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Resiliency Training for the Washington State University Students

In March 2011, around a dozen undergraduate students from Washington State University (WSU), sponsored by the WSU Dean of Students, visited Galveston to study resiliency as part of WSU’s alternative service learning spring break program. The students were inspired to travel to Galveston after reading the Center’s Galveston Hurricane and Healthy Neighborhoods Scenarios Workbook on the CEHD website. WSU faculty member Greg Hooks contacted the CEHD to develop an educational program to guide the students during their week in Galveston.

When the students arrived, CEHD staff provided students with information on the impact of Hurricane Ike on Galveston, taught them about GIS mapping, and discussed broader issues related to resiliency, social determinants of health, and health equity in the disaster recovery context.

The CEHD also arranged learning opportunities across the island: students learned about community resiliency by touring and visiting local social service organizations including The Jesse Tree and St Vincent’s House; they interviewed local leaders in recovery as well as residents affected; and they learned about environmental resiliency and took a kayak tour of the East End Lagoon with The Artist’s Boat. Their service project involved restoring a home damaged by Ike. By the end of the trip, students were able to identify disparities in recovery in Galveston, discuss underlying reasons for uneven recovery in the city, and identify potential future threats to resiliency.

Upon returning to WSU, the students made a formal presentation of their trip to the Dean of Students, which included a movie about the experience.

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