a job where I was out in the community working with people…this program gave me a medical and health background and the opportunity to learn what I wanted.”
Woock is now the Donate Life Program Administrator at Upstate New York Transplant Services. “My degree really prepared me for the working world,” Woock said. “I gained public speaking skills, and learned to be confident in what I speak about.”
Students can supplement their coursework with independent projects, service learning initiatives, and internships. “They have the opportunity to pursue research, participate in conferences, interact with professionals, and structure a professional portfolio,” said Scott Roberts, chair and professor of the health and wellness. “A lot of our students work on designing, delivering, and evaluating community health programs for organizations and the public.”
Ryan Stilwell, a junior in the program, has been invited to present his research, “Individuals and Access to Dental Care,”at the University at Buffalo’s School of Dental Medicine in January. Stilwell also presented his work at the first intra-department health and wellness student creativity presentation in early December. He plans to attend UB’s School of Dental Medicine upon graduating from the health and wellness program.
“Our students go on to pursue a lot of different things including physical and occupational therapy, medical school, education, and community programming,” Roberts said. “There are a variety of career options with a degree in health and wellness.”
Greg Clabeaux, ’04, is in his fourth year of general surgery residency at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. He plans to complete a fellowship in vascular surgery after his residency.
Other graduates of the health and wellness program have been hired by companies such as the Ford Motor Company, DuPont, Independent Health, Binghamton University, the Wellness Institute of Western New York, and the American Lung Association.
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