Conference, expo to promote healthy living

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    Promoting Health and Wellness through Community-Campus Partnerships is not only the name of the conference but is also its goal.

    The Community Involvement and Service Learning committee wants to make students take their knowledge of community service to work together for a better tomorrow. The conference would promote discussions about community and campus engagement for health and wellness related goals.

    This event takes place annually, while the theme always changes. This year’s theme is focused on encouraging service and community research while last year’s was Environmental Justice and Sustainability.

    The Community Involvement and Service Learning committee hopes for much of the TCU community to show up to the conference, as well as to start a trend of spring conferences showcasing valuable community-based work of TCU faculty, students, and local agencies that respond to the TCU Mission, said Carolyn Spence Cagle, associate professor in the Harris College of Nursing .

    TCU’s mission enforced in the community is “to educate individuals to think and act as ethical leaders and responsible citizens in the global community” and the committee said this education is what the conference offers.

    There are 113 people currently registered to attend different segments of the conference. There are  expected to be 120 people attending, but this does not include students who might come just for the exposition on Wednesday instead of attending the entire event.

    The different segments of the event are divided into activities given in a three day time span. Wednesday, April 11, will be a poster session where students will showcase their work on community collaboration. Thursday, April 12, will be more of an activity based environment, where health and community awareness will be implemented in the lessons of the activities. Friday, April 13, which is the last day will be a traditional conference with a panel that will critique the work that each presenter has created.  

    UNT Health Science Center (co-sponsor), Tarrant County College, United Way, Catholic Charities, Safe Haven of Tarrant County and many others are partnering with TCU for the conference and expo.

    “With all the activities available during the expo, it is expected for hundreds of students to stop by,” said Rosangela Boyd, director of Community Involvement & Service-Learning.

    There will not only be a conference but there will be an exposition of and artistic portion of community portrayal.

    The expo will have many vendors and health related activities to benefit students, Cagle said.

    Thursday afternoon and night will showcase posters illustrating community-academic collaboration work.

    There are about 75 TCU students presenting posters and another 35 UNT students.

    In terms of conference registration 36 faculty and staff, 55 students and 22 community members registered, said Mary Kathleen Baldwin, assistant director at the Center for Community Involvement & Service-Learning.

    “If the weather cooperates, there will be much activity in and outside the Brown-Lupton University Union and the whole affair will consume that part of campus,” said Cagle.