Change, although sometimes scary, isn’t always a bad thing and usually provides opportunities for new experiences and growth.
With the transition of the Master’s of Public Health (MPH) program to the department of environmental health, which is chaired by Shuk-mei Ho, PhD, Bill Mase, DrPH, program director, says this change essentially means a more robust program for students who come to UC for public health training.
"Although the program was successful in the department of public health sciences, this move is not only expanding the potential future development of concentration offerings, but it is also increasing the number of expert faculty and research funding opportunities available to students.”
The department of public health sciences, which has housed the program for about two years, was dissolved in early November.
Mase says that as part of the move, which also includes collaborating more closely with the department of family and community medicine, the program intends to offer concentrations in biostatistics, epidemiology and environmental health, building on the already existing concentrations of leadership, management and policy and health education.
"Previously, we only had six full-time faculty members in the program,” he adds. "Now, we have 57, and many of these researchers and educators are world-renowned in their field. This is strategic positioning—an opportunity that Dean (Thomas) Boat saw as a way to build our program around the existing strengths of the department of environmental health.”
Boat says that the MPH program allows UC to make a unique contribution to the area.
"With the strengths of both environmental health and MPH, we are in a very favorable position to be a national leader in public health education,” he adds. "The MPH program has so many obvious opportunities, and it just made sense to place the program in a department with so many similar strengths.”