HEAT logo

The Health Education & Awareness Team (HEAT) is a group of students trained by the health educators at Hokie Wellness to deliver fun, interactive, and educational health and wellness programs to student groups and residential halls throughout the campus community.

HEAT’s mission is to educate, promote, support, and encourage healthy living for all students. The program seeks to make students more aware of the consequences of unhealthy behaviors by providing educational life-skills training with the most up-to-date information about healthy life-style choices.

Heat Programs

HEAT members do public health outreach events and workshops about safer sexual behaviors, contraception, healthy eating choices, body image,  sleep, skin cancer prevention, tobacco-use prevention, cold and flu awareness, among others. All of our events address issues that will make the campus community healthier, safer, and more enjoyable. We also sponsor events like the Tobacco-Free Hokies T-Shirt Campaign, Wrap that Package Week, and the Body Matters Project.

Students in the HEAT (Health Education & Awareness Team) program gain life skills in leadership, responsibility, organization, and networking. HEAT members are motivated by personal experience and the desire to improve lifestyles for themselves and their peers. They become more knowledgeable about public health issues and develop self-confidence, public speaking skills, group facilitation, and communication skills. HEAT members also learn and practice effective problem solving, decision making, and program planning skills. They learn the importance of sharing ideas and learning from others.  Although HEAT members are not paid, they receive valuable training and experience from participation.

Here are some things that past HEAT members have said about being in the program:

  • “You can influence others in positive ways!"
  • "It's a great way to meet friends on campus!"
  • "Being a part of the group places you in a group of people with common purpose and ideals."
  • "You will have the opportunity to gain leadership skills such as how to run an effective meeting, delegation, team building, and motivation."
  • "As a peer educator, you will learn to be a better listener, a caring helper, communicate better, and gain confidence in confronting people."
  • "You will feel good about yourself and your efforts to improve the lives of those around you!"

How long has there been a HEAT program?
In some form or another (and with other names), Hokie Wellness has had a HEAT program for 30 years. It has been thriving in its current form for nearly 20 years.

Are HEAT positions paid?
No, we do not pay members in the traditional sense. The experience, learning, friendship, and other positive things members get from the program make all HEAT members' efforts worthwhile.  

What is the time commitment?
The weekly time commitment for Health Education and Awareness Team members is at least 5 hours with significant (and mandatory) training and attendance requirements. This is a minimum amount. Most members complete far more hours than this.

How will I be trained?
Applicants do not need to have health knowledge in order to become a member of HEAT! We have an extensive weekend training at the beginning of your HEAT experience, have semester update trainings, and you will be learning new things every week. 

How long do people serve as HEAT members?
The minimum period is 1-year with most members staying 2 or more years. If you are not interested in being on the team for at least one year, this program isn't for you.

When do you accept applications?
The application process for these volunteer positions is competitive. We are currently accepting applications this spring 2017 for the FALL 2017-18 HEAT class.

Do you accept new members every year?
No, HEAT is on a two-year cycle.  We recruit new members every OTHER year. We are recruting now (spring 2017)and then in spring of 2019. 

Who can apply?
We accept applications from "Rising Sophomores" and "Rising Juniors" only.   

Do you accept graduate or professional students?
No, HEAT is a service and leadership opportunity designed for undergraduates only.

What majors do you accept?
There is no "major" restriction; all majors are welcome and encouraged to apply.  

How many people are in HEAT ?
The group has 25-35 members. 

What is the deadline to apply?
The deadline to apply for HEAT is 4/3/2017. No late or incomplete applications will be considered. 

May I also apply for IMPACT (alcohol and substance abuse peer ed program at Hokie Wellness) program and HEAT?

You may only apply for IMPACT or HEAT, but not both.  You may not apply for one, decline an offer or not be accepted, and then apply to the other the same year.  Likewise you may not submit applications to both concurrently.  We will be happy to meet with you to clarify what each program does before you apply.  Call 231-1874 if you have questions. 

Are there other peer education programs at Virginia Tech?

Yes, there are several other non-Hokie Wellness peer education programs.

How do I apply?
Submit an application online by midnight of Monday, April 3rd, 2017. Hokie Wellness notifies all applicants of their status in early May of 2017. 


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