Junior nursing students Madeleine Ottignon and Alyssa Danner, along with Ethan Dean (junior, VSB), have launched a new student group recognized by Villanova’s Office of Student Involvement: Villanova University Chapter of the College Diabetes Network (CDN), under the advisement of Assistant Professor Christina Whitehouse, PhD, CRNP, CDE. The first meeting was held in February.
CDN focuses on providing young adults with Type 1 diabetes the peer connections they need to successfully manage diabetes through college. “There was a recent study that looked at the benefits students received when involved with CDN. There were many improved outcomes notably decreased levels of stress, anxiety and hypoglycemia,” says Dr. Whitehouse.
“I wanted to bring CDN to Villanova to have the opportunity to educate and empower other students with and without diabetes,” Alyssa notes. Madeleine felt under-supported when arriving as a freshman, “I only knew of a couple of students with diabetes through the College of Nursing, but I’m quickly realizing that we are a very spread out group on campus.”
The CDN chapter will focus on diabetes advocacy, peer support, and fundraising events that foster cross-campus relationships. “I believe this organization will greatly benefit the Villanova community as it will create a network of students with diabetes to support each other as well as educate the community about Type 1,” explains Ethan.
You can follow the group on their Facebook page @VillanovaCDN.