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Dempsey Hall 345
800 Algoma Boulevard
Oshkosh, WI 54901


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The Symposium is presented by the UW Oshkosh Division of Lifelong Learning and Community Engagement, in cooperation with the UW-La Crosse Department of Health Education and Health Promotion and Community Health, Continuing Education and Extension, the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, and Wisconsin Health and Physical Education, Inc.

You are here: Home > Conferences and Workshops > Adolescent Health Symposium > Breakout Sessions

Customize your conference experience!

The four Symposium tracks focus on health promotion.

During each of the breakouts, there are sessions from each of the four tracks. Participants have the option to customize their conference experience by selecting the topics that best align with their personal and professional interests. 

Click here to download a PDF of the Symposium brochure >>

The four Symposium tracks are:

    1. Human Growth and Development, and Sexual Health
    2. Nutrition and Physical Activity
    3. Hot Topics in Health Education:Influences of Technology, Mental Health, Bullying, Drug Addiction and Proactive Health
    4. Special Populations: LGBTQ, special education, ELL, and more

    Sectional Presentations One (Thursday, 9:45–10:45 a.m.)

    1. Assess Your HGD Curriculum: “How to” With HECAT

    Dr. Narra Smith Cox, professor, University of Wisconsin Madison. Track 1 NEW

    Educators face many questions when deciding what and how to teach HGD. This workshop introduces the Health Education Curriculum Analysis Tool (HECAT) to analyze locally or commercially developed HGD lessons and curricula. We’ll discuss organization and components of this tool, and then try out the framework to assess HGD lessons. We’ll also talk about “next steps” to use HECAT to inform decisions about curriculum selection and revision in your district or organization. By the end of the session participants will be able to:

    1. Discuss potential uses of the HECAT in your district or organization
    2. Explain the premise, organization and components of the tool
    3. Practice using the tool to assess HGD lessons
    4. Describe “next steps” to use HECAT in your district or organization

    2. Wisconsin Adolescent Health Care Communication Program: Bridging the Sexual Health Communication Gap

    Amy Olejniczak, project director, Wisconsin Alliance for Women’s Health. Track 1 NEW

    To ensure a healthy future generation, adolescents must be able to engage in open, honest, and medically accurate discussions about sexual health with their health care providers. Yet, in reality, providers and teens don’t always speak the same language. The Wisconsin Adolescent Health Care Communication Program (WAHCCP) is an intervention designed to bridge the communication gap between adolescents and health care providers by putting teens in the educator role. As the population best equipped to offer providers accurate and authentic insight about adolescent concerns and preferences, this program allows providers to gain privileged access to this unique population. WAHCCP achieves its goal of improving communication between adolescents and health care providers through two workshops, one given by the teens to their peers and the other given by the teens to health care providers. By targeting this issue from both sides and giving both groups access to knowledge and communication skills, WAHCCP ultimately hopes to improve the delivery of sexual health care to all young people in Wisconsin. This session will provide a program overview, including demonstrations of a variety of activities from WAHCCP workshops and a summary of effectiveness and success. Participants will learn and embrace a unique style of information delivery that has proven effective, will participate in activities Teen Educators use in workshops to teach their peers how to advocate for themselves in the provider’s office, and will discuss issues of stigma surrounding difficulties talking with youth about sexual health and about youth seeking sexual health services. 

    3. Move to Improve the iY Generation

    Dr. JoAnne Owens-Nausler, president, Fitness Is Living. Track 2 NEW

    Come to the session prepared to laugh, learn, share, reflect, and participate in activities that engage the head and the heart. Do not be afraid¬—you will have the opportunity to have more fun than should be allowed at a staff development. This session will provide information about energy, wellness, and the brain rules. Participants will have the option to experience at least three meaningful movement/brain activities to engage the iY Generation:

    1. Laugh/Learn/Share experiences and talents
    2. Participate in activities that promote educational outcomes and brain function
    3. Be reminded of the current brain science research about education, nutrition, physical activity and school success

    4. Mental Health Prevention

    Mark Little, health/physical education teacher, Janesville School District. Track 3 NEW
    Many times we teach students how to react to stress, anger, apathy, boredom, bullying, depression and suicidal thoughts rather than teaching for prevention. This session will demonstrate how to link a series of mental health topics, along with state standards in health education, into one unifying package that focuses on prevention. Attendees will walk away with a new outlook on mental health prevention, as well as several lesson ideas to use in their educational settings. This session is for health educators in any setting. Attendees will understand how our society focuses on sick care rather than prevention, and they will gain a new approach to health prevention.

    5. The Role of Gay-Straight Alliances in Creating Safer and More Just Schools

    Timothy Michael, manager of GSA Outreach, GSAFE. Track 4 NEW

    Gay Straight Alliance for Safe Schools (GSAFE) has been supporting the development of Gay-Straight Alliances and similar clubs in Wisconsin’s K-12 schools since the late 1990s. This workshop will give an overview of what GSAs are, how school professionals can support them in their own schools, and how they play a role in creating safer and more just schools for LGBTQ youth and all students.

    Participants will gain an understanding of what GSAs are and how they can support these clubs in their schools. Participants will learn other strategies for developing the leadership of LGBTQ and straight ally youth, and they will be presented with data and research that demonstrates the positive impact GSAs have on school climate and outcomes.

    Sectional Presentations Two (Thursday, 11 a.m.–Noon)

    6. Parents as Squeaky Wheels for Comprehensive Sexuality Education

    Anne Brosowsky-Roth, community education resource specialist, Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin, Inc. Track 1 NEW 

    Anyone who has provided school-based education over a period of decades has probably experienced the revision or elimination of comprehensive sex education program because of a small group of parents opposed to it. Though polling consistently shows the overwhelming parental support for comprehensive sexuality education being offered in schools, and a large body of literature demonstrates that comprehensive programs are effective at delaying intercourse and reducing sexual risk taking, school boards continue to listen to a small vocal minority of parents who oppose it. 

    A group of parents in conservative district in southeastern Wisconsin were spurred into action when the comprehensive approach to sexuality education that had been in place for years was replaced by an abstinence-only-until-marriage curriculum. These parents implemented a variety of approaches to fight the new curriculum including: a) educating other parents about the changes and encouraging them to opt out of the new program, 2) working with local community organizations to find a venue for alternative programming, 3) working with surrounding districts to create a program that meshed with the norms of similarly sized and placed communities, and. 4) planning to elect new school board members who supported comprehensive sex ed. Their experience will be a case study to help participants develop a toolkit that they can use when working with parents in their own community to implement comprehensive sex education at the district or community level. 

    Participants will describe how to support parents advocating for comprehensive sex ed (or against ineffective, abstinence-only) programs in their school district. Participants will identify challenges to advocating for change to existing sexuality education programs and be able to explain how parents and other community partners can work together to create alternative experiences in sexuality education. 

    7. Move to Improve the iY Generation

    Dr. JoAnne Owens-Nausler, president, Fitness Is Living. Track 2 NEW (repeat Session 3)

    Come to the session prepared to laugh, learn, share, reflect, and participate in activities that engage the head and the heart. Do not be afraid, you will have the opportunity to have more fun than should be allowed at a staff development. This session will provide information about energy, wellness, and the brain rules. Participants will have the option to experience at least three meaningful movement/brain activities to engage the iY Generation:

    1. Laugh/Learn/Share experiences and talents
    2. Participate in activities that promote educational outcomes and brain function
    3. Be reminded of the current brain science research about education, nutrition, physical activity and school success

    8. Building Skills for AODA Prevention

    Deborah Tackmann, health/physical education instructor, Fall Creek School District and Eau Claire County Health Department. Track 3 NEW

    This high energy, interactive, and hands-on health session will empower professionals with the knowledge and skills necessary to engage learners in the 21st century. Using cotton balls, hair gel, fishing lures and a plethora of other modalities, these cutting edge teaching activities are kid tested and approved. Join in the fun as you learn dynamic teaching techniques that are relevant and exciting for both the teacher and the learner! 

    Participants will learn, demonstrate and be able to infuse a plethora of exemplary teaching methods and techniques into their health curriculum as they relate to alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use prevention.

    9. Beyond the Basics: Classroom Strategies for Addressing Bullying, Part 1

    Lori Reichel and Michele Pettit, associate professors, University of Wisconsin- La Crosse. Track 3 NEW

    This hands-on session will introduce participants to resources and classroom strategies to address bullying. Participants will have an opportunity to engage in activities that they will be able to apply to their professional responsibilities. Participants also will have an opportunity for a discussion and brainstorming session with their peers to explore additional instructional strategies related to bullying. Upon completion of this session, participants will be able to:

    1. Identify at least three resources on bullying prevention
    2. Apply classroom strategies related to bullying
    3. Develop an instructional strategy for addressing bullying at their school or work setting.

    10. Living, Loving, and Learning with Early Adolescent Learners

    Shelley Joan Weiss, WI Commissioner for the Education of Military Children; North Region Trustee; Association for Middle Level Education (AMLE); and board member for the Wisconsin Association for Middle Level Education (WAMLE). Track 4 NEW

    Early adolescence is one of the most exciting times of our lives. It is the second greatest time of brain growth and one of the times when we undergo some of the most dramatic changes in the ways we grow and experience life. Participants are invited to go along on this exciting journey where we will highlight some of the many changes taking place for our middle level students. We’ll discuss the importance of understanding the changes, challenges and joys of early adolescence. Participants will understand how physical, social, emotional and cognitive developments are demonstrated during early adolescence (10–14 year olds). 

     Sectional Presentations Three (Thursday, 2–3 p.m.)

     11. Understanding Boys and Men: Male Socialization

    Wayne Pawlowski. Track 1 NEW

    Parents, professionals and programs all over the country are trying to reach and involve boys and men, but many find limited success. This interactive workshop will explore American male socialization and how it contributes to our difficulties reaching boys and men. This presentation will explore the difficulty boys have defining what it means to “be a man” in American culture, as well as the impact of this difficulty on our ability to reach boys. The trigger film, Just One of the Boys will be used to illustrate and understand how peer pressure can contribute to boys making poor decisions about their sexual behavior. At the close of this session, participants will be able to:

    1. Describe the “be a man box”
    2. List at least three groups of people that send negative message to boys about what it means to “be a man”
    3. Explain how peer pressure can influence a boy to do something he does not want to do

    12. Positive Peer Power: Analyzing Influences Related to Nutrition and Physical Activity Choices

    Cristy Jefson, associate professor of health education, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. Track 2 NEW

    In this session, participants will learn about influences related to nutrition and physical activity choices through a two-page play. The presenter will discuss an exploration of the influences related to health beliefs, practices and behaviors. Effective self management and advocating for others can be achieved through the use of P3—Positive Peer Power—which helps evaluate influences specifically related to adolescence. Participants will “poll their peers” to better understand personal influences and will create posters that tabulate and display the results of the poll. After discussing the various influences on nutrition and physical activity choices, participants will create a mock poster board.

    13. Active Classrooms: How to use classroom physical activity breaks to improve student learning and performance

    Jo Bailey, physical education teacher at D. C. Everest Senior High School; WHPE president; and Midwest AHPERD 2013 teacher of the year. Track 2 NEW

    Research has shown that classroom breaks for physical activity improve cognitive performance, promote on-task behavior, and reduce disruptive behaviors without compromising learning time. Participants will gain a hands-on experience for implementing and managing classroom physical activity breaks and will explore some of the science behind active classrooms. Participants will come away with an understanding of why activity breaks promote learning and improve academic performance. They will also understand the different levels of activity breaks and engage in a hands-on practice of a wide variety of brain break activities.

    14. The Basics of Bullying: Implications for Those Who Work with Youth, Part 2

    Lori Reichel and Michele Pettit, associate professors, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. Track 3 NEW 
    This session will introduce participants to the basics of bullying. Specifically, participants will be introduced to the prevalence and magnitude of bullying in schools. The presenters will provide an opportunity to explore myths surrounding bullying, behaviors reflective of bullying, and proper responses to bullying. Upon completion of this session, participants will be able to define bullying; differentiate between bullying and other types of behavior common among adolescents; identify characteristics of those who bully and those who are bullied; and identify ways to address bullying including the role bystanders play.

    15. Prioritizing Young People with Disabilities in Sexual Health Education

    Julie Rothwell, operations manager, Community Impact, United Way of Greater Milwaukee; and Alexandra Kriofske Mainella, youth leadership specialist, IndependenceFirst. Track 4 NEW

    Young people with disabilities are often left out when teaching sexual health. Perhaps we believe they are incapable of comprehending the messaging, or we assume they are asexual or uninterested in sexual intimacy. As a community, we believe we are underestimating their capacity to understand and their critical need to receive sexual health resources. This session will provide a brief overview of the Healthy Girls Initiative, which is the United Way of Greater Milwaukee’s focused approach to improve the health of young people of all genders by preventing teen pregnancy, sexual violence and victimization using evidence based interventions (EBI) and best practices, and our partnership with IndependenceFirst to adapt an EBI for young people with disabilities. Participants will leave this session with increased knowledge of the Healthy Girls Initiative, knowledge on the importance of teaching sexual health to young people with disabilities, and tips on how to adapt existing curricula to work with this population.

    Sectional Presentations Four (Thursday, 3:15–4:15p.m.)

    16. Communicating More Effectively with Boys and Young Men

    Wayne Pawlowski. Track 1 NEW

    Because of negative messages about what it means to be a man, (see session 1) American boys have great difficulty identifying and expressing their feelings. Using the video, The Secret Life of Boys, this workshop will explore some of the reasons why American boys have these difficulties, and ways we can work around them. The presenter will provide a list of suggested “tips” for helping boys and young men open up and for improving our communication with them. At the close of this session, participants will be able to explain three reasons American boys have difficulty expressing feelings and identify at least five “tips” for improving communication with boys and young men.

    17. How Milwaukee Reduced Teen Pregnancy by 50 Percent in Seven Years

    Brett Fuller, curriculum specialist for health and physical education, Milwaukee Public Schools. Track 1 NEW

    The reduction in Milwaukee teen pregnancy was due to the partnership of community members led by the United Way of Greater Milwaukee, the Milwaukee Health Department and the leadership of the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Oversight Committee. Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) were a key partner in this effort, and we have implemented an evidence informed curriculum for the last 6 years. This curriculum has lessons in every grade level starting in K5 and goes through grade 9. This session will discuss and provide participants with some of the key strategies that the United Way of Greater Milwaukee employed to keep the conversation around teen pregnancy current. Participants will learn how to access the MPS Human Growth and Development Curriculum and learn about how this curriculum is being modified and updated on a regular basis to be current for students.

    18. Nutrition Mission: Teaching Nutrition Education through Physical Activity

    Jo Bailey, physical education teacher, WHPE President, and Midwest AHPERD 2013 Teacher of the year, D. C. Everest Senior High School. Track 2 NEW

    Learn how to infuse nutrition education into your curriculum without compromising physical activity time. This session will provide you with a variety of heart pumping activities and resources designed to teach students the importance of good nutrition as well as how to make good nutritional choices. The ideas presented are geared towards high school students, but they can be adapted to suit all grade levels. Participants will better understand the importance of good nutritional choices and how they impact health; the role of different food groups in ensuring the body functions optimally; and how to decipher nutritional information and become an informed consumer when it comes to nutrition.

    19. Outrageous Teaching Techniques in Mental and Emotional Wellness

    Deborah Tackmann, health and physical education instructor, Fall Creek School District. Track 3 NEW

    According to Tim Elmore’s book, Generation iY, today’s youth, in spite of their economic and social advantages, are experiencing the highest rates of depression, substance abuse, anxiety disorders and unhappiness than any other group in this country. Adolescent suicide has quadrupled since 1950. This high energy and interactive workshop will model exemplary and cutting edge lessons and activities that are based on the national health standards that you can easily infuse into your classroom curriculum. Participants will learn how to address bullying, cutting, stress management, suicide and depression prevention and intervention strategies that work both inside and outside the classroom.  Participants will engage in a variety of cutting edge activities that will demonstrate how critical thinking skills and strategies can enhance student learning related to mental and emotional wellness. Participants will be able to implement a variety of effective teaching and classroom strategies that empower youth and adults with the knowledge and skills necessary to prevent and/or intervene with teenage bullying, suicide, depression and/or self-injury. 

    20. Good Drugs Gone Bad

    Jason Weber, community liaison officer and Town of Menasha Police Department. Track 3 NEW

    This session will cover the growing problem of prescription drug abuse, including the types of medication that is being abused and the effects on the community. The presentation will also cover what is being done on a state level to raise the awareness of this epidemic and action steps that you can take in your community. This session will provide the attendee with an overview of the prescription drug abuse problem in Wisconsin.

    Sectional Presentations Five (Friday, 9:45–10:45 a.m.)

    21. Human Growth and Development: National Sexuality Education Standards and the Common Core, Part 1

    Lori Stern and Emily Holder, education consultants, Department of Public Instruction. Track 1 NEW

    This interactive presentation will focus on lesson development for human growth and development content for grades K–12. Participants will explore the national sexuality education and common core standards to create a sequence of content providing guidance for lesson selection or development. 

    22. Transforming the School Health Environment: Connecting Schools and Communities for Positive Change

    Emily Reynolds, community outreach specialist, WI Comprehensive Cancer Control Program, American Cancer Society. Track 2 NEW

    DHS, DPI, the American Cancer Society and the WI Comprehensive Cancer Control Program are partnering to help you transform your school health environment! There are new and exciting opportunities to work with schools on healthy eating and active living strategies. This session highlights current federal requirements, school wellness policies, the Alliance for a Healthier Generation’s Healthy Schools Program Framework, lessons learned from the Communities and Schools Wellness Policy Learning Collaborative Pilot, and the active living strategy Active Schools Core 4+. Participants will learn about the importance of incorporating nutrition and physical activity strategies into the school day, how to use the Alliance for a Healthier Generation Healthy Schools Program Inventory to assess the school wellness environment, and learn how to incorporate Active Schools Core 4+ strategies.

    23. The Impact of Heroin Addiction and Drug-Endangered Children

    Julie Rortvedt, detective, Madison Police Department. Track 3 NEW

    The presentation will provide the audience with information about heroin, heroin dealers, the heroin user, and how the heroin user’s addiction impacts their family, friends, and the community. Participants will also learn how to detect the signs of someone using heroin, why people overdose on heroin, available treatment, information about drug-endangered children, and how the heroin epidemic is affecting the community. 

    24. It is NOT about Weight: Teaching Healthy Eating and Physical Activity for ALL Students 

    Christine Sinak, MS, RDN, LD, registered dietitian nutritionist, Center for Discovery ChigagoTrack 3 NEW

    Weight-related problems, including unhealthy dieting, purging, binge eating, obesity, and eating disorders, are prevalent in youth. Up until recently, body dissatisfaction, weight talk, and weight-related teasing have been commonly addressed risk factors within eating disorder prevention interventions, but they also play a part in obesity prevention. Come learn strategies for addressing obesity and eating disorders in a way that acknowledges that a typical classroom has students struggling with both.

    25. Acceptance Journeys: Supportive Families and Communities

    Gary Hollander, president and CEO; and Mallory Edgar, population health fellow, Diverse and Resilient, Inc. Track 4 NEW 

    Anti-gay discrimination is a determinant of health outcomes for LGBT teens and young adults. Tobacco and other substance use and abuse, risky sexual behaviors, violence, school failure, and suicide risk are the negative consequences for this condition. Building healthy, supportive families for LGBT teens is critical if communities are to increase resiliency and reduce vulnerability among these youth. The two presenters will address these factors and show how a community-level program aims to support families and communities in this process. Participants will understand four health consequences of anti-gay discrimination among LGBT youth, distinguish between behaviors related to social tolerance and to social acceptance, identify levels of community readiness to address anti-gay discrimination, and review a community response intended to increase family and community acceptance.

    Sectional Presentations Six (Friday, 11 a.m. – Noon)

    26. Engage and Assess: Standards-Based Human Growth and Development Lessons and Activities that Align with National Standards

    Emily Holder and Lori Stern, education consultants, Department of Public Instruction. Track 1 NEW

    This interactive presentation will focus on the development of human growth and development lessons based on grade levels and content that participants are most interested in. The workshop will highlight interactive methods while providing ideas on how to teach challenging content. Come with your questions, and leave with ready-to teach lessons!

    27. Active Schools: Core 4+

    Eileen Hare, physical education, health education and coordinated school health consultant, Department of Public Instruction; and Jon Morgan, physical activity coordinator, Department of Health Services. Track 2 NEW   

    The Wisconsin Department of Health Services and the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction will provide an overview of Active Schools: Core 4+. It is a set of five school-related strategies to increase student physical activity. The strategies are: 

    1. Active PE minutes
    2. Active Recess
    3. Active Classrooms
    4. Before and After School Physical Activity 
    5. Family and Community Activity. 

    The strategies are consistent with other recommendations from national initiatives such as, Let’s Move, NASPE, SHAPE (AAHPERD), and CDC Adolescent and School Health. The audience will see real examples of successful implementation and will be provided with action steps, examples and resources to begin making their school more active.

    28. Other Tobacco Products

    Ryan Sheahan, public health, Dane County. Track 3 NEW
    With recent smoke-free air successes leading to a reduction in cigarette use, the tobacco industry has introduced an array of candy flavored and cheap tobacco products to keep young adults hooked on a lifetime of nicotine addiction. This session will provide an overview of these ‘Other Tobacco Products’ (OTP), including the marketing strategies used to promote them. Participants will be able to name five types of OTPs, identify different OTP marketing techniques, and list two actions that can be taken to ‘make a difference’.

    29. The Experiences of Transgender Students in Wisconsin Schools—Youth Voices from Three Communities 

    Maurice Gattis, assistant professor, University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Social Work. Track 4 NEW 

    This workshop will provide results from a study with transgender youth in Wisconsin schools. We will discuss implications for health and safety and will identify risk and protective factors of transgender youth in Wisconsin schools.

    30. Advocating for Comprehensive Health Education: Threats and Opportunities for Schools

    Elizabeth Coke Haller, M.Ed., acting branch chief/school health team lead, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Division of Adolescent and School Health.  Track 4 NEW

    Participants in this session will understand how districts and schools are structured, as well as the context, policies, and priorities that influence their decision making process. Participants will also tackle case studies to determine how to better prepare for working with administrators, key stakeholders, and staff when advocating for comprehensive health education. Participants will list three key strategies for working with school districts to address controversial topics in health education, articulate how to garner support for curriculum and policy improvements, and identify two ways to build stronger relationships with districts and school administrators, key stakeholders, and staff to address controversial topics in health education.

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