Public Health (PBH)
Michele K.H. Malotky, Co-Director of Public Health major and Associate Professor of Biology
Rachel G. Riskind, Co-Director of Public Health major and Assistant Professor of Psychology
Public health is an interdisciplinary field encompassing the science and practice of promoting the health and wellbeing of communities and populations. This wellness promotion is accomplished through such initiatives as health education, preventive medicine, and the monitoring and control of communicable diseases and environmental hazards.
The Public Health major at Guilford is designed to provide students with a strong foundation in public health. In an increasingly globalized world, public health professionals require diverse backgrounds and fields of expertise to tackle the challenges of complex environments. Recognizing this need, students will tailor their major to reflect their passions and career goals by choosing courses from one of three specialization tracks: (1) Natural Science, Disease, and the Environment, (2) Social Science, Health, and Behavior, or (3) Organizations, Business, and Health Policy.
In addition, through internships and community engagement components embedded in their course work, Public Health majors will experience a myriad of high impact, experiential learning pedagogies. Drawing on Guilford’s long history of social justice and community problem solving, students will have the opportunity to engage in ongoing social justice initiatives and community- based research projects, challenging them to apply concepts, research findings, and theories that they have learned in their coursework.
What does “wellness” mean? How can individuals and social contexts, including law, physical environments, and policy, contribute to the prevention, detection, and control of disease? Students in this introductory course will explore historic and contemporary approaches to diverse public health issues. Upon successful completion of this course, students will understand basic public health principles, prominent frameworks in the discipline, and applications of best practices in communities.
Which populations tend to be healthy? Which populations are most in need of public health support? How do we know? Students in this course will learn to apply epidemiologic methods to examine population-based health determinants and identify health disparities. Upon successful completion of this course, students will understand screening, disease surveillance, and outbreak investigation in the context of contemporary social issues. They will also learn to apply descriptive and multivariate statistical analyses to public health issues.
May also be offered at the 390 level.
This course embraces multiple aspects of community-based, interdisciplinary research. Prior to beginning research projects, students will learn about the changing demographics of Guilford County including refugees and underserved populations. They will also receive training in anti-racism and cultural competency to prepare students for working with community members. Through community outreach efforts, students will be involved in the formation and implementation of focus groups and community events to build trusting relationships with community members as well as to identify and assess community needs. Students will work with faculty and student leaders to design, implement and evaluate a community-based research project. Projects will address current community concerns ranging from access to health care to medical and nutritional needs. This instruction will help in the promotion of effective, focused research and will prepare students for developing sustainable relationships with the targeted community
How does the burden of disease vary within and between countries? How does health relate to social and economic factors, such as equity? What challenges make it difficult to promote global health in cost-effective, efficient, and sustainable ways? Students will study key global health principles for the identification, evaluation and intervention of small and large public health problems around the world. Upon successful completion of this course, students will understand the social, cultural, economic and political implications of global health actions. Students will also learn to identify health disparities, constructing historically-rooted analyses of public health problems and drafting evidence-based proposals for intervention that emphasize cooperative public health models.
Represents one of three options for the experiential learning requirement in the major. A written senior thesis may be undertaken as the culmination of independent study or relevant Collaborative Quest (Apply/Contribute) project. The senior thesis must represent independent thought and is designed and conducted under the supervision of a faculty member. Recommended for students planning to attend graduate school.