Jason Fulmore is a PhD Candidate in UAB’s Health Education/Health Promotion program. When his wife accepted a position in Birmingham, Jason began taking classes at UAB with the goal of finishing a 5th year Mater’s degree in order to teach in Alabama. After beginning the program and receiving an MAEd, he decided to stay and pursue a terminal degree. He adds, “I feel fortunate to have found a top quality health education program.”
Although Jason’s research interests are varied, he is primarily interested in youth health issues. “My Master's thesis focused on the development and validation of a new instrument to assess adolescent athletes’ knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors related to sun protection. Skin cancer is increasing around the world, and adolescent athletes are very susceptible because of all the hours they spend outdoors. It’s interesting that I would end up doing this research because I spent more than a decade as a high school teacher and athletic coach. My work has really come full circle. When I’m not researching skin cancer and sun protection, I work as an evaluator in the UAB Center for Educational Accountability. Currently, I serve as one of the evaluators on the Greater Birmingham Mathematics Partnership, which is timely because I end up helping my 7th grade daughter with her math homework each night.”
Jason has received many awards and honors. He explains, “I am a Leader Associate for AAHE, the American Association for Health Education. The AAHE Leadership Associates Program offers young professionals the opportunity to become involved in the organizational framework and structure of AAHE at the national, district and state level. I serve on the AAHE Board of Directors. I am also the former president of the Beta Chi chapter of Eta Sigma Gamma, the health education professional honorary society. I received a Cancer Research Experiences for Students (CaRES) fellowship. It’s a summer internship for students who are interested in cancer research. I also received a TextbookX scholarship for an essay I wrote on the role the media plays in shaping American political opinion.”
Jason’s many rewarding experiences include the cancer research fellowships, working as a graduate assistant for Dean Froning in School of Education, helping with UAB’s Quality Enhancement Plan, playing a role in the rebirth of the local Eta Sigma Gamma Chapter, and working with the CEA staff in the evaluation educational programs.
The one person that has had the most profound impact on Jason is his major professor, Dr. Brian Geiger. “Dr. Geiger has taken a significant amount of time and effort to provide me guidance through the thesis and dissertation process.” Jason also feels fortunate to have had the opportunity through the Health Education/Health Promotion program to interact with professors in all three areas of the program (SOE – Health education, SOPH, and UA). “Additionally, the faculty and staff in the school of education and the Center for Educational Accountability have provided me an invaluable learning experience.”
When asked what motivates his academics/research, Jason replies, “It sounds cliché, but I really enjoy helping people. It is one of the reasons I taught school for much of the last 12 years. I really enjoyed working with people and value all that I learned from the teaching process. I believe that motivation carries over to what I am currently researching and my own academic situation.”
Jason has some interesting advice for other graduate students: “If there are three things I have learned upon returning to school and attempting to finish a doctorate it is that communication, persistence, and patience are key. I also think that is important to value the process and to keep in mind that the journey is truly better than the inn.”