Syllabus Update

Course Information

Limited Enrollment:
Dept Web Page:

Semester/Topic Description::

This course examines the interplay of biomedical, societal, and ethical concerns in global health. An extended unit on epidemiology offers quantitative tools for analyzing the effectiveness of various public health responses, while readings, guest speakers, and films highlight the influence of cultural, economic, and political factors. Students will research health issues in a population of special interest to them and raise awareness or advocate for a public health concern of their choice. Enrollment limited to 25 students.

Additional information/Expanded description:


Prepared attendance at all classes. Notify me by email of any absences. Missing more than two classes will compromise your performance in the class and will result in a lower grade.

News reports, editorials, graphics of current events in epidemiology and global health (6). Bring articles to class to be posted on the Global Health bulletin board outside the CPGC cafe. Articles should be attached to a cover sheet with your name on the back and the bibliographic reference for the article on the front. We will begin each class reviewing and responding to the current news in public health.

Written reviews of websites (5)

Position papers on readings (4), speakers (3), and films (1). These are one-page (typed) critical responses to an assigned reading, a speakers presentation, or a film showing. Four position papers must be completed before Fall break. Individual papers should be submitted electronically on Blackboard by 8 am on the day for which the reading is assigned or the first class period following the talk or film.

Problem sets in epidemiology. Work through the assigned problems before class. I will collect these sporadically throughout the semester.

Pop quizzes in epidemiology. (2)

MIDTERM AND FINAL: RESEARCH PORTFOLIO of public health issues for a specific population of particular interest to you, e.g., Korean-American elderly; children in Malawi; prisoners in Russia; sex workers in Thailand; Mayan communities in Guatemala; etc.

Data and commentary (Demographics; Geographic, political, cultural factors; Impact of AIDS)

Journal articles and summary/responses (Cohort or case-control study; Randomized trial)

Bibliography of printed and web resources

Analysis of a public health problem (Brief description of 5 major health concerns; Five-page examination of one issue; Proposed strategies for addressing the problem). First installment is due before break. Complete portfolio is due during finals.

ACTIVISM AND ADVOCACY: raising awareness or working on a public health issue. Submit plan for project before fall break. Complete work and write up a 3-page reflection on the personal and public value of the project; due by end of classes. Some examples include:

AIDS Walk:
Poster for World AIDS Day
Organize a film showing or guest speaker
Volunteer with a public health group
Write to the editor or to government officials