Overview

Are you interested in a career in a health profession? Or in addressing broad questions of public health? The Public Health Pathway provides an opportunity for students to explore a wide range of health-related careers by combining courses from across the academic divisions with a range of experiential learning opportunities.

Students in the Public Health Pathway will take up questions that go beyond the preparation for a professional degree in the health sciences. From the arts and humanities, what are the ethical and religious dimensions of health? From history and the social sciences, how are ideas and practices of illness and health manifest in different cultures? From the natural sciences, what are scientific tools and bodies of knowledge will help us understand health?

The Public Health Pathway provides students with an opportunity to explore public health careers by combining course work from across the academic disciplines, with a range of experiential learning opportunities that both allow students to apply the knowledge they have already acquired to conditions outside the classroom, and to acquire new knowledge through that experience. Equally important, the Public Health Pathway also provides ample opportunity and encouragement for students to think deeply and critically about how their strengths and skills can most effectively, and meaningfully, contribute to the health of a community. To facilitate this process, students on the Public Health Pathway will have access to a long list of alumni who have gone onto rewarding, fulfilling public health careers.

The field of public health is a crucial facet of the health-care system, and contains a very wide, diverse, and growing range of careers that focus on promoting the health and safety of the community, such as:

  • Dietitian and nutritionist
  • Emergency Management Specialist
  • Epidemiologist
  • Health Educator
  • Community Health Worker
  • Occupational Health and Safety Specialist
  • Public Health Nurse
  • Public Health Communications Specialist
  • Public Health Lawyer
  • Public Health Policy Analyst

Students who complete the Public Health Pathway will not only have a realistic understanding of the opportunities in the career path they will follow upon graduation, but will also understand the larger historical, economic, and social forces that influence public health. Upon graduation, these students will be well positioned to become effective participants, and ultimately leaders, in promoting community health and well-being.


Faculty

Karen Haely

Karen Haely

Visiting Assistant Professor of Philosophy

kahaely@wooster.edu

Margaret Ng

Margaret Wee Siang Ng

Associate Professor of History; Archaeology; Chinese Studies

mng@wooster.edu

Stephanie Strand

Stephanie Strand

Associate Professor and Department Chair of Biology; Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

sstrand@wooster.edu

Tom Tierney

Thomas Tierney

Professor of Sociology and Anthropology; Liaison to the Public Health Pathway

ttierney@wooster.edu


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Requirements

Experiential Learning Opportunities (Two Experiences)

Students must complete two experiential learning (EL) opportunities along the Public Health Pathway. These EL opportunities range from specific classes to volunteer experiences to off-campus study programs. The following list is illustrative of the types of EL opportunities that students can pursue along the pathway, but students can also develop and propose to the Public Health Pathway Committee additional EL opportunities that deepen their understanding of public health, and allow them to explore public health related careers.

Possibilities include:

  • Certified EL courses
  • APEX Fellowships
  • Participate in the Health Coaches Program
  • Volunteer at Viola Startzman Clinic
  • Shadow medical and health professionals in Wooster, Wayne County, or elsewhere
  • Leadership in student clubs or organizations including Pre-Health Club, Minorities in STEM, First Responders, Colleges against Cancer, Sexual Respect Coalition, Wooster Volunteer Network, and others
  • Work in the Training Room of the Scot Center
  • Off Campus Study with a public health focus

Reflection

Reflections guide students to articulate meaningful connections between the skills and knowledge they are gaining and the experiences in their coursework, experiential learning opportunities and career goals.

Reflections take place along five points in the pathway:

First Reflection Touchpoint: At the Start of the Pathway

The first opportunity to reflect is when the student declares their Pathway.  Responses to prompts asked at this moment establish a baseline from which student moves forward.

Second Reflection Touchpoint: An Opportunity to Investigate

This is an opportunity for students to dig deeper to articulate what they are learning along the Pathway in classes and about experiential learning options related to the interests they shared in the first reflection. It is also a point at which to prepare for experiential learning/career exploration.

Third Reflection Touchpoint: Before Experiential Learning Opportunity

This reflection takes place as a student is learning about experiential learning opportunities related to their pathway.

Fourth Reflection Touchpoint: After Experiential Learning Opportunity

This reflection takes place after the student has completed an experiential learning opportunity and asks them to consider how the work they have done connects with their pathway.

Fifth Reflection Touchpoint: At the End of This Pathway – and the Start of New Ones

At this touchpoint, students engage with questions that help them build connections between theory and practice, their career goals, and how they plan to extend their Pathway beyond Wooster.

Coursework (Four Courses)

Student will complete four courses (from at least two academic divisions) from the approved list below. Coursework requirements in the Public Health Pathway are also fulfillments of the College’s required courses for Learning Across the Disciplines.

Arts and Humanities

Coursework that meets this requirement considers issues in public health within disciplines in arts and humanities.

  • AMST-22600: History of Ancient Medicine
  • PHIL-21500: Biomedical Ethics
  • RELS-26933: Religion and Science
  • RELS-19901: Religion, Health, and Disease
  • RELS-26941: Religion and the Brain*
  • RELS-26947: Death and Afterlives

*Course has pre-requisite or requires instructor permission to register

History and Social Sciences

Courses approved to meet this requirement provide perspectives on public health issues from disciplines in history and the social sciences.

  • ANTH-21000: Physical Anthropology*
  • ANTH-29901: Global Politics of Reproduction*
  • ECON-26800: Health Economics*
  • HIST-10184: Intro to Chinese Medicine
  • HIST-20115: Body in Chinese Tradition*
  • HIST-20135: The History of Pain
  • HIST-21200: Plague in Towns of Tuscany
  • HIST-27511: Plagues in History*
  • PSYC-21200: Psychopathology*
  • PSYC-23000: Human Neuropsychology*
  • PSYC-34500: Drugs and Behavior*
  • SOAN-20201: Globalizing Health
  • SOCI-29908: Sociology of Medicine*

*Course has pre-requisite or requires instructor permission to register

Mathematics and Natural Sciences

These are courses that offer applications of mathematics and natural sciences to issues in public health.

  • BCMB-33100: Principles of Biochemistry*
  • BCMB-33200: Biochemistry of Metabolism*
  • BIOL-10003: Human Anatomy & Physiology
  • BIOL-10009: The Biology of Nutrition
  • BIOL-33500: Microbiology*
  • BIOL-36600: Immunology*
  • CHEM-21100: Organic Chemistry I*
  • CHEM-21200: Organic Chemistry II*
  • ESCI-25000: Intro to Geographic Information Systems
  • MATH-10200: Introduction to Statistics

*Course has pre-requisite or requires instructor permission to register