Reflections From the Ivory Tower

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Abstract

One health educator reflects on a career shift from public health practitioner to college faculty. The opportunity arose through informal Society for Public Health Education (SOPHE) networking. Similarities between the practitioner and academic roles are noted in relation to politics, mentoring, service on committees, presentations, consultation, and chain of command. Notable differences are discussed in areas of hiring and job security, work rules, teaching versus administration, molding students versus reshaping adults, degree of focus on health content versus program process, amount of bureaucracy and red tape, and degree of freedom to advocate. Recommendations are included for successful transitions. Both roles have unique rewards.

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