ASU students create organization to support health majors

A new Arizona State University student group seeks to help health majors identify ways to put their degrees to work.

September 14, 2017

Service, professionalism and mentorship. Those are the three principles of the CONHI Health Initiatives, or CHI, a new student-led organization at Arizona State University's Downtown Phoenix campus.

“This is the first student organization that is focused on students who are non-nursing,” said Rachel Tomlinson, co-founder and vice president of the group. CHI Logo Logo courtesy: Maria San Andres Download Full Image

CHI is the brainchild of Tomlinson and her fellow co-founder and organization President Maria San Andres, both are pursuing non-clinical health degrees. 

After recognizing a need for support dedicated specifically to ASU's College of Nursing and Health Innovation (CONHI) students pursuing health majors outside of nursing, the pair created CHI as an innovative solution. 

“We are really trying to focus on providing a holistic view of what is available to students, as far as, opportunities in their career and the workforce,” San Andres said.

The organization’s focus came into view after both San Andres and Tomlinson worked as first year success coaches. They said through that experience they discovered the nursing college's students had a hard time figuring out what type of job their health degree could lead to. (Degrees include: community healthhealth care compliance and regulationshealth care coordinationhealth innovation and integrative health.) 

“We saw this kind of behind-the-scenes administrative and one-on-one advocacy component of the health majors which is something really interesting, so we don’t expect freshmen to know it, it's something we just want to help explore with them,” Tomlinson said.

With meetings held every other Friday during the academic year, the plan is to bring in guest speakers, connect students with mentors, volunteer opportunities, and delve deeper into the innovation side of the healthcare profession.

“The health care industry is growing and we’re all kind of learning where that’s going, so I think that’s the fun part but also the really challenging part to kind of explain to students,” San Andres said.

Given that they are a new organization, both Tomlinson and San Andres are all ears when it comes to feedback and what students would like to get out of the experience.

CHI is open to anyone pursuing a health-related degree. They are actively recruiting members, mentors and guest speakers.

“Slowly and steadily the population of health majors in CONHI is growing so we just want the organization to kind of grow to meet the demands,” said Tomlinson.

For more information on CHI including meeting dates and times check out their Facebook Page or website.

Amanda Goodman

Senior communications specialist, Edson College of Nursing and Health Innovation


ASU International Development adviser passes away

September 14, 2017

Janet Ballantyne, a retired foreign service officer at the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and a senior adviser for ASU International Development, passed away Wednesday, Aug. 30, at the age of 78.

Ballantyne spent 33 years with USAID, serving at Washington, D.C., headquarters and in six countries and regional programs — Peru, Nepal, Morocco, Nicaragua, Russia, and the Central Asian Republics. She was deputy mission director in Nepal and Morocco, and mission director in Nicaragua, Russia, and the Central Asian Republics. In Washington, D.C., she served first as an economist in the Bureau for Latin America, and later as deputy assistant administrator in four bureaus. Following her last overseas tour, as USAID’s principal representative in Moscow, she served two years as USAID Professor at the National War College in Washington. Janet Ballantyne Janet Ballantyne, a retired foreign service officer at the United States Agency for International Development, served as a senior adviser for ASU, providing perspective on the field of international development and guidance on projects that ASU implements for USAID. Download Full Image

Having retired from USAID in 2002 with the rank of career minister, she returned to the agency in 2007 at the request of a new administrator and served as senior deputy assistant administrator for the Bureau for Latin America and the Caribbean for five years before retiring a second time in 2012 with the position of counselor to the agency. In 2016, she was recognized by USAID’s administrator for a lifetime of service to the agency and the American people and commitment to global development.

Since retiring, Ballantyne continued to work in development. She served as a senior adviser for ASU, providing perspective on the field of international development and guidance on projects that ASU implements for USAID, including the Pakistan Centers for Advanced Studies in Energy (PCASE), India-Support for Teacher Education Programs (In-STEP), several projects in Vietnam and numerous initiatives in Latin America.

Born in North Hempstead, New York, Ballantyne spent her early years in Kettering, Ohio. She received a bachelor’s degree from Cornell University, a master’s degree in public administration from Syracuse University, and a doctorate in international development from Cornell’s School of Business. She was predeceased by her husband Robert P. Murphy, and is survived by her son John Ernesto Murphy-Ballantyne, her daughter-in-law Marisol Murphy-Ballantyne, and their daughter, Stela.