Discussion: Scholars of Change

Discussion: Scholars of Change

Discussion: Scholars of Change

As noted in the Learning Resources this week, health professionals can be leaders of social change. Consider the story of Paul Amigh, a student and teaching assistant at Walden:


My name is Paul Amigh (pronounced Ah-me’), and I am a student in the PhD Public Health program at Walden University with a concentration in Epidemiology and a Teaching Assistant for the School of Health Sciences bachelor’s degree programs. I have obtained my entire college experience from Walden University, and it has changed my life and given me the desire to change the lives of others.

I am a U.S. Army veteran who graduated from the Academy of Health Sciences, attended vocational school in Central PA for my L.P.N. license, and hold a BS in Public Health with a concentration in Health Informatics from Walden University. I have spent my life in service of my country and others working as medic, a prison nurse, travel nurse, and as a charge nurse in an advanced Alzheimer’s unit. Feeling a greater need to do more for my community and improve the lives of others, it was my bachelor’s degree from Walden University that gave me the opportunity to work in education. I began teaching medical assisting, medical billing and coding, and health informatics classes at a local technical school in Central Pennsylvania, but I still felt I could do more.

I created a local chapter of SkillsUSA and began to train students in leadership and skills competitions related to their chosen vocational career path. It was here I discovered students just need someone to believe in them. Spending a few hours each day training and working with these students to improve upon the soft skills employers are looking for in communication, conflict resolution, critical thinking, and fundraising the entire cost of membership and travel, I created Champions at Work. Over the last six years, I have personally trained and mentored more than 50 Pennsylvania State Gold Medalists and trained fifteen National Medalists, with five of them becoming national champions!

This October I stepped down from teaching and have been appointed as the new Public Health Program Administrator of Western Pennsylvania for the PA Department of Health’s Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Program. This special Supplemental Nutrition Program provides Federal grants to States for supplemental foods, healthcare referrals, and nutrition education for low-income pregnant, breastfeeding, and non-breastfeeding postpartum women, and to infants and children up to age five who are found to be at nutritional risk. Established as a permanent program in 1974, WIC is considered the premiere public health program for the Department of Agriculture.

My dream is to not only complete my PhD from Walden University, but to someday call Walden University my employer and continue to work with some of the most amazing professors and mentors I have ever had the pleasure of learning from, getting to know them on a personal level, and changing the lives of more people just as Walden University changed mine.

As you prepare for this Discussion:

  • Reflect on how you would like to harness all you have learned to be an agent for social change in your community as a healthcare professional.
  • View several videos from the Scholars of Change website.


Post a thoughtful response to the following:

  • Describe your personal commitment to positive social change in your community as a health professional.
  • Explain how your Walden experience might have strengthened your ability to advocate for social change in your community.
  • Explain two ways that your Program of Study might be strengthened to enhance student awareness of social change in the health field.