Fall course examines global health from One Health perspective
We’re all in this together.
That is the premise of an interdisciplinary field known as One Health, which recognizes that the health of people, the health of animals and the health of the environment are intricately connected. This fall, University of Minnesota students will have the chance to delve into the multiple dimensions of health from a One Health perspective in the Grand Challenge Curriculum course Seeking Solutions to Global Health Issues (GCC 5003).
“We will be looking at some key global health challenges from historical, gendered, environmental, multidisciplinary and systems perspectives,” says Cheryl Robertson, a course instructor and associate professor in the School of Nursing. “We hope students will come away with an appreciation for how complex and interconnected these issues are.”
The course is open to upper-class and graduate students of any discipline, but would be particularly appropriate for those in health-related fields, global studies, public policy, biology and other life sciences, says Fred Rose, a course instructor and co-director of the Institute on the Environment’s Acara program.
“We will follow the same approach as we do in Acara courses — students identify problems and work in teams to develop plausible solutions,” Rose said. Classes will include lecture as well as interdisciplinary team problem-solving.
“The class goes beyond theory,” says Robertson, who was the University lead on a project in the Democratic Republic of the Congo working on emerging pandemic threats. “Students will not only gain understanding but also get the skills they’ll need to come up with very cool, creative solutions.”
Nicholas Stoks, a pre-med student in the College of Liberal Arts, took the course last year. He said he was impressed most by “all of the discussion that took place. It was not a typical course where the professor lectures at you. All of the professors engaged the class and made it a space where everyone’s opinions and ideas mattered.”
Stoks, whose team worked to find a solution to help reduce or eliminate iron deficiency in Uganda, said he learned how important it is to persevere in the face of obstacles. “I would definitely recommend any of the Grand Challenge courses. You learn so much about the material but also how to push yourself to never give up. They challenge you to think critically about what you are learning and then translate that into all other aspects of your life.”
Photo by Michael Foley (Flickr/Creative Commons)