Full-time firefighter Matt Meyers hopes to use a degree in health and wellness to supplement his side job as a personal trainer. Meyers is one of the students enrolled in a new health and wellness major that is in its first semester at the Tulane School of Continuing Studies.
Matt Meyers, a firefighter who also works as a personal trainer, is one of more than 50 students enrolled in the new health and wellness major offered by the School of Continuing Studies. (Photo by Paula Burch-Celentano)
The new program
already has attracted more than 50 students with varied interests.
The scope of the program is based on an interdisciplinary approach that includes psychology, sociology, anthropology, neuroscience, human physiology and communication, says Lance Green, program director. Courses range from Nutrition and Behavior to Mass Media and Health.
Graduates will be competent in diverse aspects of health promotion, preventive wellness strategies, recovery from illness or injury and the transitional phases of aging. Green says those who complete the program could move on to graduate school or entry-level positions in corporate wellness and nutrition programming, wellness program administration, certified personal training, or coordinating health and wellness programming in assisted living settings, recreational programs and at-risk juvenile rehabilitation programs.
New Orleans native Kathy Warren joined the program in hope of launching a new career in hospital management. Since Hurricane Katrina, Warren faced health challenges in her family and her own cancer scare. Concerned as well about the faltering economy, she decided to switch careers and enroll in the new major.
“One of the things about Katrina is that if anyone had any kind of illness, the stress from the storm made it trigger,” says Warren, who now realizes the importance of mental health. In the Mind, Body and Health course she is taking, Warren has learned about psychoneuroimmunology, the link between mental health and the immune system. “I can’t control the fact of the hurricane, but I can control my response,” she says.
Johanna Gretschel received a bachelor’s degree with an English major from Tulane in 2012 and is in the master’s degree program.