College of Public Health introduces Web courses and study abroad program

Michaela Write

After three semesters of existence, the College of Public Health now offers introductory Web courses at branch campuses and study abroad opportunities.

Thomas Brewer, associate professor of social and behavior science, said the College of Public Health curriculum is still developing.

“Our entire curriculum is basically two semesters old,” Brewer said. “We’ve actually done fairly significant revision of the curriculum even in that very short period of time. We think we have a pretty good program, but it’s evolving.”

John Spieler teaches introduction to public health online for the Stark campus. Spieler has a doctoral degree in public health and researched Kent State when the College of Public Health was being formed.

“Intro to public health and public health in general is just exciting,” Spieler said. “It opens up a lot of opportunities for students.”

Madhav Bhatta, assistant professor of epidemiology at Kent campus, said students will get practical experience in Alabama during a new summer intersession course, field experience in meeting basic health and human needs.

Bhatta said the course is for undergraduate students, but graduate students can also apply. They will learn practical skills in public health, nursing and anthropology.

“Community leaders from Haiti are also participating in the course,” Bhatta said. “Students will have the opportunity to communicate with workers from Haiti, so they know the people and understand what their experiences are.”

The application deadline is March 15. The two-week long course begins May 15.

“You learn things in class but being able to do it or see it in action is whole new experience that will last for a lifetime,” Bhatta said. “Hopefully, we will have more study abroad opportunities for next year.”

Ken Slenkovich, assistant dean for the College of Public Health, said the college is offering a three-week program in Geneva, Switzerland. The program is already filled for this summer.

“Geneva is the home to a lot of international health organizations,” Slenkovich said. “The students will get exposed to the kind of work that they do all over the world.”

The Global Health Immersion program is a joint course between the College of Public Health and the College of Nursing. Ten students from each college will attend. Students will stay at Kent State’s facilities in downtown Geneva. Slenkovich hopes to expand the course to a semester-long program.

Slenkovich said the college has signed an agreement with a university in Colombia, South America. The college is planning for future study abroad opportunities.

“We’re working with Kent State’s office of International Affairs as they establish relationships in China and India,” Slenkovich said. “We hope to be able to develop study abroad programs for our students as well and in other parts of the world.”

Contact Michaela Write at [email protected]