Emory Report
October 5, 2009
Volume 62, Number 6



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October 5, 2009
Global health student advocates before Congress

By Rebecca Baggett

Universities are working hard to meet the growing interest and demand that students have in global health opportunities. According to a survey released last month by the Consortium of Universities for Global Health (CUGH), of which Emory is a founding member, the number of students enrolled in global health programs in universities across the United States and Canada doubled in just three years due to a surging interest in careers to address health disparities and improve care for people living in developing countries.

“Students today are well aware of the fact that the United States is not an isolated nation, and that the lack of a broad and global perspective is outdated. People are moving all around the globe – students, immigrants, travelers, businesspeople, refugees, and so many more. Our society is increasingly becoming a large global community, and students want to be a part of it,” says Christine Khosropour, a second-year student at Rollins School of Public Health.

With support from the Emory Global Health Institute, Khosropour worked on a multidisciplinary team project last summer that examined ways to prevent diarrheal disease in Accra, Ghana using safe water, sanitation and hygiene interventions.

She also attended the CUGH’s first annual meeting Sept. 14-16 and testified before Congress on her experience in Ghana and the importance of supporting global health opportunities for students.

“The Congressional Briefing was a remarkable opportunity for me as a student. To be able to advocate for an issue in front of people who have the power to change policy was an incredible experience, and I really learned to appreciate how important it is to engage government in order to promote these issues,” she says.

“The issue of increasing demand from students for global health opportunities was recurrent throughout the CUGH conference, so it was wonderful to hear the presidents of Duke, Boston University, Johns Hopkins, the University of Washington, and Emory discuss ways in which their universities were all committed to further developing global health programs,” she adds.

Khosropour will complete her epidemiology degree at Rollins this spring, and is interested in focusing her epidemiological career in global health.

For more on how Emory's programs in global health have grown, and its partnership with CUGH, visit www.whsc.emory.edu.

Congressional testimony
See Christine Khosropour’s speech before Congress