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 throughout the campus community.

HEAT’s mission is to educate, promote, support, and encourage healthy living for all students. HEAT 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 and tobacco-use prevention. All events address issues to make the campus community healthier, safer, and more enjoyable. HEAT also sponsors events like the Tobacco-Free Hokies T-Shirt Campaign, Wrap that Package Week, and the Body Matters Project. To check out current workshops click HERE.

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 their lifestyles and that of their peers. HEAT peer educators learn about public health issues and develop self-confidence, public speaking, group facilitation, and communication skills.

HEAT members learn and practice effective problem solving, decision making, program planning skills, and sharing ideas. 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 training, experience, learning, friendship, and other positive outcomes members get from the program make all HEAT members' efforts worthwhile.  

What is the time commitment?
The weekly time commitment for HEAT 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 the HEAT experience. The training is updated through the semester as you learn 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 accepting applications this Spring 2019 semester for the Fall 2019-20 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 in the Spring 2019 semester and will recruit again in the Spring of 2021. 

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 March 25, 2019.  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 are happy to meet with you to clarify what each program does before you apply. Call 540-231-1874 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, March 25, 2019. Hokie Wellness notifies all applicants of their status in early May of 2019. 


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