Public health is the science of protecting and improving the health of people and communities through “the promotion of healthy lifestyles, research for disease and injury prevention, and detection and control of infectious diseases” (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). Public health addresses the health of populations that can span from a small, local neighborhood to the world. Taking an interdisciplinary approach to identify and solve problems regarding the mental, physical, and emotional well-being of populations, public health draws from biomedicine, biomedical technology and engineering, public policy, economics, social psychology, environmental health, epidemiology, and biostatistics. Public health not only treats ongoing epidemics and health issues, it also makes an effort to prevent them from happening by implementing educational campaigns and programs, recommending services, and conducting research. The promotion of health-care equity, quality, and accessibility to address health disparities is also an essential part of public health.
Engaged Scholarship Examples
|Hussain Zaidi ‘22 was a Lang Scholar whose project aimed to prepare and educate health care professionals, medical students, and policymakers about the negative impact of decentralization on health care availability and quality for LGBTQ+ communities and other vulnerable populations in Pakistan. He advocated for a hybrid approach involving both decentralization and centralization of health services at different levels. He also aimed to introduce a new educational curriculum to medical and other health professions schools to make these changes long-lasting and effective.|
Eduardo Burgos ‘22 connected the issue of healthcare inaccessibility of marginalized populations, such as communities of color and migrant working communities, to the larger history of Western colonization, violence, US imperialism, White supremacy, and other large structural forms of oppression. His Lang Project aimed to ultimately reduce social roadblocks to care, establish long-lasting health practices, and promote medical practice change by facilitating medical care at migrant work sites and using nonprofit organizations that serve migrant populations to catalyze much-needed appropriate policy changes.
|Shayena Shah ’21 was a Lang Scholar whose project, SaniStitch, is an economic livelihood initiative to combat taboos against menstruation in India. Ultimately, Sha hopes to continue to promote societal openness and acceptance of menstruation for women of all ages by hosting reusable menstrual product design workshops for women, training peer health workers, holding awareness workshops for all genders, and expanding SaniStitch into more communities across the states of Gujarat and Maharashtra in India.|
Lang Center Associates
|Alan Beltran '23||Dev Subedi '23|
Sign up for an appointment with them on the LCA appointment calendar.
Key Faculty & Staff
- Christy Schuetze, Assistant Professor of Anthropology, Director of Heath & Societies (on leave 2022-2023)
- Gigi Simeone, Health Sciences/Pre-Law Adviser
- Madalina Meirosu, Tri-Co Medical Humanities Network
- Diego Armus, Professor and Co-Chair of History
- Heather Swadley, Visiting Assistant Professor of Political Science
- Sexual Health Advocates | Contacts: Nina Robinson ‘23, Adrianna Belskis ‘24, Amelia Brown ‘25
This group aims to provide students with access to safe sexual health supplies and with trained, residence-based peer advocates who can discuss sex, intimate relationships, sexual health, sexuality, gender, and relevant on- and off-campus resources.
- Swat Doulas | Contacts: Lina Verghese ‘25, Kwelayla Thomas ‘25, Malavika Eby ‘25
Students hold meetings and watch films together on the topic of supporting a birthing mother. Students may attend weekend-long trainings on the scope and specifics of the role of a doula, which is a trained and experienced professional who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to the mother before, during and just after birth (DONA International).
- Students for Medical Humanities | Contact: Malavika Eby ‘25, Karissa Lim ‘25
Medical Humanities is a broad, multidisciplinary field that highlights and studies the role of art, literature, philosophy, ethics, history, and culture in healing, health, and illness.
- Global Health Forum | Contact: Gabe Levis ‘23, Sharon Kim ‘25
A group whose mission is to empower students and community members to improve global health through raising awareness, cultivating partnerships, and pressuring political initiative.
- Rotations | Contact: Sabrina Ellah ‘24
Rotations is a student-run club which supports pre-med students by providing opportunities to connect with professionals in a variety of healthcare fields through panels and online shadowing sessions.
- ENGL 089B. Environmentally Engaged Literature: Pollutants, Fossil Fuels, and Atomic Bombs
- ECON 075. Health Economics
- SOCI 071B. Global Nonviolent Action Database
- PSYC 135. Seminar in Social Psychology
- ANTH 043E. Culture, Health, Illness
- ANTH 27B. Digital Ethnography
- HIST 066. Making Sense of Being Sick: the Social Construction of Diseases in the Modern World
- POLS 068. Politics of Public Health
- BIOL 036. Ecology
- ENVS 063. Conservation Biology
- Bi-Co Health Studies: Haverford courses
- Bi-Co Health Studies: Bryn Mawr courses
- Haverford Civic and Community Engagement Courses in Health Studies (when offered)
- Health and Societies (HSOC) at the University of Pennsylvania
- Cooper University Hospital Externship
- National Institutes of Health (NIH) Summer Internship Program in Biomedical Research
- Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Pathways and Internships
- New York City Department of Health Internship Program Health Research Training Program
- Public Health Management Corporation (PHMC) Research and Evaluation Group
- Child Family Health International
- Science News Writing Internships
- American Association of the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
- Summer Undergraduate Minority Research at the University of Pennsylvania (SUMR@Penn)
- Summer Health Professions Education Program (SHPEP) sites with public health offerings
- City of Philadelphia Emergency Management Fellowship
- Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Research Institute Summer Scholars Program
- Puentes de Salud
- Agatston Urban Nutrition Initiative
- WashU’s Institute for Public Health Summer Research Program
- American Public Health Association (APHA) Internships & Fellowships
- John Hopkin's Undergraduate Internship Opportunities