UMass Dartmouth Coordinator of Health Education and Promotion Beth-Anne Vieira, who leads campus efforts to train students to help their peers live healthy lives, was named "Outstanding Advisor" for the New England area at a recent annual meeting of the BACCHUS Network (www.bacchusnetwork.org), a national non-profit organization that actively promotes student leadership on healthy and safe lifestyle decisions.
"I am so happy to see Beth-Anne win this prestigious award,'' said Dr. David M. Milstone, Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs. "She is a superb mentor to our Peer Health Educators - a person who works extremely hard, does not seek the spotlight, but one who is recognized by her peers and students as a tremendous asset to UMass Dartmouth. We in Student Affairs are honored to work with such a fine professional."
The Outstanding Advisor Award is granted to "an advisor who has shown commitment to their peer education group, leadership in health and wellness, positive role modeling, and has brought unique perspective/talents to their role as advisor." The award continues a string of honors for the UMass Dartmouth Peer Health Education Program. In 2009, they received the Outstanding Peer Education Group-Area 10 (New England), and George Henry Aulson IV (UMass Dartmouth College of Nursing, '08) received Outstanding Alumnus-Area 10 (New England).
"I was humbled to be nominated by my students and selected by my peers for this honor,'' Vieira said. "I was equally -- if not more -- proud when our students and an alumnus of our group were recognized by the BACCHUS Network last year."
Vieira earned her Bachelor's Degree in Journalism and English with a minor in Women's Studies from Lehigh University in 1994 and Master's Degree in Public Health (MPH) in Social and Behavioral Health and Epidemiology and Biostatistics from Boston University in 1996. Following her graduation from Boston University, she worked at the Boston Visiting Nurse Association and Boston HealthNet for several years before joining the UMass Dartmouth community in 2004 as the Health Educator. Her professional areas of interest include: social justice and its relationship to health care access, delivery, quality and outcomes; mental health promotion and suicide prevention; and women's health.
The UMass Dartmouth Peer Health Educators are student leaders who are recruited and trained to:
* provide the UMass Dartmouth student community with educational, interactive programs on health issues
* raise awareness about health and wellness
* refer students to appropriate resources
* advocate for policy, procedural, and environmental changes that support the health and well-being of the campus community.
The BACCHUS Network represents more than 32,000 student leaders and advisors on more than 1,000 campuses, which are organized into 12 regional areas. Eighty peer education programs at 72 colleges and universities are represented by Area 10 (New England ).