The Survey of the Health of Wisconsin (SHOW) is an extensive public health research project at the Department of Population Health Sciences in the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. 

SHOW has been collecting current data about the health of adults and their community environments in Wisconsin since 2008. Children were added to the survey in 2014. Longitudinal follow-up in 2017, recruitment in hard-to-reach subpopulations in 2018-2019, and COVID-19 survey and serological testing in 2020.

Project opportunities

The Survey of the Health of Wisconsin team offers opportunities for several students to be involved in conducting primary data collection, recruiting and conducting in-home interviews, and collecting data on the social and built environment of SHOW participants. Students may have the opportunity to support field operations and data collection, design surveys or communication materials, or conduct data cleaning and analyses for research.

SHOW takes 1-3 MPH students at one time, during the academic school year or summer, pending project availability and resources. For 2020-2021, currently SHOW is taking MPH students.

A student’s capstone could revolve around using the stories collected while in the field to describe their experience collecting data on the health of Wisconsin residents. Students could keep journals while working. Alternatively, if students are interested in writing descriptive papers using SHOW data on a topic of interest, or wish to work on other data reporting opportunities (fact sheets, county reports) for their capstone, this could be supported as well.

This is a special opportunity to be involved in exciting work to investigate health in Wisconsin, and to be mentored by leaders in the fields of public health and survey research.

A few past MPH students and topics that worked with SHOW include the following:

  • Bianca Silva, Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Prevention Among Wisconsin Adults, 2020
  • Amy Van Aartsen, Dissemination of testing resources to Private Well Water users, 2020
  • Allison Rodriguez, Survey of the LantinX Community in Wisconsin, 2019
  • Jewon Lee, Survey of the Health of Wisconsin Community Health Report for Brown County, 2019
  • Karissa Ryan, Obesity prevention among Wisconsin Adults, 2017
  • Madison Carey, Using Data for Public Health Action: The Role Stakeholder Engagement Played in Optimally Disseminating SHOW data, 2016
  • Elizabeth Hovel, Economic Hardship and Cardiovascular Health in Wisconsin, 2015
  • Maggie Grabow, What Moves Us: A Comparison of Perceived and Objective Predictors of Active Transportation Behaviors, 2013

Ideal student qualifications

The Survey of the Health of Wisconsin seeks MPH students interested in exploring innovative methods of health data dissemination, including websites and social media. Students should have strong writing skills, basic quantitative skills and an interest in health communication and dissemination research.