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School & Program Updates

School & Program Updates

University at Buffalo Awarded Funds to Support Offering Course Examining Incarceration Through Public Health Lens

The University at Buffalo was recently awarded funds through the Incarceration and Public Health Action Network (IPHAN) at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health.

The $5,000 seed grant will allow the University at Buffalo School of Public Health and Health Professions to create a new course aimed to educate students about public health issues surrounding mass incarceration, while also providing students experiential learning opportunities to supplement their in-class experiences.

“In this undergraduate course, we will examine incarceration in the United States with a public health lens by examining ways in which public health researchers and practitioners can effectively respond to health-related issues associated with incarceration,” said Dr. Sarahmona Przybyla, assistant professor and interim director of undergraduate public health programs.

Formally, “PUB 450: Incarceration and Public Health” the course will investigate the system of incarceration, social and behavioral factors that contribute to incarceration, health problems that affect prisoners during incarceration and post incarceration, and community re-entry. Additionally, the course will examine the role that racial inequality plays in the criminal justice process.

The grant submission, written by Dr. Przybyla and Dr. Jessica Kruger, clinical assistant professor in the department of community health and health behavior, outlines the upper-level course is aimed towards undergraduate public health majors and minors. It is tentatively slated to begin in the Fall 2019 semester, with 40 seats available for registration. Students will be assessed on their learning outcomes with a variety of methods including a podcast assignment, infographic assignment, and research paper.

According to The Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health (MSPH) website, the school has “A strong commitment to adding the voice of public health leaders and practitioners to the dialogue and growing movement to address our nation’s crisis around mass incarceration and the need for new approaches to promoting health, justice, and safety in our families, communities, and systems.” The IPHAN program awards $5,000 for new courses and $2,500 to schools looking to refine existing courses.