Calvin University's official student newspaper since 1907

Calvin University Chimes

Since 1907
Calvin University's official student newspaper since 1907

Calvin University Chimes

Calvin University's official student newspaper since 1907

Calvin University Chimes

Sunscreen dispensers to be placed on campus as a part of a public health initiative

Gabriel Choi
An on-campus sunscreen dispenser

On Sept. 27, The Sunscreen Project was initiated at Calvin University as students placed sunscreen dispensers at the Gainey Fields, on the west side of the Beltline bridge and on the walking circle near the CFAC. Erica Boldenow, assistant professor of public health and biology, said “the goal [of the project] is to prevent melanoma and skin cancer of all varieties.”

Olivia Lamberg, an alumnus of Calvin University and a medical student at the University of Michigan Medical School who has been working with Impact Melanoma and Dermatology Associates of West Michigan on this project, reached out to Calvin University to discuss the possibility of putting sunscreen dispensers on its campus. “We were contacted by the funders of the project… as a potential pilot location in the west side of Michigan,” said Boldenow. This project has already gained momentum at the University of Michigan and the Washtenaw County Parks before coming to Calvin University, according to Boldenow. 

Boldenow is directing the project at Calvin University with the pre-med advisor Teri Crumb.

According to Boldenow, this project is exciting because she believes this is a great way to practice public health that focuses on prevention –– but it was also difficult because communication disciplines are not her specialty. “My expertise is in biological and public health research. But through this project among others, I’ve learned the importance of communicating and how to make sure all the voices are heard because each person brings a different specialty.” 

Boldenow is also excited about the experiences this project will bring to the students in her classrooms. “We’re using students from PUBH 101 because we want them to learn about public health interventions in motion. We also plan to use students from PUBH 248, which concerns epidemiology and deals with a lot of data and statistics,” she told Chimes.

Not many people —especially students — would think about preventing skin cancer, like melanoma with sunscreen, when taking steps to protect their overall health, according to students involved in implementing the program. But “even without skin cancer and skin conditions, it is important to take steps now,” said Megan Vanderwal,“You might not see it right away, but it will come up later in life,” she said. 

As a sophomore, Vanderwal has been promoting the Sunscreen Project with her classmates Jaylen Schroeder, Luzina Tum-Lopez and Jennifer Bigimbi as part of their semester-long project in PUBH 101. “I’m excited to see how they perform because its easy accessibility will definitely motivate people to use it,” said Vanderwal. 

“A lot of my friends told me they don’t use sunscreen so it’s going to be interesting to see how their opinions are going to shift because of this project,” said Luzina Tum-Lopez. Tum-Lopez told Chimes she believes that this project will be beneficial to the Calvin community as well as the public. 



This article has been updated to clarify Olivia Lamberg’s status as a medical student.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All Calvin University Chimes Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *