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Oak Leaves

October 6, 2018
 


Global Health Major Added to MU Curriculum


Erin Brock

 

A new global health major has been added to the curriculum at Manchester, allowing students to explore a profession in the medical field or that’s otherwise health related from a more global perspective.

Manchester University is known for its health majors as well as its involvement in international affairs such as study abroad and multicultural focuses. This new major is allowing students to combine those two things and create a professional future from them.

Jeffrey Osborne, professor of chemistry at Manchester, talks about the new major and what it has to offer. “Its broad scope and emphasis on seeking health equity among nations provides a wealth of rewarding career opportunities,” Osborne says. These career options include community health administrator, public health advocate, Peace Corps volunteer, nutritionist, community health worker, and many others. One major benefit of this new major, according to Osborne, is that it can stand on its own or add to other majors.

Osborne and other professors such as Katy Gray Brown (peace studies), Gabby Morales (health communication), and Judd Case (chair of the Department of Communication Studies) realized that this new healthcare option was a viable opportunity for students that could easily incorporate the Manchester mission statement. “It values the infinite worth of every individual and doing so with a focus that includes not just one’s own community but the world at large,” Osborne says.

This new program allows the mission statement to play into it by offering courses such as Global Disease and Concerning Poverty, educating students on health issues not only locally, but worldwide. Students will also be encouraged to take part in opportunities such as the Shepherd Higher Education on Poverty Internship, BCA Study Abroad, and the Medical Practicum during January Session. Other internship opportunities will be added as the major develops. Students who complete the global health major will also be given the opportunity to sit for the Indiana Community Health Workers Certification exam to become a certified community health worker.

With Manchester being one of only four schools in the Midwest offering a global health major, there are many hopes for this new curriculum. To start, it is expected that this new major will be useful in supplementing other majors or studies in the natural sciences, social sciences, language or business. According to Osborne, this should not be a difficult feat given that this major has 20 credit hours overlapping with the traditional courses in the biology-chemistry major for first-years. In addition to those 20 hours, 10 more credit hours can be counted for Core credit.

This new major is a big step in a positive direction for students and faculty at Manchester. By allowing students to major in global health, new doors are being opened and opportunities are being found. While there is not yet a global health minor, one may be considered for future years.