Meet Nattacha Munakata, Recent GCH Graduate

Nattacha Munakata (third from the right), who participated in the winning presentation for the GCH 465 Case competition, aspires to make community health information and resources more accessible.

Meet Nattacha Munakata, Recent GCH Graduate

Nattacha Munakata graduated with a B.S. in Community Health and Clinical Science.

What are your plans after graduation?
I want to continue health education to reduce stigma, especially in the DMV area. I’ve lived in this area my whole life and was not aware of various health issues and the importance of community action until I was educated on the matter. Without my background in Community Health and Clinical Science, I wouldn’t have been aware. I want to ensure that my community members have accessible information and resources to live a happier and healthier life. 

How did Mason help prepare you for your next steps?
Mason provided me with the opportunity to interact with many individuals who had different passions and dreams. From working and volunteering for the Student Support and Advocacy Center to various leadership roles in student organizations, these experiences have all contributed to my personal and academic growth. Finally, I have a great deal of gratitude towards all the professors and students who took the time to support and encourage my passions. I wish to continue to my efforts in health education and hopefully be an influence, like those who had a strong impact on me.  

How did the GCH 465 case competition help prepare you for your next steps and what did you learn during the process?
Throughout the various GCH classes, we learned how important it is to understand the target population. We had some difficulty selecting a population for our program; however, we realized that there wasn't an opioid overdose training for Northern Virginia college students. We felt it was important for us and our peers to have the accessibility to these trainings. As we continued preparing for the competition, we had some difficulty determining the number of attendance and training sessions per campus, since we were only familiar with the main GMU Fairfax campus and NVCC Annandale and Loudoun campus. It gave us the opportunity to research about the different campus cultures and input into the presentation.

What should future GCH 465 students know about the competition experience?
With the case competition, it is important to view the issue through different perspectives and taking extra steps to make sure the program is efficient. This includes stepping out of your comfort zone to call/email an organization to ask some program recommendations or doing a practice presentation on a friend who is unaware about the issue. I used materials from previous courses, especially the budget template from GCH 411 for the presentation materials. 

What else do you want to share with prospective GCH students? 
REVIVE! is an opioid overdose and Naloxone Education program for Virginia. The Lay Rescuer training is about recognizing and responding to an opioid overdose emergency using naloxone and will take approximately an hour. If you have the chance, please do the training! You can also complete a training to become a REVIVE! trainer as well! ( you to the Chris Atwood Foundation for your support!