Maternal Child Health Archives - Community | Union Institute & University

Tangela Boyd, Ph.D. student

Pay it 1964ward – Doctoral student working to educate underserved populations in lactation

By | Alumni, Faculty & Staff, Students | No Comments

The Changing the Faces of Education – Pay it 1964ward campaign is underway and is already making a difference in the lives of our students. At Union, 100 percent of funds that donors designate to scholarships go directly to the student.

Scholarship recipient Tangela L. Boyd is passionate about using her Ph.D. to help bring about change for more perinatal education for black women. Her vision is to see black women gain more access to breastfeeding programs.

Tangela is an affiliate faculty member in the UI&U Maternal Child Health in Human Lactation degree program and a graduate of Union’s Master of Arts degree with a major in Health & Wellness and a concentration in Human Lactation. In addition, she is an International Board-Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC), Certified Lactation Counselor (CLC), Certified Lactation Educator (CLE), Certified Childbirth Educator (CCCE), and Certified Postpartum Doula (CPD) who has a passion for working with breastfeeding mothers. She also is a member of United States Lactation Consultant Association (USLCA) and International Lactation Consultant Association (ILCA).

Tangela Boyd, Ph.D. studentIn the Q & A below, Tangela discusses her plans to use her Ph.D. to transform lives and communities by helping to eliminate maternal mortality among black women.

Q. How has the scholarship you received impacted your academic career?
A. My scholarship encourages me to keep moving forward with my education. It confirms my investment in Union and Union’s investment in me.

I’m the mom of four sons, a senior at West Point, a freshman at the University of Central Florida (UCF), and 14-year-old twins, so obviously, the scholarship is a blessing.

Q. Union’s goal is to transform lives and communities. Can you share how this goal impacts you and your community?
A. I want to use my Ph.D. to help transform the breastfeeding rates for black women.
Unfortunately, in the black culture, there are not a lot of women who breastfeed. If it were the norm, I do believe more women would consider breastfeeding. It can be hard promoting something that you really do not understand and live. There are negative perspectives such as a lack of support and a lack of confidence that affect the decisions of black women to breastfeed.

My goal is to create a lactation curriculum/program for the underserved population. Lactation education advancement is a key to changing this outcome. I want to create podcasts and work with HBCU’s to help change this disparity. Education and support can make a huge difference.

Q. Union is known for its commitment to social justice. How will social justice be interwoven in your career plans?
A. Union’s commitment to social justice is interwoven through the curriculum and faculty. Union brings out inequality issues. As a student and faculty member in the Maternal Health degree program, I am encouraged to discuss social justice issues with students and colleagues. As I continue to pursue my career, I plan to use what I learn at Union to provide support for increasing breastfeeding rates among black women and shed light on racial disparities and lack of access to good health care.

Q. What are your plans after you earn your degree?
A. I want to use my degree to develop lactation curriculum/programs to educate underserved populations, especially black women.

You can learn more about Tangela and her work at her web site Mommy Milk & Me Inc.

Support the next generation of leaders with your donation to the Changing the Faces of Education – Pay it 1964WARD campaign today. Click here to donate.

Stay Connected: Union alumni respond to COVID-19 (Second Edition)

By | Alumni, Faculty & Staff, Students | No Comments

Welcome to the second edition of Stay Connected where we share how Union students and alumni are responding to the pandemic.

Criminal Justice Management Grad on the Frontlines of COVID-19

Sgt. Leonard La France speaking at a virtual Eureka City Council meetingSgt. Leonard La France is serving on the front lines of the COVID 19 pandemic, working to prevent a potential coronavirus outbreak among the local homeless population in Eureka, California.

As the leader of the Eureka Police Department Community Safety Enhancement Team, La France and his department are “working with the homeless community to get individuals connected to resources” he said in a recent interview with the Times Standard.

His team works to ensure the homeless are getting free meal services while maintaining social distancing. They have added a handwashing station to the area and are handing out donated ponchos to the homeless. La France also understands the necessity to coordinate new protocols for sheltering the homeless who have recently been released from jail.

While the pandemic is affecting all populations, the homeless are particularly vulnerable under the best of circumstances. The incidence of psychological issues/mental health, and other underlying health issues exacerbates one’s vulnerability. Combine these factors with the lack of sanitary facilities and the impossible task of keeping six feet apart in crowded homeless shelters and camps, and the incidence of contracting the virus is multiplied.

The Eureka Police Department’s Community Safety and Enhancement Team (CSET) and St. Vincent de Paul are not letting COVID-19 stop their Free Meal outreach. Watch the video to learn more about how things have changed since the pandemic began.

According to WIRED, the homeless have little access to toilets, much less toilet paper. Those places where the homeless could often find shelter or use a bathroom—libraries, gyms, fast food restaurants—are largely closed. Community services like shelters and soup kitchens are running out of room and food, as well as workers, exacerbating the challenges the homeless already face.

Sgt. La France is a 2019 graduate of Union’s Criminal Justice Management degree program developed by and for law enforcement professionals designed to prepare officers to move up the ranks into supervisory, management, and executive positions within the criminal justice system. He is a current student in Union’s Master of Science in Organizational Leadership (MSOL) degree program designed to prepare current and emerging managers to take a thoughtful approach to leadership and invent their own invaluable solutions to complex issues. Learn more about the MSOL.

Military Moms Share Breastfeeding Tips During COVID-19

Is it safe to breastfeed during the pandemic? Alumna Amy Barron Smolinski executive director of Mom2Mom Global and Breastfeeding in Combat Boots and her team of volunteers have collaborated with Mattos Lactation to produce a 3-part blog series focused on breastfeeding during the pandemic, pregnancy and birth during this time, and helping breastfeeding service members who may be activated, mobilized, or deployed in response to the COVID-19 crisis.

Mom breastfeeding in uniform

Photo courtesy of Mom2Mom Global and Breastfeeding in Combat Boots

The organizations are the only national nonprofit organizations dedicated to information, advocacy, and support for breastfeeding military families.

Union Institute & University’s is one of the few universities in the country that offers an online degree in Maternal Child Health in Human Lactation at both the bachelor’s and master’s level. Amy serves on the UI&U Pathway 2 Lactation Studies Advisory Panel. She is also an Advanced Lactation Consultant and Certified Lactation Counselor. She is a graduate of Union’s Masters of Arts History & Culture major.

If you have a passion for lactation and counseling expectant mothers and mothers of young infants about feeding and caring for their children, be sure to check out the Maternal Child Health in Human Lactation degree.

Stay Connected during these challenging times by sharing information, helpful tips, and encouragement to your fellow Union students and alumni.

Send your updates, ideas, comments, and questions to: alumni@myunion.edu or to carolyn.krause@myunion.edu
Share connect with us on SHARE YOUR STORY