In the wake of the pandemic there has been an explosion of interest in public health as a field of study in universities around the country. Applications for master’s programs in public health programs jumped by 20% in 2020 alone. But ask most people to define public health and they can’t.
“A lot of folks have no clue what public health is,” said Nandi A. Marshall, DrPH, associate professor in Georgia Southern University’s Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health (JPHCOPH) and associate dean for Academic Affairs. “We’re in the middle of a pandemic, so of course, you hear about public health all the time. But even still with COVID, some folks still have no idea what a career in public health really is. But they’re interested.”
In response, JPHCOPH will host the inaugural Rising Scholars Public Health Summer Institute for high school juniors and seniors June 22–24 on the Statesboro Campus. The program will expose students to the breadth and depth of the public health discipline.
Public health professionals promote and protect the health of people and the communities where they live, work and play. Jobs may include epidemiologists, health educators, public health physicians, scientists and researchers, public health nurses, nutritionists, community planners, public policy makers, social workers and occupational health and safety professionals, among others.
During the institute, high school students will explore the diverse areas of public health through expert faculty lectures, collaborative problem-solving, field research and lab demonstrations.
Additionally, college-track students will become aware of important historical and current public health events, as well as what a career in public health could entail. This program integrates the Georgia Southern University setting into all learning opportunities allowing for student exposure to campus life.
“The main reason we’re doing this is because we really want students to be aware of public health,” said Marshall. “Many times, particularly with our majors, they don’t even find out about public health until late into their journey at Georgia Southern. We thought this was a good time to really introduce public health to folks before they even get to college.”
The cost for the Rising Scholars Public Health Summer Institute is $125, and includes the workshop, breakfast, lunch and snacks each day, and a T-shirt. Students can register here.
If you are interested in sponsoring a student for the program visit here.