Posted October 24, 2012
Whitney Hogan is the coordinator of health education at Bowdoin. As the coordinator of health education, she advises Peer Health and assists with designing, implementing, and evaluating health programs that are available for students. She is also a member of Bowdoin’s graduating class of 2007. As an active student on campus, she majored in Environmental Studies and Biology, played lacrosse, and volunteered with Habitat for Humanity. She became interested in Environmental Studies through Biology class visits to the Coastal Studies Center and the Big Steps, in Harspwell.
As an Environmental Studies and Biology major, she received the Psi Upsilon fellowship and conducted research on St. Agameanticus, the last underdeveloped area remaining between Portland and Boston. With the goal of preserving the history of the site and gathering details about changing land use, she collected oral histories from the area’s elders. Reflecting on her experience, she says, “This project gave me a wider view of southern Maine- how we are working the land, how our communities have changed, and how residents wish it to be in the future.” She also received the Riley fellowship her junior year, and spent the summer in Punta Gorda, Belize volunteering with The Julian Cho Society, a non-governmental organization assisting with a class-action suit against the Belize Government petitioning for land sovereignty for the Indigenous Maya people. Her honors project titled, "Cultivating Mayaness: Social Conflict and Political Struggles over Land Tenure in Southern Belize,” stemmed from her summer in Belize. After graduating in 2007, Whitney moved to Boston, where she explored multiple career paths. She worked with ALACE (Association for Labor Assistants and Childbirth Educators) as a workshop coordinator. She even trained as a doula (childbirth assistant).
Soon after, Whitney decided to return to graduate school. She was always interested in health, social disparities, and social justice, so she decided to go into public health. With her Master’s in Public Health, she decided to work within organizational systems and utilize programming and education to increase people's wellbeing and promote health. This led Whitney back to Bowdoin, where she manages health programs available to students.
Whitney sees the improvements that the Bowdoin campus has made since her time as a student here. With a variety of environmental student organizations and Green Bowdoin on campus, she thinks of Bowdoin as a “powerhouse” for green movements. For students majoring in environmental studies, Whitney offers words of advice, “Think of environmental studies broadly. Think of people in the environment, instead of people as isolated individuals.”