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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Everyone Has a Story: Lee Ann M. Hamilton

Ginny Polin  / Arizona Daily Wildcat

Lee Ann Hamilton
Ginny Polin
Ginny Polin / Arizona Daily Wildcat Lee Ann Hamilton

“”Everyone Has a Story”” is a weekly segment in the Arizona Daily Wildcat that aims to tell the story of an interesting person on the UA campus.

 

Lee Ann M. Hamilton, the assistant director of Campus Health Service, is known for promoting sexual health education and giving lectures where she has shown the durability of condoms by putting them over a football and using teddy bears to show how sexually transmitted diseases are passed, but her job encompasses much more than that. She also covers a wide variety of topics such as alcohol, general health and wellness, skin cancer, health and safety abroad, suicide prevention, first aid, and sleep education.

Hamilton was inspired after working at a fast food restaurant during high school.

“”I worked at Kentucky Fried Chicken when I was in high school, and they sent all of the cooks to a disease prevention conference on how to handle raw chicken safely,”” Hamilton said. “”It was done by a microbiologist from the county health department. We got paid to be there instead of working for minimum wage, cooking chicken and getting hot and sweaty. I was just fascinated because this man talked about salmonella and how you have to be careful preparing, storing and serving the chicken.””

After the conference, Hamilton approached the microbiologist and inquired about his job.

“”I thought it was really cool,”” she said. “”I changed my major to microbiology and then realized I didn’t really want to work in a lab. It occurred to me later, what I like about what that man did was he gave scientific information about preventing disease and about preserving health.””

Hamilton is a Tucson native who graduated from the UA with a Bachelor of Science degree in health science and a master’s degree in higher education. Before completing her degree, she took a year off of school to travel with a group called “”Up with People”” that prepared her for teaching academic classes, presenting to campus groups and coordinating events.

“”It is an international, educational, community involvement program,”” Hamilton said. “”I traveled with a cast of 60 people all over the world who were college-aged students. There had been over 20,000 people involved. I traveled to eight countries, 14 states and lived with 65 different host families during my year of travel. It was very educational. It is kind of like a study abroad program with a community involvement aspect to it.””

During her year of travel, Hamilton visited Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Luxembourg and 14 states. She learned a lot about promoting events by doing press releases, interviews with the press, talking on radio shows and speaking to different groups of people.

“”I saw the capitals of all those countries before I ever saw Washington, D.C.,”” she said.

Hamilton is still in touch with all of the families she stayed with and the people she traveled with.

“”I thought of it as an experience of a lifetime, but what it turned out to be was something that has provided a lifetime of experiences,”” Hamilton said. “”It’s a great program for building bridges of understanding between people of the world. We all have our differences that make us unique as cultures and people, but we are all pretty much the same.””

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