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A group of Earlham science faculty is working on a grant proposal to the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. One sub-group, the people listed below, has an interest in developing a public health/health careers component for the proposal.

Who We Are:

  • Peter Blair, Biology
  • Mike Deibel, Chemistry
  • David Matlack, Biology
  • Charlie Peck, Computer Science
  • Lori Watson, Chemistry

Our Questions:

  • Are there local public health issues that can be explored/researched/addressed by a group of motivated students and faculty during a 4 week May course, and possibly some on-going effort during the rest of the year? This program can be continued over the 4 year timeframe of the grant.
  • Are there ways that we can work with local health care providers, public and private, to expose students to the wide variety of health careers?
  • Can Earlham somehow collaborate with IU East, Ivy Tech to enhance regional pre-health, biotech education? (IU East biology professor Joan Lafuze thinks so and is eager to talk.)

Our Current Working Idea:

A 4-week pre-health May program with the following features:

  • 12 motivated, high achieving students (rising sophomores or juniors) interested in a health career (broadly defined) each session
  • 5 faculty facilitators from chemistry, biology, and computer science (2 of whom lead a particular session, all of whom participate in the planning, development and delivery of content)
  • An overarching public health project that will span the entire program, and perhaps include a longitudinal component so that it can be modified for use each year of the grant
  • Exposure of the students to a variety of health careers (public and private)
  • Readings/discussions on humanity in medicine and bioethics
  • Laboratory and field experiments with a health emphasis
  • Specific curricular activities would include data mining of WHO, CDC, Health and Human Services, Indiana data with statistical and meaningful analysis; SIR (susceptible, infected, recovered) epidemiological modeling (CS students would create the modeling program.)
  • Above activities could enable students to help Earlham and local government agencies establish and revise pandemic and other health emergency plans.
  • Possible Fall internship component with local health care providers for students that have participated in the May session
  • Possible year-round student/faculty work on the public health project (at variable levels of effort)


Peter's plan:

  • In the near future we should generate a written synopsis of each particular program component. This mock 'executive summary' should include: 1) Brief summary, 2) Statement of (educational) outcomes, 3) Mode of assessment, 4) Timeframes, and 4) Preliminary budget.