Global Health Symposium Kicks off International Education Week

Infectious diseases, diseases of poverty, and antibiotic-resistant diseases were featured topics of the renowned panel of participants at the opening session of International Education Week at CPH on November 3. The event was held to promote programs that prepare Americans for a global environment as well as to prepare future leaders to study, learn and exchange experiences.

“This event really was about exposing the university community to global health issues worldwide,” said event organizer Dr. Mark James. “I think the information that was presented here will make our students even more knowledgeable and committed to public health.”

Panelists included Dr. Marcus Lacerda, coordinator of the International Clinical Malaria Research Center in Manaus, Brazil and Director of Research of FMT-HVD. Lacerda focused on Brazilian tropical medicine used with lesser-known diseases, and explained the correlation between certain diseases and poorer areas, referring to them as “diseases of poverty.” Dr. Koya Allen (CPH PhD Alum 2013), an infectious disease subject matter expert in the Counter Biothreats Cell of U.S. European Command Headquarters for the U.S. Department of Defense, detailed the process of detecting, tracking and analyzing infectious diseases to protect the population. Dr. Tara Smith concentrated on methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus strains in the U.S. and its transmission between livestock and humans.

Students lauded the event, acknowledging that getting different perspectives from the three speakers was interesting. Said senior public health major, Grace Carey, “Just watching Koya Allen talk about what she’s passionate about inspires me personally. I look forward to having a class with her.”

Tabitha Shenk, a sophomore public health major, said she felt inspired by Allen’s presentation because she's visited Germany, Latvia and Israel. “I know I want to live outside of the U.S., so I liked that she talked about how that was a big part of her job," Shenk said.

“The whole idea of this event is to distribute knowledge and to get people enthused about public health,” James said. Based on student responses, it seems to have accomplished that goal.