NEW LEADERSHIP: Alan Levine, professor of gastroenterology in the School of Medicine, has assumed leadership of the Human Health Alliance. He replaces Robert Miller, who took on the universitywide role of vice president for research and technology management in October.
PILOT SOCIAL JUSTICE COURSE: The Social Justice Institute’s pilot course SJUS100, “Introduction to Social Justice,” debuts this spring semester with 15 students enrolled. A multidisciplinary team of faculty members developed the course with funding awarded during the FY10 Interdisciplinary Alliance Investment Grant competition.
The course will address concepts and quests for justice, as well as struggles against injustice, that have shaped human understanding, relationships and behavior for centuries. This signature core course will encourage students to think critically and expansively about the social world and the conditions of humanity. The course will provide a foundational exploration of social justice concepts, issues and remedies, thereby developing the necessary analytical tools and information to assess inequality and injustice and address historical and contemporary issues.
Following a cross-disciplinary, case-study approach that features faculty from different schools and departments, this course also will provide students with multiple frameworks for understanding the interconnections between what are often perceived as disparate and disconnected fields of study and inquiry. Three primary questions will guide the course: What is social justice? Why does social justice matter? What can be done?
ID GLENVILLE PROJECT UPDATE: The Infectious Disease (ID) Alliance sponsored and facilitated a 10-week “Relationships and Realities” series in Glenville as part of the FY2011 Interdisciplinary Alliance Investment Grant it received for “Improving Awareness and Prevention of Infectious Diseases in High Burden Cleveland Neighborhoods: A Collaborative, Community-Based Approach.”
The series was offered four times per week for two hours (immediately after school) at two locations: Glenville High School and the J. Glen Smith Health Center (adjacent to Glenville High).
This first series was facilitated by volunteers and staff hired by the ID Alliance. Topics covered during the sessions included an overview of prevalent sexually transmitted diseases, sexual health myths, female and male reproductive anatomy and HIV/AIDS. The ID Alliance had access to the high school through a partnership with The Urban League.
Partway through the series, volunteers and series facilitators were observed in action by Community Advisory Board member Brenda Pryor, executive director of "Let’s Talk About..." Youth Enrichment. Pryor provided feedback and assisted ID Alliance staff in delivering their messages effectively.
The ID Alliance is planning the curriculum for the second series, set to begin in the spring. It is also working on a Peer Education program and Back to School health campaign.
Budget committee update: The University Budget Committee (UBC) has been meeting weekly to come up to speed for the multiyear financial planning process the university launched this year. The committee has met individually with the deans of the college and schools and the vice presidents of the primary central service areas to review their strategic plans and financial results and discuss the challenges and opportunities of operating with a decentralized budget model. The committee is gaining a much better understanding of how all of the parts interconnect, which will help them provide informed recommendations to the provost and CFO. In addition to recommendations on various issues, they also plan to submit a comprehensive report by the end of April on this year's activities.
ALLIANCE FACULTY HIRES: Three new faculty members were hired this year as part of alliance-related initiatives.
- Fengchun Ye was appointed as a visiting assistant professor in biological sciences in the School of Dental Medicine. He is the first of two hires planned by the Center for Immunobiology, a joint center between the Schools of Dental Medicine and Medicine, which received funding during the FY10 Interdisciplinary Alliance Investment Grant (IAIG) competition.
- Satya Sahoo and Rong Xu are new assistant professors in the Center for Clinical Investigation. Their appointments help fulfill one of the goals of the Institute of Health Informatics and Comparative Effectiveness (formerly the Institute for Personalized Medicine): to build capacity in bioinformatics. The institute also received funds from the FY10 IAIG competition. Both the center and institute are initiatives of the Human Health Alliance.