February 6, 2017

SVSU student invited to present at World Congress on Public Health and Nutrition in Italy

Saginaw Valley State University student Jarrod Eaton, a health science major from St. Johns, has a genuine interest in the health of college students, and has pursued research in this regard. He has been invited to present his research at the 2nd World Congress on Public Health and Nutrition in Rome, Italy March 22-24.

Eaton will present his study on the contributing factors surrounding influenza vaccination rate disparities among college-aged populations. His project is titled “Vaccination of Influenza on College Campuses: A study to identify the correlation of determinants on influenza vaccination rate disparities.”

While his research is still in progress, Eaton has drawn preliminary findings from his study to date.

“I have concluded that there are an increasing number of factors that are leading to college students receiving the influenza vaccination at significantly lower rates than other populations of society which, ultimately, can lead to greater risk of exposure and an increased likelihood of the spread of disease,” he said.

James Collins, Ph.D., SVSU executive-in-residence for health sciences, has served as the faculty mentor and advisor for Eaton’s study. Collins said it is unusual for an undergraduate to be invited to present at such an international conference.

“Jarrod had to compete with people in the public health field with professional and advanced degrees,” Collins explained. “He wrote a fine summary of his proposed research.

“While about a third of persons receive flu vaccines in the United States every year, only about 10 percent of college-age people do. Jarrod’s research will provide insights and much-needed information on why students may or may not decide to obtain a flu vaccination.”

Eaton expressed gratitude for the empowering opportunities and close relationships with faculty he has enjoyed.

“During my time at SVSU, I have been given an immense number of opportunities that have shaped both my professional and academic career,” Eaton said. “It has instilled in me a duty to, one day, have the same degree of impact on the global community as well.”

Eaton will graduate from SVSU in May and plans to pursue a career in public health. He intends to pursue a Master of Public Health degree with a specialization in epidemiology, and ultimately complete a Ph.D. in epidemiology. Eaton hopes to one day work for the World Health Organization or the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

In addition to his academic scholarship, Eaton served as president of Student Association, SVSU’s student government, for the 2015-16 academic year.