Global Public Health Scholars Present Global Health Workforce Research at CUGH Conference
In April, three undergraduate students with the College Park Scholars Global Public Health Program, along with School of Public Health faculty and graduate student advisors, traveled to San Francisco to present research at the Consortium for Universities in Global Health (CUGH) conference, one of the largest professional meetings of global health researchers and practitioners. This year, the CUGH conference focused on workforce development needs.
“Several of our Global Health Scholars had an important opportunity to travel to a key conference to present our research, where they were able to interact with leading public health experts who gave presentations at the conference,” said Jacob Bueno de Mesquita, a doctoral student in toxicology and environmental health and a graduate assistant for the Global Health Scholars program.
The poster, How to Optimize Global Health Education for Undergraduates: The Value of a Living-Learning Community and Practical Training at the University of Maryland, College Park [see poster image below], was developed by researchers:
- P. Jacob Bueno de Mesquita, PhD student, Maryland Institute for Applied Environmental Health
- Abigail Bickford, PhD student, Dept. of Behavioral and Community Health
- Brittany Brown, undergraduate student, Public Health Science Program
- Emily Claure, undergraduate student, Public Health Science Program
- Ajay Kurian, undergraduate student, Fischell Dept. of Engineering
- Aliyah Silver, undergraduate student, Dept. of Biology
- Elisabeth Maring, faculty advisor, Maryland Institute for Applied Environmental Health
The UMD research team examined the value and impact of the College Park Scholars Global Public Health Program, which is a two-year undergraduate living/learning community in global public health administered by the School of Public Health. In the Global Health Scholars Program, students live together in the dormitory during at least the first year of the program and take classes together. Global Health Scholars have a common academic scholarly thread but may be from any major; they are also required to complete a practical heads-on learning experience during the two years and present a related poster.
Four Global Health Scholars helped investigate the impact the program has on students in terms of launching them to become part of the global health workforce post-graduation. By conducting a literature review of gaps in the global health workforce and comparing those needs to skills and experience provided by the Scholars Program, as well as through surveying alumni, the students found that graduates of the Scholars Program maintained an overwhelming connectedness with global health issues, regardless of the field they ended up working on.
“The Global Health Scholars Program is designed to make the experience thoughtful, meaningful, and relevant to ongoing global health initiatives. We also emphasize a local perspective when thinking about big, important pressing global initiatives,” Mr. Bueno de Mesquita explained.
He said that presenting at the CUGH conference was a great opportunity to represent the ongoing global health research efforts at the University of Maryland, well as for the Scholars Program to expand its network with global health professionals. (View poster as PowerPoint slide)