This academic year has found our College of Public Health community coming back together in ways that offer us the opportunity to get to know one another better in the classroom and beyond, to have robust conversations about the most important issues facing public health today, and to think more about our role as part of the broader communities of which we are a part.
I’ve found joy in the casual hallway conversations I missed during the height of the pandemic, in the unrivaled experience of seeing our graduates walk across the stage at pre-commencement and join in song for “Carmen, Ohio.” I’ve felt the power of bringing minds together to learn, to grow and to move our work forward on challenging issues including violent extremism, the focus of our dean’s lecture series, “Changing the Conversation,” fall semester.
Stories in this issue of the College of Public Health Magazine highlight how our research is moving the field forward, how our generous alumni are lifting up our students and our college, and how our students are making a difference in our broader community. I am especially impressed by the contributions of two current students.
Paul Matherny, who is part of our MPH-Program for Experienced Professionals (or PEP), has built on his personal experience and passion to help others with his work to provide incarcerated men with resources about the impacts of sexual assault and healing, and with information about addiction recovery. This kind of commitment to meeting people where they are, to understanding the traumas that may have contributed to their paths in life, is the best of what public health has to offer.
Katelyn Abeln, an undergraduate student in our BSPH program, shows us that a summer internship can be so much more than some extra money and a line on a resume. For her capstone project, Katelyn took a leading role in bringing a summer public health camp back to Columbus Public Health and Ohio State, giving middle school students a glimpse of the breadth of what the field has to offer. Campers learned about water testing at a community pool, nutrition, health equity, gun safety, suicide prevention and ways to develop coping skills for mental health. Here’s hoping a few of them got a taste for a future in the field!
Finally, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the smile that Abby Shoben and her pup Echo brought to my face. Echo, we thank you for your tangential contributions to biostatistics and want you to know that you’re a very good girl.
Amy Lauren Fairchild, PhD, MPH
Dean, College of Public Health
Professor, Health Services Policy & Management