Irrepressible Bodies: Public Health, Human Biology, and Transformative Community Resilience
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Resilience—changing in response to change—characterizes healthy human bodies and the social and political “bodies” of healthy communities. Participants in this program will use the idea of “irrepressible bodies” as our gateway into biology, communities, public health, and the resilience that enables collective growth and transformation.
Program threads of community and resilience will center on the civic and governance aspects of local communities, including public health. Critical health literacy – which can be defined as understanding health in its social context, and developing the skills to enact change toward equity and social justice – is one program learning goal. Approaches taken from several fields of knowledge will support investigation of the powerful ways in which gender, race, class, and dis/ability shape individual lives and social conditions in neighborhoods, workplaces, and nations. In all aspects of the program, students will be expected to engage in thoughtful and occasionally challenging conversations about how power and privilege operate on a variety of bodies, including our own.
Human bodies have biological functions designed for resilience, adaptation and healing, including overcoming stress. Study of human biology during fall and winter quarters will address anatomy and physiology, including hands-on work in the laboratory. Program members will examine nutrition, the microbiome, and nutritionally-related diseases in spring.
Class sessions will feature a mix of lectures, seminars, hands-on learning activities, and workshops. A community health research project will focus program work during the spring quarter. The project is designed to integrate learning from biology, community studies, and public policy. Preparation for project-related qualitative and quantitative learning will include introductory instruction in epidemiology, the study of health and illness in populations. Students and faculty will first identify a local public health issue, and then carry out effective strategies for systematic, community-based inquiry.
Participants will have opportunities to develop the habits of mind of analytic, innovative, and resilient thinkers. Development of skills in crafting clear and thoughtful spoken and written communications, in critical inquiry, and in cultivating a collaborative culture of resilience and relationship-building will be an essential component of the program. Willingness to learn how to think about and work with data is necessary; previous work with numbers beyond basic addition, subtraction and division is not. Work in Irrepressible Bodies will prepare students for continued study and eventual employment in these fields: health, health care and medicine, human biology, community organizing, journalism, social work, education, public health, and public administration.
Greener Foundations: This program will incorporate Greener Foundations, a holistic course designed for first-time, first-year students. Faculty and staff collaborate to bring study skills, academic planning, health and wellness education, advising, and more into the classroom. More information at Greener Foundations .
This offering will prepare you for careers and advanced study in:
health, health care and medicine, biological sciences, community organizing, journalism, social work, education, public health and public administration.
Class Size: 35
75% Reserved for Freshmen
Located in: Olympia
|2019-05-16||Title changed and description updated|