Summertime around SPHTM is often quiet as students and faculty alike go abroad for research, practica, and travel courses. But for some undergraduate public health students and local area high school students, this summer was a time for diving deep into public health issues and honing skills.
FROM FARM TO TABLE
Who knew summer could be so tasty? A group of public health students now do after participating in the inaugural Tulane Public Health Summer Institute. Over four weeks, students learned about nutrition, epidemiology, food systems, sanitation, and alternatives to current food system methods.
“Nutrition and food is a hot topic in public health and among our students,” says LuAnn White, interim dean of the School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. “The great food in New Orleans makes this topic a natural. The question for public health is: how do we enjoy the great food, yet eat healthy?”
Along with numerous interactive field trips and listening to a number of industry speakers, students earned six credits spread out over two consecutive courses taught by Lorelei Cropley and Elisabeth Gleckler, both assistant professors.
Junior Victoria Novak said she was drawn to the institute by her interest in food systems and agriculture.
“I started out not really knowing about nutrition and honestly thought counting calories was annoying,” Novak says. The institute changed her outlook, especially since she recently moved off campus and has to cook her own meals. “It was interesting to learn what ‘healthy food’ really means.”
Field trips introduced students to different aspects of the food system — a trip to Houma, La., to visit an oyster processing facility; stops at local markets and backyard beehives and chicken coops to learn about urban agriculture; and visits to local restaurants with a focus on food inspection and safety.
Summer better than others, part two: Emerging Scholars Rise From the Oil Spill