Thursday, February 2, 2017

Capstone 2016 – Lawrence Benjamin

Presented on December 15, 2016, Lawrence Benjamin’s Capstone project applied the evaluative criteria of social marketing theory to an assessment of the nutrition guidance resources offered by the American Diabetes Association (ADA) for people with diabetes. Specific recommendations were provided to improve the behavior change effectiveness of the ADA program. The step-by-step evaluative approach and recommendations in this study were also intended to serve a model for evaluating and improving the nutrition guidance programs of other organizations.

In addition to his MPH from Loyola University Chicago, Lawrence holds a BA from Brown University and an MBA from Columbia University.

Learn more about Lawrence's Capstone experience. 

What led you to your topic?  

My topic emerged from my MPH Practicum with the ADA. In the course of the Practicum, I had an opportunity to work with the ADA staff involved in developing the nutrition guidance for people with diabetes. The ADA organization was very open to my suggestions for improving the effectiveness of their program.

Why was the content or theme important to you?

I spent much of my professional career working in the food industry. Throughout my career, I have been surprised and disturbed by the lack of progress of both the food industry and the healthcare community in addressing the obesity problem. I was attracted to social marketing theory as a proven framework (which is included in the Healthy People 2020 goals) for driving real behavior change.

What do you hope to accomplish with your MPH knowledge and skills in the future?

I chose to pursue an MPH because of my interest in becoming a better-informed person and more critical thinker about public health issues. I think that MPH program’s focus on analytical rigor and sound research methodology has trained me well for being more discerning as I wade through the clutter of media and “research” about public health and healthcare. This has been and will continue to be very useful in my professional career as well as in my own decision-making as a consumer of healthcare.

A student’s Capstone project is a professional presentation, which demonstrates his/her ability to apply the program learning to a specific public health topic. Selected by the student, the project reflects a culmination of the course curriculum, field experience and independent study. This experience helps students explore their academic passions while preparing them for a competitive job market.

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