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Celebrating our Executive DrPH students

Last week, one of the School’s great friends held a celebration for our Executive DrPH students at his house. It had been a long day, it was a cold night, and I was dragging. Bernard and I drove out to the party, and as we walked into the warm, vibrant house, full of the conversations of committed people, I got a second burst of energy. These students are amazing. One is the president of a company, another works for the Clinton Foundation in Papua, New Guinea, another works for the Agency for Health Research and Quality, and yet another runs a major community health center program. And that’s just a few of the class members!

They go to their jobs during the day. By night, they log onto their classes and participate in a distance learning format in which everyone can see each other in this global, virtual classroom. They come to UNC twice a year which enables groups of students to get to know one another and the faculty. Having worked full time my first two years as a doctoral student, I appreciate the need for flexibility without sacrificing rigor or quality. I’ve met these students on several occasions; and they’re fabulous. The life and work experiences they bring to class enrich the experience for everyone.

Professor Ned Brooks and Associate Professor Sue Havala Hobbs have done a great job building this program, and the numbers of applicants have grown rapidly. After beginning the program domestically, Ned and Sue now are expanding it globally through the Global Doctoral Health Leadership Consortium.

This is a great example of how teaching and learning can change to meet learners’ needs and opportunities.

Reading

See the excellent article about intentions to get the H1N1 flu vaccine in MMWR. The underlying survey was a collaboration between the North Carolina Division of Public Health, CDC and our North Carolina Center for Public Health Preparedness.

The week ahead

It is going to be an interesting week. We are holding a fascinating group discussion about electronic medical records Tuesday night. Thursday night, we are bringing a small group together to help us increase our School’s diversity, a very important challenge.

Meanwhile, I am sitting in my office with a keyboard on my lap. My laptop keyboard has failed, and after trying without success to fix the keys, I found another keyboard and hooked it up. Hopefully, our capable computer staff can fix the problem. Happy Monday! Barbara

Tagged  DrPH

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