Legacy – Diamond
What or who inspired you to become a health educator?
I’ve been an educator since I taught English in Taiwan my first year out of college. Six years later, I returned to school for an MPH and fell in love with health education. I’ve identified as a health educator ever since.
What is one of your most memorable career highlights?
Leading the training and evaluation components of a Community Putting Prevention to Work grant combined so many of my health education passions. I helped community-based practitioners implement policy, systems, and environmental change initiatives in their local communities. And I led a team of practitioners and students evaluating this work. It really felt like we were moving the needle in health promotion for structural change.
Who were/are mentors or significant champions for your career?
I’ve had many mentors and champions, all of whom embrace our core health education values. Chief among them have been Bernard Turnock from the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health and Rowland (‘Bing’) Chang from Northwestern University’s Program in Public Health.
How were you involved in SOPHE or other health education organizations?
I became involved in SOPHE as a graduate student 20+ years ago and knew immediately that I’d found my professional home. I’ve been an associate editor with Health Promotion Practice, the SOPHE Publications Committee chair, Trustee for Publications, and am joining Pedagogy in Health Promotion’s editorial board. As I’ve taken on leadership positions in academic public health, I’ve become increasingly involved in the Association of Schools & Programs of Public Health.
What motivated you to donate to SOPHE?
I’ve always been deeply supportive of SOPHE’s mission and activities but haven’t possessed the means to make a significant donation. This year my Mom, Terry Satinover Fagen, asked her four children to make significant donations to agencies and causes they care deeply for. I am so grateful for this opportunity and cannot think of a worthier organization than SOPHE.
What advice would you give new professionals just entering the health education field?
Embrace all of the complexity, frustration, and joy inherent in being a health educator! We don’t always get paid well, but we have the ultimate satisfaction of knowing that we’re trying to make the world a better place.
Who would you like to donate this page to?
This page is dedicated to my Mom, Terry Satinover Fagen, who has tirelessly championed causes that promote health equity, social justice, and reproductive rights throughout her life.
Michael is a diamond-level donor to SOPHE’s Legacy Circle Fund.
What’s your legacy?