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This essay is a short study of Illinois State University’s (ISU) student health agenda. The study examines ISU’s perspective and approach on student health efforts, infrastructure of health departments on campus, and ongoing Health Promotion and Wellness programs and their impact on campus and in the local community. Methods used include interviews with faculty in the Department of Health Wellness and Promotion, ethnographic observations of peer-to-peer health promotion programs, review of Department of Health Promotion and Wellness sponsored materials, and health behavior data. The principle finding is that the University’s agenda and value of health reflects national cultural trends in that health is taken for granted and not a priority issue.


This paper was completed for the course Anthropology 302, Ethnography, in affiliation with the Ethnography of the University Initiative, Research was conducted in compliance with IRB Protocol #2012-0267 at Illinois State University.

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