Shannon Hefti, MPH, CHES

Shannon Hefti portraitTitle: Assistant Director of Health Education and Outreach

How I Support Student Health and Wellness: In my role, I oversee the vision, direction and implementation of some of our signature programs. Most widely known is our robust Peer Education program, where Peer Educators are trained and operate as credible messengers in the topics of mental health, sexual health and relationships, and alcohol and other substances. This also includes our Wellness Leadership Institute workshops and Health Hub program. Ensuring our students are receiving and can easily access the most accurate and relevant educational materials is crucial to student health. A priority for me is reaching underserved populations and making connections across campus to best serve our students. However, the most important way that I support student health and wellness is by recognizing that we are all humans first with various experiences that make up who we are. Knowing that each student is their own individual is how we can then create larger change.

Professional Interests: Prior to starting at Syracuse University, I oversaw health promotional efforts and programming for individuals of all ages across Onondaga County as it pertained to sexual and reproductive health. Much of my expertise falls within sexual health encompassing topics of sexuality, healthy relationships, consent, sexually transmitted infections (STIs), pregnancy and reproduction, etc., but having experience in alcohol and other substances and mental health work as well. I believe that caring for all parts of a person, their holistic health, is the best way for our students to be well. For me, this means focusing on the overlap and intersection of the Dimensions of Wellness to ensure we are providing the most encompassing and inclusive services and education possible. Previously, and now here at Syracuse, I believe my and Health Promotion’s role is to act as the bridge between health and counseling services. As a public health professional, my greatest area of interest is embracing and infusing advocacy into Health Promotion as an important aspect of a health educator, both on individual and community levels.

Groups/Classes/Liaison Roles: I provide support to the Options and Recovery workshops and to the Culture of Respect Taskforce for sexual and relationship violence prevention on campus.

Educational Background: I attended Daemen University, where I earned a bachelor of science degree in health care studies (health promotion) with a specialization in community health and administration. I earned a master of public health (MPH) degree with a focus in health education and promotion at the University of Alabama. Through both degrees, I held internships within community health and philanthropic organizations. Additionally, I conducted extensive research during my educational experience in the topics of labor and delivery, Black, Indigenous and women of color (BIWOC) maternal health, and comprehensive sexual health education in schools. I am a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) sitting for the Master Certified Health Education Specialist (MCHES) certification in the spring.

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers