March 28, 2012

Health education students, faculty in spotlight

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- In conjunction with National Public Health Week, Southern Illinois University Carbondale is hosting the 2012 Robert D. Russell Symposium on Monday, April 2, at the Student Health Center.

The Russell Symposium and Poster Presentation will feature an afternoon showcasing the work of health education students and professionals and will highlight current research and best practices students and faculty use.  “Healthy People 2020: Meeting the Challenge” is the theme of this year’s event.  Bryan K. Lindsey, the 2012 Robert Russell Scholar in Health Education, will speak that evening.

The symposium coincides with the beginning of National Public Health Week, and in addition to showcasing the University’s health education faculty and students, will also include presentations from faculty at Western Illinois University and Lindsey’s alma mater, Jackson State University.   

Faculty presentations begin at 1 p.m. on the second floor of the Student Center.  Following is a student poster session that students from the Alpha Alpha Chapter of Eta Sigma Gamma, the health education honorary, are organizing.   The event will conclude with Lindsey’s presentation “A Historical Overview -- USPHS Syphilis Study at Tuskegee” at 6:30 p.m. 

Lindsey is the senior public health adviser in the Division of Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Field Services Branch, in the National Center for HIV/AIDS at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta.  He leads in programming for the prevention of HIV/AIDS in young people and formerly managed the Tuskegee Health Programs.  He was previously assistant commissioner for Minority, Immigrant and Refugee Health at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, acting director for the CDC Office of Health Disparities and served as associate director of the Tuskegee University National Center for Bioethics in Research and Health Care. 

Lindsey is the recipient of the National Organization for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education Award and the Public Health Service’s Volunteer Award.  He completed his undergraduate education at Jackson State University in Jackson, Miss., where he also earned his master’s in public policy and administration.  He holds a doctorate in health education from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. 

The event bears the name of Robert Russell, the late educator and researcher who devoted 48 years to the health field as an educator.  Russell was the 1991 SIU Carbondale Teacher of the Year and his health education contributions also won him the American Association for Health Education Scholar Award and the Eta Sigma Gamma National Honor Award.  With an interest in the holistic and ecological aspects of health and spirituality as components of personal health, he often gets credit from colleagues for creating the ecological model of health education. 

The Robert D. Russell Scholar Symposium is free and open to all University students, faculty, and staff as well as community members.  The University’s Department of Health Education and Recreation, along with the Alpha Apha Chapter of Eta Sigma Gamma, Southern Illinois Healthcare, and Student Health Services are sponsoring the event.

For more information about the symposium, visit