Muhlenberg athletes are spending the summer of 2023 enjoying fantastic experiences on campus, in their hometowns, across the country, and even around the world.
Senior volleyball player Christina Dalton, a public health major and environmental science major, assisted with typhoon recovery efforts and conducted research on the initiation of substance use among adolescents in Guam.
Dalton was part of a team that studied the initiation of substance use among adolescents there, specifically the use of betel nut (a stimulant fruit commonly consumed in the Pacific Islands), tobacco and e-cigarettes. An experience she had last fall, taking Issues in Public Health with Assistant Professor of Public Health Kathleen Bachynski, helped set her up for success.
“I had a project that involved examining a health problem and then designing an intervention program,” says Dalton. “The topic my group and I picked … was e-cigarette use among 13- to 17-year-olds in the United States. This early experience provided a strong foundation for the research I am presently doing.”
Dalton is part of the National Institutes of Health-funded Minority Health Research Training Program in Health Disparities at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, which supports students and health professionals from underrepresented groups who are interested in pursuing biomedical or social health research: “I was drawn to this program because of its emphasis on intensive research work and the chance to be mentored by someone experienced in the field,” she says.
Dalton is working with faculty from the University of Guam. She was part of a team that collaborated on a manuscript about the different ways in which middle schoolers are offered betel nut, tobacco and e-cigarettes, research that will inform a prevention program for middle schoolers. Dalton began working with the team in May, after completing a spring Zoom class through the University of Hawaii at Manoa.
Dalton is spending 17 days in Guam — she was supposed to arrive earlier and conduct more research in person, but Typhoon Mawar in late May delayed her arrival and moved much of the work online. Her time there will primarily involve assisting with recovery efforts. Then, she’ll spend two weeks in Hawaii with her team as they present their work before returning to Muhlenberg for her senior year.