Ever since she was 5 years old, Alexis Blavos has known her purpose was to help others.
“I was born with a loud voice,” said Blavos, an associate professor of health at SUNY Cortland who recently used that voice to help students successfully advocate to make crossing a busy city street near campus safer.
Blavos, who strives to use her knowledge and voice to better the community surrounding her, will discuss “Advocating for our Lives” on Wednesday, Feb. 19, at SUNY Cortland.
The talk will focus on advocacy relating to public health and wellness, as well as what advocacy looks like in today’s society. It will begin at 4:30 p.m. in Moffett Center, Room 2125. Prior to that, a reception to welcome her will begin at 4 p.m. in the Brooks Museum, Moffett Center, Room 2126.
The lecture, which continues this year’s 2019-20 Rozanne M. Brooks Lecture Series on the theme of “The Culture of Action,” is free and open to the public.
Blavos will begin by defining what advocacy is and explain what it means to her. Her presentation will examine the need for individuals to take initiative in the face of contemporary public health issues.
“We take part in advocacy every day without even knowing it,” she said.
Blavos earned a Ph.D. from the University of Toledo and now teaches a course that analyzes advocacy and change at the local, state and federal levels of government and helps students understand healthy decision-making pertaining to college health issues.
Blavos and student members of Eta Sigma Gamma (ESG), the university's chapter of a national professional health education honor society, successfully worked with the city and state departments of transportation to install a crosswalk on Tompkins Street in the fall of 2018. Her Kappa chapter of ESG was awarded with a Chapter Recognition Award in 2019.
Blavos also believes that advocacy today can take the form of relating health problems with issues that plague the environment.
“Dealing with issues such as gun violence and the opioid crisis, in many ways we are literally advocating for our lives,” she said, referencing the title of her talk.
Blavos serves nationally as the Director of Advocacy to Eta Sigma Gamma, which acknowledges student achievement and supports health education programs. At SUNY Cortland, Blavos serves as a co-advisor to Eta Sigma Gamma’s Kappa chapter.
The Brooks series will continue with “The Power of Action,” a group of student presentations on Wednesday, March 25. For more information, contact Kent Johnson, assistant professor of sociology/ anthropology, at 607-753-4557.
Caption: In the image above, Alexis Blavos, on the right, confers with her Health Department colleague, Jena Curtis.
Prepared by communications office writing intern Dean Zulkofske