May 22, 2014
By Angela Woodward
Summer session has just begun at Ohio University, but OHIO is already gearing up for November’s International Education Week celebration, which this year will include a competition that will award the winning team an overseas trip to participate in a global health experience.
The Ohio University Global Health Case Competition is a unique opportunity for OHIO graduate and undergraduate students to research global health issues and develop innovative solutions to some of today’s global health challenges. Students will work in teams, and members of the winning team will be awarded sponsored travel to participate in an overseas global health activity in which they will implement their solution in collaboration with students and partners from the host country.
This is the first time Ohio University is holding this type of competition, which is being sponsored by OHIO’s Global Health Initiative, a partnership of the College of Health Sciences and Professions and the Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine, in collaboration with the Center for International Studies.
According to Tania Basta, the Global Health Case Competition is designed to promote awareness of 21st-century global health issues, to introduce students to the diverse factors that affect decision-making, and to encourage students from different academic disciplines to collaborate on finding solutions to global health challenges. Basta is an associate professor in OHIO’s Department of Social and Public Health and is a faculty co-chair of the Global Health Case Competition Committee along with Calvin James, an associate professor in and chair of the Department of Biomedical Sciences at the Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine.
“We hope that this experience will change students’ perspectives about other health professionals as well as enhance their understanding of the importance of interdisciplinary work,” said Basta. “We also hope that it increases their interest in global health issues and will facilitate travel abroad either as a result of winning the case competition or on a future study abroad trip.”
The Global Health Case Competition will be held in November with case study presentations and the announcement of the winning team planned for OHIO’s International Education Week celebration, Nov. 15-20.
The competition is open to undergraduate and graduate students from all areas of study and from all of OHIO’s six campuses. Student participants must be enrolled full time for fall semester, and post-doctoral fellows are not eligible to participate.
Students participating in the Global Health Case Competition will work in four-person teams. In the spirit of collaboration, each team must include students from at least two of OHIO’s colleges and must draw from at least four different academic disciplines.
“Students should participate in this competition because it will help them understand different perspectives,” said Basta. “For example, a nursing student may be working with a health communication student and a psychology student. It may be very eye-opening for these students to learn that they are all working toward the same health outcomes, just from different paths and perspectives.”
A Global Health Case Competition kickoff event is planned for Oct. 3 and will provide an opportunity to meet the competition organizers as well as to speak with other students interested in forming a team.
All students interested in participating in the competition must register individually by Oct. 20. Registration will be done online at http://www.ohio.edu/globalhealth/educational-opportunities/international-programs/GHcasecompetition.cfm.
There will be three options for registration:
The deadline for teams to register is Oct. 27.
Teams will receive the competition rules and guidelines as well as details about the specific global health case by Nov. 6. They will then have two weeks to develop a presentation outlining their solutions to the case based on the research they conducted using various resources.
Teams will present their solutions on Nov. 20 during Competition Day and will be judged by a panel of OHIO faculty members. Teams will be judged on creativity, innovation, cultural appropriateness, clarity, quantitative and qualitative analysis, implementation strategies, and delivery. All of a team’s members must be present at the competition.
The winning team will receive sponsored travel overseas, during which they will implement their solution to the global health case. The overseas trip will be held in May or June 2015, and upon their return the winning team will be expected to present their results and share their experiences at various Ohio University events.
When asked what she hopes students participating in this competition as well as members of the OHIO community take away from this experience, Basta said, “We live in a global society, and we will be interacting more and more on a global level. We cannot just work in our own little bubble with people in our own field. We must think and work globally with individuals from a variety of disciplines in order to truly facilitate appropriate responses to global health needs.”
The Global Health Case Competition is just one component of Ohio University’s International Education Week festivities. Co-sponsored by the U.S. Department of State and Department of Education, International Education Week was established 15 years ago as an opportunity to celebrate the benefits of international education and exchange worldwide.
At Ohio University, International Education Week is funded by the Senior International Management Team and includes many of the University’s colleges and departments, as well as its regional campuses.
For more information on the Global Health Case Competition, visit http://www.ohio.edu/globalhealth/educational-opportunities/international-programs/GHcasecompetition.cfm.
Ohio University’s Global Health Initiative is a partnership between the College of Health Sciences and Professions and the Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine, in collaboration with the Center for International Studies.
The Global Health Initiative began two years ago and seeks to engage OHIO faculty and students in multi-disciplinary global health education, research and outreach. Its goals are to build awareness of global health issues, to prepare OHIO students to work with diverse and underserved populations, and to foster an understanding of the connections among health policy, sociocultural, political and environmental factors.
The Global Health Initiative offers a number of global health programs and educational opportunities that involve students, faculty and staff in research, education and outreach activities abroad and in immigrant communities in the United States. For example, this summer OHIO faculty and students are participating in health-related study abroad experiences offered through the Global Health Initiative in Botswana, Ecuador and England.
In addition, the Global Health Initiative launched its Undergraduate Global Health Certificate Program this past semester. The program is designed to expose OHIO students in all fields of study to health on a more global level. The 19 credit hour program also includes a two-week capstone/field experience.
A graduate-level Global Health Certificate is tentatively scheduled to be available in 2015.
For more information on the Global Health Initiative, visit http://www.ohio.edu/globalhealth/.
For more information on the Global Health Certificate, visit http://www.ohio.edu/globalhealth/educational-opportunities/degree-programs/certificate.cfm.