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Students juggle academics, professional development, their personal lives and more, often placing health and wellness on the backburner. Now, however, Barrett students have access to a digital resource tailored just for them: The Barrett Guide – Health and Wellness for College Students. Dr. Doug Lakin, a Barrett alumnus whose clinic is based in Scottsdale, Ariz., created the guide with help from those who know best about student health: students themselves.
Dr. Lakin’s first student-focused health guide, Thrive 101, was released in 2015 as an easy-to-use guide for any student living away from home. Following the first edition, Lakin reached out to Barrett to recruit a group of student contributors for an updated edition.
“I contacted Dean Mark Jacobs to get together a working group of Barrett students who could make the project more user-friendly for college students,” Lakin said. “The goal is to make this information available to the students at Barrett and ASU to allow them a greater ability at self-care for health conditions, and to provide a more tailored perspective on health topics for them.”
As such, several students expressed interest in making this updated guide a reality. Carolina Abboud, then a junior pursuing a bachelor’s degree in biology and society, was one of them. Not only did she contribute to the guide as an editor, but she also used the experience for her honors thesis.
“I researched how best to communicate medical information to college students and wrote my thesis on how those best practices might affect the guide,” Abboud said. “Then, over the summer, I worked with the Barrett dean’s office to apply edits and improvements to the whole guide, reworking the structure and adding more information with the help of Dr. Lakin’s medical expertise.”
Abboud, now a doctoral student at ASU, took on a leading role in making The Barrett Guide come to life. She “delineated a formal critique of the book in its current form and how we could improve it for college students,” according to Lakin. “We then went about following those guidelines Carolina created and came up with the present book/app.”
Abboud adds, “A lot of my work in school has been studying how others communicate science to broader audiences, and it was wonderful to put all that research toward such a valuable, useful resource.”
Lakin is planning a new edition of the Barrett health and wellness guide, and is seeking a new group of students to provide feedback and contribute to the guide next semester. “I’m hoping to get together a broader working group of Barrett students — pre-health, marketing, business, computer programming and journalism majors — to expand the guide and make it more comprehensive and useful, and then perhaps roll it out with additional features at ASU” like scheduling appointments directly with ASU Health Services, Lakin said.
Students interested in working on “Version 2.0” of The Barrett Guide may contact Lakin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Story by Sapna Daryanani, Barrett Honors College student majoring in marketing.