Category Archives: Graduate Course

Ethnic Health & Health Disparities Fieldwork Projects and Proposals – MPH 6008

In my Ethnic Health & Health Disparities course – MPH 6008, there are three major objectives: (1) Identify and assess the major health issues associated with specific ethnic and health disparity populations in the United States; (2) Describe ethnic health and health disparity issues, including its unique and important features; and (3) Apply principles and strategies derived from public health and medical anthropology toward planning, implementing and evaluating specific ethnic health and health disparities intervention programs.

One of the major requirements for students in this class is to complete an ethnic health & health disparities fieldwork project or proposal. Students are asked to do a project or proposal of THEIR choice and interest that’s related to our course. Fortunately, the projects and proposals from my students have been outstanding, informative and very practical. Here are SOME of the ethnic health and health disparities fieldwork projects and proposals from the past couple of years:

2013 Ethnic Health & Health Disparities Fieldwork Projects and Proposals

The Perception of Married Latina Women HIV Transmission and Risk Factors

The Health Disparities of Obesity among African American Women

Hispanic Culture and Diabetes: The Susceptibility of Today’s Youth

Bridging the Gap Between Traditional and Mainstream Healthcare Practices

Asian Indians and Health Disparity

Get Up and Move: African Americans and Obesity

Improving Breastfeeding Support for African American Mothers

Health Disparities among HIV/AIDS Population

Combatting Diabetes in Adult Hispanic/Latino in Pitt County, NC.

Gun Violence in the African American Community

Mental Health Issues among Latino Farmworkers

2012 Ethnic Health & Health Disparities Fieldwork Projects and Proposals

Understanding Infant Mortality among African American Women within Pitt County, NC.

Depression: A Proposal to Evaluate Barriers that Affect African American Males from Seeking Care

Targeting Skin Cancer among Caucasian Women in the United States

A Proposal to Study the Knowledge, Beliefs and Perceptions of Diabetes among the Lumbee Tribe

Communication Breakdown: Impacts of Cultural Competency on Physician and Patient Communication and Strategies to Reduce Ethnic Health Disparities

Tobacco Use in Ethnic Rural Health Disparities: West Virginian Disparities and Culturally Competent Solutions

A Gospel of Good Health: A Fieldwork Study on the Importance of Health and Faith

Solving the Ethnic Health Disparity of Chronic Liver Disease Attributable to Alcohol Consumption in Lumbee Native Americans

Spring 2012 Courses – Professional Development Anthropology, Medical Anthropology and Ethnic Health & Health Disparities

We are at the start of the Spring 2012 semester and it’s time for another great semester of teaching. During the spring semeter, I teach two undergraduate courses and one graduate courses. The courses are:

ANTH 4501 – Professional Development Anthropology

ANTH 3252 – Medical Anthropology (DE)

MPH 6008 – Ethnic Health & Health Disparities (DE)

Each course brings its own set of exciting and investigative issues to discuss and investigate. Whether the course is face-to-face or distance education, I enjoy finding new ways to present the lecture material and encouraging students to take the lead on their projects/proposals.

Let’s get started!

Ethnic Health & Health Disparities Student Fieldwork Projects – 2011

One of the most exciting classes that I teach throughout the year is the Ethnic Health & Health Disparities class – MPH 6008. This course continues to be a very unique course primarily because it allows students to investigate practical and serious ethnic health issues that are often overlooked in our society today.

Here are some of 2011 Ethnic Health & Health Disparities fieldwork projects/proposals:


The Need for Good Nutrition and Physical Activity Within the African American Population Especially the School Children

Eliminating HPV Linked Cancer Disparities among Minorities Within Eastern North Carolina

“Que Onda..?” A Discussion about Health with Honduran Male Immigrants Living in Durham, NC

Racial and Ethnic Disparities in the Treatment of Pain

Perceptions of HIV Risk among Black Women in Eastern North Carolina

Efficacy of Smoking Cessation Programs for Rural White Virginians

Obesity and its Ethnic Health Disparities

Motor Vehicle Crashes among Lumbee Youth in North Carolina

An Individual and Community-Based Intervention to Decrease the Prevalence of Diabetes among Lumbee Indian Youth and Prevent the Occurrence of Cardiovascular Disease

These fieldwork projects/proposals showed alot of diversity of the type of relevant ethnic health and health disparity issues in North Carolina and throughout the United States.

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

Spring 2011 – Teaching Three Courses – 2 Undergraduate & 1 Graduate Course

We are officially back again! The Spring 2011 semester is underway and it looks like another very active and engaging set of classes. My three courses consist of:

1. Medical Anthropology: ANTH 3252 – DE format – Undergraduate
2. Professional Development Anthropology: ANTH 4501 – Face to Face – Undergraduate
3. Ethnic Health & Health Disparities: MPH 6008 – DE format – Graduate

All three courses presents their challenges because they require me to design the course material in an approach that appeals to three different student audiences. In particular, my two DE classes allow me to present my lecture material in podcasts and webcasts formats. Although it takes alot of extra prep time to get these podcasts and webcasts lectures together, once I begin recording each lecture that’s when the fun starts. By the end of each podcast and webcast lecture, I cover a majority of my key critical thinking points and also try to keep each lecture fresh and entertaintaining. Both of these DE courses (Medical Anthropology and Ethnic Health & Health Disparities) are very unique courses in which I can feel that students truly want to take what they learn from these classes and apply these concepts and issues to real life medical and health care issues.

As for my Professional Development Anthropology class, it is designed to give students practical real life skills and opportunities that will prepare them for the next stage in their academic or professional careers. Here I try to get all students to take that important step forward now by asking questions, listening to experts who visit the class, and visiting ECU programs that will give them special insight into professionalizing their anthropological training. Of course the overall goal of the class is to provide students with more of an organized and visual outlook of their future in the field of anthropology. Yet the real outcome of this class is to reduce the anxiety and uncertainty that many students feel when taking the next step forward in their professional careers. Something that all of us face at some point in our career. Matter of fact, I wish that I had a course like this when I was an undergraduate anthropology major at Miami University (Oxford, OH) back in the 70s!

That’s right, another semester is underway and I’m looking forward to learning something new again!

African American Health – MPH 6005 – Summer 1 – 2010

Well, another African American Health course is completed and I had another great, fantastic and fast-paced time teaching this online course! Now that this African American course is established during the Summer 1 session (mid-May-end of June), I have re-worked much of the lecture material to make sure students recognize the major themes that I feel are important to remember from this course. Although there is so much health and medical issues to cover in such a short period of time on African American health, I primarily emphasized the cultural health patterns that cuts across a vast majority of these African American health disparities issues.

In this class, students did an excellent job in completing their assignments (discussion board, midterm, final exam, fieldwork projects/proposal) and participating in the chat sessions. The major advantage in teaching this course online is that I can provide students with the latest and most current research documents or video documentaries on all aspects related to African American health. This year was no exception because of all the new national health care initiatives being implemented, I was able to introduce these issues to the class and students responded through their assignments.

Here are some of the EXCELLENT and OUTSTANDING FIELDWORK PROJECTS/PROPOSALS from this African American Health course – MPH 6005 – Summer 1 – 2010:

Stress and Coping Skills amon African Americans
Obesity and Its Effects on the Black American Community
Patients Beliefs and Behaviors about Breast Cancer Screening
Knowledge and Attitude of Diabetes among African American Women: A Qualitative Fieldwork Project
A Proposal to Conduct a Study on the Perception of African Americans in Wake County NC of HIV/AIDS and STDS
Barriers to HIV Testing in African Americans
African American Women and HIV
Accessing the Perceptions of Healthy Eating and Availability of Healthier Food Choices in the African American Community
African American Mental Health Disparities
An Examination of the Disparities of Hypertension within the African American Community
An African American Male’s Insights and Perspective on the Health Status of His Fellow Brothers

As with all of my courses and particularly with this African American Health course in which I actually developed in the early 1990s, I am very pleased how students are very committed to learning more about this particular topic. Each year, I learn something new from my students and I hope also that students learn something new from me as I further make changes to this course each and every year! It was fun, engaging, fast and I can’t wait for next years class in 2011!

2010 Spring Course: Ethnic Health & Health Disparities: MPH 6008

Greetings Everyone,

It’s another exciting Spring semester in which I get to teach my Ethnic Health and Health Disparities course in the distance education, online approach. This course continues to be one of a kind in the nation simply because ethnic health and health disparities is a tough and sensitive curriculum topic to teach even today. Yet that’s the very reason why I get excited teaching this class as well students are more than ready to talk and investigate all the issues related to today’s ethnic and health disparity issues.

The major objectives that students will receive from this course are:
1. Identify and assess the major health issues associated with specific ethnic and health disparity populations in the United States;
2. Describe ethnic health and health disparity issues; including its unique and important features; and
3. Apply principles and strategies derived from public health and medical anthropology toward planning, implementing and evaluating specific ethnic health and health disparities intervention programs.

In addition to completing this course objectives, students will have the opportunity to complete an applied ethnic health and health disparity project/proposal. You can check out some of the outstanding projects/proposals from an earlier entry of the blog connected to this course.

Overall, this is one of my most exciting, engaging, thought-provoking, and politically-edgy courses that I enjoy dialoguing about with my students. For all those students who complete this course, their perspective and approach to ethnic health and health disparity topics often changes. That’s a good thing!

ERHD Graduate Certificate Program – Open to All Students Who Qualify

I want to thank all the inquires from potential students, professionals and faculty who have inquired about our new ERHD program over the past few months. We have been working diligently to get our new program into the system at East Carolina University and to obtain federal funding from HRSA (Health Resources and Service Administration).

We want to emphasize to all that this program is OPEN TO ALL GRADUATE STUDENTS AND PROFESSIONALS WHO QUALIFY AND WHO WANT TO BECOME EXPERTS IN THIS AREA OF ETHNIC AND RURAL HEALTH DISPARITIES. THERE IS NO LIMIT IN THE NUMBER OF STUDENTS WHO WE ADMIT AT THIS TIME. WE ARE LOOKING FOR AS MANY INTERESTED GRADUATE STUDENTS OR PROFESSIONALS AS POSSIBLE.

We are however, limited in the number of students we can fund to take the courses. Therefore, if you can afford to take one course at a time, we welcome your application and your record so that you can become apart of a brand new type of expert in the field of public health, medicine, nursing, allied health and medical anthropology — Specialists who are experts in Ethnic and Rural Health Disparities.

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.

Ethnic Health and Health Disparities – MPH 6008 – Fieldwork Projects Topics

During this past Spring 2009, I taught another semester of my Ethnic Health and Health Disparities MPH 6008 course 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 another way to teach this course. Using the online blackboard tools and software, I have found that teaching Ethnic Health & Health Disparities course a truly rewarding experience because my students and I can learn so much more with incorporating the new technologies within our course activities.

For those who are interested in this course, here are the major course objectives:
1. Identify and assess the major health issues associated with specific ethnic and health disparity populations in the United States.
2. Describe ethnic health and health disparity issues, including its unique and important features.
3. Apply principles and strategies derived from public health and medical anthropology toward planning, implementing and evaluating specific ethnic health and health disparities intervention programs.

During the spring semester, students receive their lectures via podcast and webcam format. 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 all chat sessions are recorded so that every student can review our weekly chat sessions. 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 ethnic and health disparity topics of the week. Students also receive special video links in which they can view short documentary films on specific ethnic and health disparity topics each week.

Along with the weekly activities, students are also required to complete a fieldwork project or a proposed fieldwork project. I think that these fieldwork projects captures the practical, public health and cultural health focus of this course. Students investigate and solve real ethnic health and health disparity issues that they want to do — 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 easily tell.

Now that I have been teaching this course for 4 years (originally in the traditional face-to-face format) and recognizing that it is still one of most unique courses in all of the U.S. colleges and universities, I get thoroughly delighted to know that all of my students are breaking new ground in solving ethnic and health disparity issues in eastern North Carolina and the United States. 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 this Spring 2009 semester:

The Lack of Cultural Competency as an Inhibitor of Health in Refugee Populations in North Carolina

Culturally Competent Birthing Solutions

Why is Glaucoma Prevalent in African Americans and Is Age a Factor?

How African American Women Use Multiple Strategies to Cope with Life Stresses

Fieldwork Project on a HIV/AIDS Outreach Program

A Perspective on HIV/AIDS Among a Select Group of African American Men

Ethnic and Health Disparities Due to Health Literacy: Spotlight on Hispanic Women of Reproductive Age

Targeting Breast Cancer among African American Women in Nash County

Obesity Among African Americans

Educating the State of North Carolina About the Effects of an Unhealthy Lifestyle

Pediactric Oral Health Practices of Caucasian and Latina Women in Pitt County, North Carolina

Developing New Strategies to Improve Physical Activity among Low Socioeconomic Status (SES) Groups

African American Women Health Disparities: A Look at Awareness

African American Adolescent Females & Body Image

Childhood Obesity; A Closer Look

As you can see, these fieldwork projects/proposals were phenomenial, investigative, insightful, detailed and practical all within a culturally competent approach. Although it is challenging on every student to investigate another group’s health issues and to see the world from another person’s perspective, the students in all of my ethnic health and health disparity 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.

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