Economics Professor Creates Health Education Action Lab

Apr 13, 2023

3 min

Josh Price

In a recent podcast interview with Southern Utah University’s Center for Teaching Innovation, Dr. Joshua Price, associate professor of economics at SUU, shared his goals for the students of SUU, and the programs he’s created to help them succeed.



Dr. Price’s goal is to create a community of students to work together, and overcome their similar challenges. As an undergraduate Dr. Price worked as a research assistant working on a project looking at this high school participation, increasing lifetime earnings. He has dedicated his time to help students on their paths of research and understanding.


After coming to SUU he partnered with other faculty and the provost to hire students to work on different projects, and has since expanded to create the HEAL (Health Education Action Lab).


“HEAL has been designed to give students of any major of any class an opportunity to engage in empirical research. We want them to start working on their own research, where we can help mentor them,” said Dr. Price. “I think part of it is just to let them rely on each other. And oftentimes, I want to step in quickly. And oh, let me, I know the answer. I've done this kind of thing. Here's how you solve this problem quickly. But just take a step back and let them go through that experience.”


Dr. Price uses Bloom's Taxonomy, which is a classification system used to define and distinguish different levels of human cognition.


“There's a triangle of hierarchy of learning, and research hits, I think, every single one of those levels. And by doing research, you're able to create new knowledge, so we want to give students those opportunities.” said Price. “The hard part is, research can be hard. And it can be difficult. As you start to get into it, the challenges come and the problems start to happen and the problem solving has to kick in. By forming a community by getting students together in a group, there's something special about students being in a collaborative environment, where they're facing the same challenges and same opportunities.”


The purpose of education is to help students gain valuable skills they can use for any job/major. Such as problem solving, critical thinking, communication, etc. These are the skills that every employer is looking for, but they are also the hardest skills to teach and learn.


In the interview Dr. Price mentioned his love of teaching when he said “One of the big things that attracted me here was the opportunity to work with students and be a part of a college experience and a college atmosphere.” A good educator is someone who truly understands and cares about the students. Technology can both help and hinder this process. While you are able to meet with people over a large distance, There is a different connection when it comes to face-to-face communication. Connecting with the students is essential if professors want them to reach their goals. Professors want their students to succeed, and that means pushing them to learn and grow.


“I've tried to embrace the student’s goals, and support their goals no matter what they are and that's how we measure success. When you look at our job placements, and when you look at talk to these students afterwards, they're incredibly happy. They're achieving their definitions of success. The Health Education Action Lab is successful because we're helping these students achieve their dreams.”


“We take any student, any major, we have an open door policy, where we will help train you on how to do empirical research and give you the skills that you are looking for, no matter what your discipline is, and we welcome anybody, and it's an awesome experience.”


Dr. Price’s research focuses on the application of behavioral economic tools in a variety of settings. He joined SUU in 2014 and received SUU’s Outstanding Educator of the Year Award in 2016. To learn more, book an interview via the profile link above.


Connect with:
Josh Price

Josh Price

Associate Professor of Economics

Specializing in the economics of public policy, choice architecture, and litigation consulting

Behavioral EcnomicsPolicy Analysis and ManagementEconomic LossesHealth EconomicsData Analysis

You might also like...

Check out some other posts from Southern Utah University

1 min

Southern Paiute Rhetoric Class Teaches Native Culture

Southern Utah University has always valued its surrounding area's history and diversity. The University offers a myriad of classes on culture, diversity, inclusion, and the like, and it just added another. The Southern Paiute and Native American Rhetoric class (ENGL 4160), taught by Dr. Julia Combs, is providing students with the unique opportunity to better understand the language and culture of the Southern Paiute people that reside in southern Utah. “The real purpose of the class is to learn to listen rhetorically, to learn what kinds of communication are valuable to the group, and learn how to be better allies in their efforts to preserve their culture,” said Dr. Combs, English professor and director of SUU’s Writing Center. “To set aside biases and listen to what someone is saying and why they’re saying it. I think the students are really benefiting from this kind of cultural enrichment.” Knowledge-keepers, or Elders, from the Southern Paiute tribe, are invited to the class to teach about their culture and their language, and each student’s job is to practice rhetorical listening–a way of critically thinking while remaining open to new ideas surrounding people, culture, and language. Dr. Julia Combs's research focuses on the history of rhetoric, particularly feminist rhetoric of the seventeenth century, the rhetoric of place and space and writing in the disciplines. Book an interview via her profile link above. 

2 min

Dr. Jackie Grant Awarded Renowned Fulbright Fellowship

Southern Utah University is pleased to announce that Dr. Jacqualine Grant, associate professor of geosciences, museum curator, and published scientific illustrator, has received a Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program award to conduct conservation biology teaching and research in New Zealand. Dr. Grant is among very few that have received the Fulbright Scholar award and is the first female recipient from SUU. Dr. Grant will perform research and lead seminars at Massey University in Palmerston North as part of a project to understand native plant diversity and its cultural significance. She will also spend five months at the New Zealand Indigenous Flora Seed Bank working with colleagues to identify the components of the Maori seed-banking protocol that can be applied to a Paiute seed-banking program. “Being awarded a Fulbright in 2019 was both very exciting and stressful because of the timing,” said Dr. Grant. “I received news of the award just months before everything shut down due to COVID-19. The project’s original date was set to begin in 2021, but my host country, New Zealand, closed its borders to most travelers until the summer of 2022. It's a huge and humbling honor to be awarded a Fulbright, and the award comes with a big responsibility because you are expected to represent the people of the United States.” Led by the United States government in partnership with more than 160 countries worldwide, the Fulbright Program offers international educational and cultural exchange programs for passionate and accomplished students, scholars, artists, teachers, and professionals of all backgrounds to study, teach, or pursue important research and professional projects.

3 min

Tips for Beginner Ice Skaters

Whether you enjoy figure skating, hockey, or speed skating, winter is the best time to bundle up and head to your local ice rink. So, which of the 200 biggest U.S. cities have the most glorious opportunities to glide on ice? To find out, LawnStarter ranked 2023’s Best Cities for Ice Skating. Dr. Kelly Goonan, program coordinator and assistant professor of outdoor recreation in parks and tourism at Southern Utah University, offers the following advice for beginners as well as important safety tips while enjoying the outdoors.  For someone trying ice skating for the first time, I would recommend going to a skating rink since you can be confident that the ice is being maintained and is safe for skating. Also, be prepared to fall and try again! Don’t be discouraged if it doesn’t “click” right away, as many activities take more than one try to get the hang of. For most people, the hardest aspect of ice skating is stopping. There are multiple techniques to stop, so it’s a good idea to ask a staff member or experienced ice skater to explain and demonstrate those techniques. Start out slow and practice stopping. Once you are able to come to a controlled stop, then you can pick up the pace. Dr. Goonan recommends skating at an ice rink, as they are maintained and monitored to ensure the ice is strong enough to hold the weight of the skaters and likely will not have any hazards like cracks, large chips, or thin spots. Judging the strength of ice on natural bodies of water –– like lakes or ponds –– is very difficult to do without special training and equipment. Even on very cold days, the ice may not be suitable for skating. It is important to understand that the risk of injury is much higher skating on natural bodies of water than at a rink, and skating on frozen bodies of water is not advised. However, if you do choose to ice skate outdoors on a frozen body of water, take the following precautions: Do not skate on river ice or ice covered in snow. Stay away from white ice. Do not skate if you see cracks in the ice. Ice should be clear and at least 4 inches (10 cm) thick. Check multiple areas to ensure there are no thin spots, cracks, or white ice. Wear a life jacket over your winter jacket. This may sound silly, but wet clothes will be heavier and make it more difficult to get out of the water or keep your head above the surface if you do fall in. Go with a buddy. Never go ice skating outdoors on natural bodies of water by yourself. Research and practice self-rescue skills for falling through ice into water. If someone falls through the ice, do not go after them. Call 9-1-1 immediately. If you are able, reach or toss an object like a rope, ladder, or tree branch to the victim. If you have an item they can hold onto to help them stay afloat, like an extra life jacket, toss that to them as well. Talk to them and remain calm while you wait for professional rescue crews to arrive. A self-described “hybrid recreation ecologist/recreation social scientist”, Dr. Goonan’s expertise is in the management of outdoor recreation, natural resources, and protected areas. She is familiar with the media and available for an interview

View all posts