Category Archives: Global Public Health

Fall 2012 Courses – Cultural Anthropology and Global Public Health

We are back! I want to welcome all the new and returning students at East Carolina University! During this fall 2012 semester, I teach one undergraduate course and one graduate course. The courses are:

ANTH 2200 – Cultural Anthropology

MPH 6007 – Global Public Health (DE)

Each year presents a new set of challenges for me in my courses and I am looking forward to everyone’s participation. Whether the course is face-to-face or online, I try to bring my style of teaching to the class in which all of us can learn from each other.

So are you ready for some work and fun? Let’s get started.

Fall 2011 – Global Public Health – Another Exciting Semester!

It was another exciting and innovative Global Public Health course this past fall. It seems like every year, this course continues to increase in enrollment and the wide array of graduate students & professionals who take the course continues to impress me. I had exciting time organizing, producing and presenting this DE (distance education) course which included more online global public health videos and of course my podcasts & webcasts lectures.

Just in case you are not aware of the major objectives of this global public health course, here they are again. Students will learn to :
1. Identify and assess the major components of medical anthropology and public health as they relate to global public health issues;
2. Identify and discuss the major global public health concerns of specific populations from one country to another; and
3. Apply principles and strategies derived from medical anthropology and public health toward planning, implementing and evaluating global public health interventikon programs.

By the end of the course, I feel that all students achieved the status as a “Global Public Health Director.” To see what I mean, check out some of the titles of the outstanding Global Public Health Projects/Proposals from my students:

Increasing Flu Awareness and Education in Mexican Rural Areas

A HPV Intervention to Prevent Cancers Related to the Virus Through the HPV Vaccine Worldwide

Protecting Racial Minority Populations Through Influenza Vaccination

Contraception Increase among Jordanian Muslim Women

Global Public Health & Geriatric Patient Prescription Consumption

Sickle Cell Trait: The Quality of Life of the Carrier

Pilot Program to Develop Community-Based Preconception Health Education Programs

HIV/AIDS: A Global Public Health Program

Eating to Live, Not Living to Eat

Effects of HIV Education and Awareness on Risk-Related Behaviors among Black Women in Eastern North Carolina

The Life of Migrant and Seasonal Workers in Greene County

The Interrelationship of Food Security, Environmental Degradation, Sustainable Agriculture, and Other Variables: An Interventional Proposition for Betterment in Our Interdependent World

Healthcare Education Level Assessment: A Global Public Health Priority and Concern

Health Literacy Effects on Adolescent and Teen Girls’ Decision Regarding Health Across Various Cultures

Burden of Cardiovascular Disease in Eastern North Carolina: Case Study of Craven

A Tale of Two Cultures: Infant Mortality Comparisons for Hispanic Women and African American Women

Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse Worldwide

Car Seats: Saving One Child at a Time Through Injury Prevention

Prevention of Rheumatic Heart Disease and Diagnosis and Treatment of Acute Streptoccal Pharyngitis: Overcoming Barriers in Nicaragua

Common Sexually Transmitted Diseases in the United States and Latin America and the Caribbean: A Global Approach to Identifying Commong Personal Barriers to STD Awareness Practices

Global Application of the Bridge Counselor Program: Assessing Barriers that PLWHA Experience in Accessing Medical Care and Receiving Anti-Retroviral Therapy in Eastern North Carolina

A Proposal to Reduce the Effects of Anitbiotic Resistant Bacteria

HIV/AIDS in Black and Caribbean Communities: “Protect Yourself” Intervention Proposal

Prostate Cancer and teh African American Male: A Global Health Study

Obesity and Nutrition in Western Culture

Fall 2010 Teaching Two Classes – Cultural Anthropology and Global Public Health


The start of the Fall 2010 semester is in full swing and the excitement of another academic year at East Carolina University is upon us! It’s always exciting to see the new set of students and the returning students come back to ECU. They are filled with energy, enthusiam, optimism, and uncertainty — all of which is natural when we all start a new phase of our lives.

This fall semester, I am teaching my regular rotation of two classes — Cultural Anthropology (ANTH 2200) – an undergraduate course AND Global Public Health (MPH 6007) – a graduate course. With regards to my Cultural Anthropology course, I always enjoy teaching this course because we can discuss so many cultural topics that hopefully relates to many of the students in some form or fashion. This is also a course that I have been teaching for over 23 years at various universities and each semester I fine-tuned it to meet the interests of the current students taking this course. One thing for sure about this course over the years, students are ready to learn so much about the world yet need encouragement, motivation and innovative teaching to inspire them to take that chance.

As for my Global Public Health course (MPH 6007), I have been teaching this course online for the past 3 years! I thoroughly enjoy producing this course online because it allows me to create new ways of lecturing via podcasts/webcasts as well as in developing innovative ways for students to interact with each other online. The course topics of this Global Public Health course are always very timely and connect all of us with the world health issues throughout the entire semester. Each year, I get more students who have been waiting all of their academic career to learn about other country’s public health issues. We need to recognize the IMPORTANCE of global health issues to each graduate student that we train here at ECU and universities in the United States. Our students want it and they deserve it.

Finally, I am also starting our Ethnic and Rural Health (ERHD) Graduate Certificate Online Program this fall semester. It’s an exciting start and we feel that it will make a significant impact in the graduate training of future public health and medical professionals in the U.S. and around the world.

Yes… I am Back and ready to Go!

Global Public Health – MPH 6007 – Fieldwork Projects Topics

During last Fall 2008, I taught another semester of my Global Public Health MPH 6007 course (originally titled “Medical Anthropology & Public Health: A Global Perspective”) for graduate students in the Department of Public Health at ECU and at other universities in the state. Since I transitioned this course like my other graduate courses to online last year, I have thoroughly enjoyed teaching this course in a new format. Using the online blackboard tools and software, I have found that teaching this Global Public Health course a truly rewarding and necessary component of my teaching portfolio as well as a necessary learning component for students who are going into public health and/or medicine.

For those who are interested in this course, here are the major course objectives:
1. Identify and assess the major components of medical anthropology and public health as they relate to global public health issues;
2. Identify and discuss the major global public health concerns of specific populations from one country to another;
3. Apply principles and strategies derived from medical anthropology and public health toward planning, implementing and evaluating global public health intervention programs.

During the fall semester, students receive their lectures via podcast and webcam formats. The podcast and webcam lectures highlights the major key points from the designated readings from each week. Students also receive a set of discussion board questions each week along with the opportunity to participate in our weekly, topic oriented chat sessions usually in the early evening. If students are not able to attend, then they can read the recordings of the chat session later in the week. The advantages of this online technology allows many students to engage in all types of interaction whether in the structured format of the discussion board session or the free-flowing, semi-structured format of the chat room sessions. In either case, students truly get into the specific global public health issue of the week. In addition, each semester I include video links to short documentaries in which the student can download and view. These short documentaries are on specific global public health issues from countries all over the world.

Along with the weekly activities, students are also required to complete a fieldwork project or a proposed fieldwork project. I believe that these fieldwork projects showcases the cultural health, public health and global perspective of this course. Students investigate, examine and solve real global public health issues that they want — not what I want. Thus this course (like all of my courses) is student driven and focused. By the end, if the student is truly motivated, interested and passionate about their topic, it shows in their final fieldwork project or proposal. After teaching for over 20 years, I can definitely tell.

Now that I have been teaching this course for 4 years (originally in the traditional face-to-face format) and recognizing that global health courses are finally becoming apart of every university’s curriculum, I get excited every semester to know that all of my students are gaining a new perspective on health and medical care that they normally do not get elsewhere. Although it is important to know about the health and medical care issues of our immediate surroundings and region (eastern North Carolina), it is significantly important to get a better understanding of the global and world public health issues simply because our world is changing each and every day and we must be prepared! That’s how important this class is today and in the future for all those who will be working in a health or medical related field in the near future.

Here is a list of some of the projects completed by students last Fall 2008 semester.

Reducing the Risk of Chronic Diseases Through the Reduction of Tobacco Use and Exposure: A Global Public Health Issue

Breast Cancer in North Carolina: African American Women

A Global Perspective of HIV/AIDS

Globalization: Effects of India’s Growing Population and Medical Anthropology

Complementary and Alternative Medicine Use by African Americans in Eastern North Carolina

Access to Healthcare: Rural vs Urban

Attitudes about HIV Testing on a South-Eastern U.S. College Campus and Developing a Questionnaire Technique for Other Populations

Successful Aging: Having the Time of Your Life

The Effects of Teenage STD Rates Around the World

Oncology Nurses and Relation to Patients in an Office-Based Setting: A Fieldwork Project

Health Literacy, Education, Culture and Dementia

A Global Perspective of Tobacco Smoke Exposure

Childhood Obesity: A Global Epidemic

Eating Habits and Perceptions of Infants and Pre-School Age Children

As you can see, these fieldwork projects were outstanding, investigative, diverse, practical and global all within a culturally competent approach. Although it is challenging on every student to investigate a local issue in a global perspective or another country’s public health issue from a different perspective, the students in all of my global public health classes (and all of my classes) achieve this outcome! That’s the major goal and outcome of this course each and every time that I teach it! This online format has allowed me and students to venture “outside the box” of our teaching philosophy and pedagogy.