Global Health minor has interdisciplinary appeal

Graphic of globe and stethoscope

A new minor in Global Health at the University of Washington Bothell this fall is designed to appeal not only to students in the School of Nursing & Health Studies but also to students in other disciplines looking to broaden their expertise and job prospects.

“We’re really hoping students in diverse disciplines like business or engineering or biology will see this as an opportunity that would expand their career options upon graduation,” said Nora Kenworthy, assistant professor. “It has an appeal for a broad subset of students who are pursuing majors all over campus.”

With the addition, the offerings from the School of Nursing & Health Studies (NHS) now include bachelor’s degrees in Nursing and in Health Studies; a Master of Nursing; and three minors — Health Studies, Health Education and Promotion, and Global Health.

Nora KenworthyWhile global health has been part of the curriculum, creating a specific minor “is a way of being more thoughtful in how we offer that to students,” Kenworthy said. “We’re excited about how it fits with other things we’re offering. People with lots of different skill sets can become involved.”

The minor draws on current faculty and programs such as study abroad and collaborative online international learning, said Kenworthy, left.

“This Global Health minor will equip students with the necessary skills to start a career in global health,” said Aimee Desrochers (Health Studies ’14).

As an undergraduate, Desrochers took an introduction to global health course and studied abroad in Togo, where she later returned as a Peace Corps volunteer. Desrochers also completed a Master of Science in Global Health Policy at the University of Edinburgh. She is now working as a program assistant at the United States Agency for International Development’s Office of Global Health.

“The professors in the Health Studies program are an invaluable asset in their immense knowledge in this field and their generous guidance,” Desrochers said.

Kenworthy and others worked with the Department of Global Health at the University of Washington in Seattle to complement its minor. The minor on the Bothell campus is more convenient for UW Bothell students and is infused with its distinctive teaching practices, particularly more community-based learning and a social justice focus, Kenworthy said.

The Global Health minor also appeals to first- or second-generation immigrants or international students who, Kenworthy said, “have a commitment to going back to the parts of the world where they were born or grew up and contributing to health care in those places.”