WASHINGTON--Plutarch said, "The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled."
To kindle that fire, Adjunct Professor Dr. Courtney Winston Paolicelli, invited an Air National Guard Counterdrug Civil Operations subject matter expert to be a guest lecturer in her class.
Master Sgt. Curtis Hanock, National Guard Civil Operations subject matter expert, shared his experience and expertise March 26 as a guest lecturer for students seeking Master's and Doctoral Degrees in Public Health at George University.
"Curtis has served as a professional intermediary between Non-Governmental Organizations and federal agencies and has successfully connected groups with similar public health interests in a professional manner, so I knew he'd be the perfect person to speak with my students," Paolicelli, said.
The class was more than just a lecture.
"Using the community readiness model, Curtis and I developed real-world simulations to enhance student skills while exposing them to publicly available resources on community assessment," Paolicelli said.
Hanock's presentation focused on key areas relating to community engagement and to conducting community assessments.
Hanock illustrated community engagement is as much an art, as it is a science. "Practitioners must focus on the public health issues the community is ready and willing to address. Not their own," Hanock said. "Practitioners must respect the community. They must listen and foster community ownership of local public health issues and connect them to resources to achieve their goals."
Hanock also shared resources, like the Community Toolbox, which exists to provide resources and tools to help communities create population level change. For more information on this, go to: http://ctb.ku.edu/en/toolkits
He also highlighted the current partnership National Guard Counterdrug Civil Operations has with the University of Kansas Work Group for Community Health and Development and designated World Health Organization Collaborative Center.
"Curtis expertly led the class activities as a subject matter expert and successfully engaged students from the beginning to the end," Paolicelli, said.
Hanock helped transform the former Counterdrug Demand Drug Reduction Program to the Counterdrug's current Civil Operations program. Rather than going into schools to teach young people about the hazards of drugs, the National Guard turned its focus to community based organizations.
The National Guard Civil Operations Program coaches anti-drug coalitions in delivering collaborative and effective strategies that create healthy citizens. States supporting Civil Operations provide well-trained and adaptable forces capable of developing anti-drug coalitions while implementing effective prevention practices. The Civil Operations mission is accomplished through a multi-faceted process using assessment tools developed for the National Guard and applying those military processes to community settings.