WMU News

Zimmer wins national health association award

June 20, 2002

KALAMAZOO -- A Western Michigan University staff member has garnered one of the nation's top college health awards, the American College Health Association's Edward Hitchcock Award, which honors ACHA members who have made outstanding contributions to advancing the health of all college students.

Christine G. Zimmer, director of the Office of Health Promotion and Education in WMU's Sindecuse Health Center, accepted the 2002 Hitchcock award during the ACHA's annual awards dinner May 29 in Washington, D.C.

The ACHA was founded in 1920 and focuses on the health needs of students at colleges and universities. It is the country's principal leadership organization for the field of college health, providing services, communications and advocacy that help its 900 member institutions advance the health of their campus communities.

The Hitchcock award was initiated in 1961 to commemorates the work of the medical doctor who 100 years earlier, had founded America's first college health service at Amherst College. As with the ACHA's other professional awards, recipients are nominated by their colleagues and chosen by a selection committee.

"Chris embodies the highest ideals of the college health profession and has been a unique and tireless contributor to the field," the committee said in announcing Zimmer as winner of the 2002 Hitchcock award.

She was cited in particular for her enduring contributions as a scholar, national leader, respected health educator and capable administrator as well as her pioneering initiatives in peer education and service learning, interactive multimedia education, participatory theatre and curriculum infusion.

Zimmer served as ACHA vice president from 1994-95 and has been elected to every leadership position in the organization's Health Education Section. She also spearheaded development of the ACHA's "Standards of Practice for Health Promotion in Education" publication, serves as a consulting editor for its Journal of American College Health, and co-created the research-and development-oriented Health Promotion in Higher Education Fund for its related American College Health Foundation.

An ACHA fellow, Zimmer received a bachelor of science degree in nursing from the University of Michigan in 1964, a master of arts degree in community health education from Central Michigan University in 1983 and a graduate certificate in alcohol and drug abuse from WMU in 1996.

The certified health education specialist came to WMU in 1978 as the University's health educator and was elevated to her current position in 1985. An affiliate assistant professor in the College of Health and Human Services, she has co-written numerous journal articles and book chapters and articles as well as presented dozens of workshops and papers.

Zimmer also has been active in a variety of professional and service organizations and projects on campus as well as at the local, state and national levels. She will retire from WMU Aug. 30 after 24 years of service to the University.

Media contact: Jeanne Baron, 269 387-8400, jeanne.baron@wmich.edu

Office of University Relations
Western Michigan University
1903 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5433 USA
269 387-8400