Rodney Absher, MPH, CHES

Promoting Health, Engaging Communities, Changing Lives

Absher, Rodney
Rodney Absher, MPH, CHES

Rodney received his Master’s in Public Health from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 2012. He is a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) by the National Commission for Health Education (NCHEC). Rodney has worked for over 7 years with youth in Guilford County, NC through the Wise Guys Next Level Sexual Violence Prevention Program. He is currently the Prevention Education Coordinator for the Children Home Society’s Rape Prevention and Education Program and focuses on primary sexual violence prevention research and education.

 

Rodney Absher, both a UNCG Public Health Education undergraduate and graduate alumnus, is making his mark in the Greensboro community.  Rodney serves as the Prevention Education Coordinator at the Children’s Home Society of North Carolina. In this role, Rodney is having  a strong impact with his work in the Wise Guys program.  The Wise Guys Next Level Sexual Violence Prevention Program is an evidence-based teen pregnancy prevention program whose core components focus on the intersections of goal setting, value identification, relationship building, harassment and abuse, and masculinity.  In addition to these topics, the concept of empowerment is the underlying tone in all of the seminars delivered, and this is where Rodney has focused his skills.  Rodney states that by placing an emphasis on establishing a sense of empathy towards the survivors of sexual violence, the program is able to teach participants that sexual violence has no place in their lives.  

Prior to graduating from the Public Health Education undergraduate program, Rodney worked as an intern with the Wise Guys teen pregnancy prevention program.  Then, during his MPH experience, he continued to intern with the Wise Guys program.  In addition to his work with Wise Guys, Rodney  is a member of the Violence Prevention Network in Guilford County (VPN). Currently, Rodney, along with Dr. Paige Hall Smith and a team of evaluators from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, are working together on pilot programming for the VPN; the program is a collaboration of a 4-year research grant between the Children’s Home Society, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and the Centers for Disease Control.

The UNCG Department of Public Health Education is very proud of Rodney and the work he is doing in his community.  During conversation, Rodney pointed out that it is rare to see men involved in sexual violence prevention programs. He stated that, “sexual violence prevention started with women, and for it to continue, men and women have to work together.”   The Wise Guys program is inviting men to be a part of the prevention of sexual violence.  Through the targeted topics and seminars, the program battles myths and stereotypes surrounding sexual violence, helping young men learn that they are a part of the solution.