MISSOULA – This spring, two University of Montana community health majors are completing their final semester at the helm of social media for Curry Health Center Wellness.
Alyssa Harrington of Missoula and Mary Eck of Seattle have built a growing audience for the online blog Health Nut and have provided innovative online promotion that has gained the attention of other college health programs.
“This pair has done a terrific job supporting the valuable work of the wellness department at Curry Health Center,” said Jessica Vizzutti, supervisor and media specialist. “Their work has been successful because they know how to keep content innovative and relatable. I know they gained invaluable experience they can put to work in real-world situations after graduation.”
Health Nut has grown to reach an average of over 3,000 views a semester under the leadership of Harrington. Social media engagement, including through Facebook, has grown over 85 percent since Eck began helping manage the content. Together, the pair have worked to bring public health messaging to exponentially more students using a digital-first strategy.
Their work has caught the attention of other colleges and universities. In November of 2017, the duo was asked to present on social media and public health at the BACCHUS Initiatives of NASPA General Assembly national conference in Denver. There, students from across the country who work in student affairs attended Harrington and Eck’s presentation and learned how to enhance their own programming.
Harrington and Eck each will receive a Bachelor of Science degree in community health and prevention sciences from UM’s Department Health and Human Performance in May. They also gained hands-on professional experience as peer health educators during their time at UM.
“Mary and Alyssa have taken our program to another level with their determination and commitment,” said Linda Green, director of Wellness at Curry Health Center. “I can’t wait to see what they do once they graduate.”