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TODAY news for Thursday, February 25, 2008

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Loma Linda University well-represented at CUPA forum

Fayomi Agboola, MPH (third from right), poses with his promising student award letter at the CUPA conference.
Fayomi Agboola, MPH (third from right), poses with his promising student award letter at the CUPA conference.  With him are fellow students Bernadette Macasias, JiHyun Lee, Ashwini Erande, and Antonio Fields, all from LLU School of Public Health department of environmental and occupational health.
Loma Linda University was well-represented earlier this month during a public health conference—the 10th conference of California CUPA Forum (an association of Certified Unified Program Agencies). The conference met February 4 through 7 in San Francisco.

More than 1,200 participants attended the conference, including about 15 students—five of whom come from the School of Public Health’s department of environmental and occupational health: Ashwini Erande, JiHyun Lee, Bernadette Macasias, Antonio Fields, and Fayomi Agboola, MPH.

Mr. Agboola was among a select list of environmental health students to receive a cash scholarship award of $1,500 from the CUPA board.

Also at the conference, Samuel Soret, PhD, participated in a roundtable discussion on how to improve CUPA’s relationship with academic institutions regarding workforce development. Dr. Soret is an environmental and occupational health faculty member who is spending the current academic year studying at University of California, Berkeley, School of Public Health.

Human attitude and current technological trends have momentously impacted the land, air, water, and even food. The issue of protecting these depleting resources has become a national priority. The CUPA conference marked another response toward addressing this issue.

The four-day conference demonstrated CUPA’s dedication to seamless service, professionalism, and excellence while training old and new employees, private stakeholders in environmental issues, faculty, and students in public health.

Different training options were available at the conference.

“A training I attended is verbal judo,” says Mr. Agboola. “Verbal judo focuses on tactical communication through a method of persuasion and/or enforcement.”

He continues “Firstly, people respond better when you ask for something rather than telling them or threatening them. Secondly, setting a context or basis through a policy, law, or ordinance supporting the request may increase cooperation up to 90 percent of the time. Thirdly, presenting options on what people stand to gain or lose by non-compliance may bolster more cooperation.” 

The course instructor, Paul Needham, noted that 50 percent of communication is through body language. Voice tone accounts for 40 percent, with words only contributing about 10 percent. Regarding the effectiveness of communication, e-mails are effective in 10 percent of cases, and phone conversations in 40 percent of cases. For optimum communication in pitching a novel idea, he advised face to face as the most effective method.

Contributed Report

TODAY news for Thursday, February 25, 2008