Bright Spots Mini-Lab

Mini-Lab activities help build the qualitative and mixed methods skills of students and public health practitioners.

Mini-Lab activities foster research and evaluation collaborations to find solutions to MCH public health needs by identifying and employing culturally-responsive, asset-based strategies rooted in the perspectives and experiences of individuals, families and communities.

Spring 2023 Sessions:

  • The Power of First Person Storytelling in Public Health with Allison Myers from the StoryCenter
    • Thursday, April 27, 2023 from 11am-1pm CST
    • Personal narratives are powerful tools for researchers and practitioners alike. They can be used to educate, influence, train, advocate, and reflect in the public health field. Harnessing the power of these narratives is an important skill. This session on digital storytelling from the StoryCenter will be a brief introduction to the process of gathering and presenting personal narratives for public health use. As a leader in the global storytelling movement, the StoryCenter has decades of experience helping organizations and individuals bolster their storytelling skills and we are excited to feature them at the Mini-Lab.
    • In this Learning Lab, participants will
      • learn storytelling structures and techniques for writing powerful, first-person narratives
      • explore several case studies of research and advocacy projects using digital storytelling and participatory media methods
      • draft a short, personal story (200-350 words) using story prompts
    • RSVP Here
    • About Allison Myers:
      • A graduate of Vanderbilt University and the University of Colorado, Allison is a Senior Program Director and Principal Facilitator for the non-profit organization StoryCenter, which is widely recognized as the innovator in community arts-based participatory media methodologies. Allison works with small groups of people to tell their stories in a way that makes a big difference. Participants have included new moms, refugees, professors, transgender people, survivors of cancer, tribal leaders in northern Kenya, and reproductive health peer educators in Papua New Guinea.
      • Her work has been featured on NPR and funded by a wide range of partners including the US State Department. Her facilitation takes people through a process of identifying, sharing, writing, and recording a short story with powerful photos, videos and narrative. She equips participants with digital tools to produce their own story as well as find effective ways to advocate for improved laws, a better environment, a deeper understanding of how disease impacts vulnerable communities, address stigmas, and encourage community leadership. In public health, Allison has collaborated on a number of research and advocacy participatory media projects with partners that include: Mayo Clinic; UMASS Amherst Department of Community Health Education; Vanderbilt University Medical Center; CO Department of Public Health; UI Health, University of Illinois at Chicago (I-Promote Illinois Maternal Health); Department of Pediatrics, Children’s Hospital of Richmond (Virginia Neonatal Perinatal Collaborative); Michigan DHHS Maternal Mortality Surveillance Program; and Arizona State University’s College of Nursing and Health Innovation.
      • Allison has traveled and worked in over 45 countries, and is currently based in Lisbon, Portugal.

Past Fall 2022 Sessions:

  • Introduction to Coding Techniques with Prof. Johnny Saldaña on Thursday, October 6, 2022 from 11am-1pm CST
  • Positive Deviance with Dr. Alex Foster on Thursday, November 17, 2022 from 11am-1pm CST

Past Spring 2023 Sessions:

  • Parenting Practices and Childhood Obesity: A Positive Deviance Approach with Dr. Junia de Brito on Thursday, February 2, 2023 from 11am-12pm CST