“I want to tell people about why public health is important”

Moser Jones receives National Endowment for the Humanities grant

  • Franny Lazarus
August 31, 2022

Marian Moser Jones, associate professor of health services management and policy in the College of Public Health and associate professor in the Department of History, joined The Ohio State University just this year. One of her first projects was completing her grant application for the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). Earlier this month, she was awarded $200,000.

“I’m really excited to be here,” Jones said. “And I’m really excited that the NEH has confidence in my vision of making this happen on the Ohio State campus.”
“This” will be a weeklong institute that traces the history of public health in the United States, with particular emphasis on the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Planning for next summer, Jones hopes to have 30 academics from around the country come to Columbus for a workshop that will help disseminate public health history throughout higher education institutions.
“I want to tell people about why public health is important,” Jones said. “What really grabs me about it is this: It’s fundamental to the history of the United States. We have such a strong ideology of individualism in this country and yet, this country has been prone to many health challenges that force people to work together. What fascinates me is what forces people to come together and what pulls people apart.
Jones hopes to attract faculty from historically Black colleges and universities, Hispanic-serving institutions, institutions with large numbers of first-generation students and community colleges.
“[Public health history] is something that, when it’s taught broadly, you introduce different perspectives,” Jones said. “Some of those people will go on to do scholarship in this area. That’s a longer-term goal: to broaden the field beyond such a narrow band of people.”
Jones was not alone in NEH recognition. Ohio State’s second grant recipient is Gayle Strege, curator of the Historic Costumes & Textiles Collection. This is Strege’s third NEH Preservation Assistance Grant award.

About The Ohio State University College of Public Health

The Ohio State University College of Public Health is a leader in educating students, creating new knowledge through research, and improving the livelihoods and well-being of people in Ohio and beyond.  The College's divisions include biostatistics, environmental health sciences, epidemiology, health behavior and health promotion, and health services management and policy.   It is ranked 19th among all colleges of public health in the U.S. by U.S. News and World Report, and also includes the top 7-ranked MHA degree program.  The College provides leadership and expertise for Ohio and the world through its Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Evaluation Studies (HOPES) and Center for Public Health Practice (CPHP).