Global Health Blogs with Professor Swahn

Student Reflections on Topics Covered in our Class

Global Health Blogs with Professor Swahn

About our Class

I teach the introduction to Global Health class pretty much every semester and have done so for years. It is really one of my favorite classes to teach And, for context, this class is offered to graduate students by the School of Public Health at Georgia State University. We cover a range of topics, as any global health class should. My bias of course are the global health needs, research and innovation taking place in Africa where I conduct most of my own research, primarily on alcohol, violence and HIV/AIDS. I also served as a Fulbright Scholar at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda and have ongoing projects pertaining to urban slums. 

But, this class is so much more than my own work. We cover a range of topics. We also have guest speakers that share their own insight and expertise.  Most of all I want my students to think critically about the topics we cover, to think of the “bigger picture”, to compare and contrast the topics we discuss across countries  and cultures. We also typically have several international students in the class as well as some Fulbright Students. As such, we have a wealth of expertise already present among the students. I always learn a great deal from my students. 

This semester of our introduction to global health course will be a bit different, all our classes are online. Also, most of our classes will be asynchronous, meaning we will not meet online as a class at the same time. This is one of the reasons I set up this blog site. It is a way for us to interact with the broader global health community. 

For the last year or so, I have  also pondered how we can facilitate thought-leadership among our students and to amplify their voices as they become public health leaders. This blog site also serves that purpose, at least in part. It is a new approach for this class to have students write blogs on current, cross-cutting topics that present opportunities and challenges in global health. I have selected some challenging topics, all are topics that we definitely need to talk and write more about and that we need to encourage our students to tackle.

I look forward to reading these blogs and seeing how they intersect with our class discussions and projects. 

We hope you will enjoy reading these blogs too!  Please take a moment to comment. The students and I welcome your feedback and any insight or questions.

Stay well,


Monica H. Swahn, Ph.D., MPH

Distinguished University Professor

Department of Population Health Sciences

School of Public Health

Georgia State University





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