Terra Rumer and Patty Fountain, health promotion and education majors in the College of Applied Science and Technology, have received $1,000 scholarships from the Illinois Society for Public Health Education. In the following Q&A, Rumer shared the process of receiving the scholarship.
Describe the application process that got you into the scholarship.
Rumer: The application process required an updated resume, two letters of recommendation from professors, active membership in the Illinois Society for Public Health Education (ISOPHE), and answering reflection questions from the ISOPHE board that asked applicants to explain the following:
- Why we chose health/education as a major/field of study.
- Any health education experience (include fieldwork/internship/volunteer/employment).
- Personal/professional philosophy of health education, that is why is health education important to you and the community.
- Plans and goals in health education after graduation.
- What you would like to be doing in the health education field in five years.
- How you plan on being an active member of ISOPHE.
How did you learn about the Illinois Society for Public Health Education scholarship?
Rumer: I first heard about the scholarship last year, but I did not apply, because I was just starting out in the major. It was brought up again by faculty and staff this semester. ISOPHE also shared it on their Facebook page.
Q: What would you say stood you out among the pool of applicants?
Rumer: What I believe that made me stand out among the pool of applicants were my experiences in the community health major. As I am about to go out on professional practice next month and graduate in May, I have had the opportunity to be a part of a lot here at Illinois State University. l have all of my professors to thank for that because our course work often branched out into the community setting where we were able to network with professionals and gain hands-on experience. Over the course of my time at ISU, I had the opportunity to get involved with Eta Sigma Gamma (ESG). I also received certifications through the classes and organizations I have been involved in.
The last two years I have been involved in various health advocacy work at both the state and local level. This last summer, I did an internship back where I am from in Champaign, Illinois, with a ministry that serves the homeless population. That grew into opportunities for my course work as well as a temporary job with the homeless shelter this past month. What also made me stand out against other applicants was my current involvement with ISOPHE and SOPHE (the national chapter). I serve as a Collegiate Champion for SOPHE along with Patty. I intend on staying involved in both chapters by attending their annual conference in the spring and exploring other leadership positions that they offer in the future.
Q: Lastly, what advice do you have for prospective scholarship applicants?
Rumer: The advice I would give to prospective scholarship applicants would be to get to know your professors. By creating a relationship with them they can better help you in achieving your goals by writing future letters of recommendation and informing you about opportunities, like this scholarship. Get involved in as much as you can! There are various public health and health education organizations that you can get involved in as a student, with discounted rates for membership fees too. If you don’t know where to begin, start a conversation with a professor/faculty member. For this specific scholarship, you must be a member of ISOPHE. I recommend getting involved with these organizations as soon as possible and not just by paying a membership fee, but being actively involved.
We hope you have been able to pick some tips from this interview with Terra Rumer. For more updates, make sure to follow the College of Applied Science and Technology on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.