We are Taught in Order to Learn, We Learn in Order to Teach..

Illness, Wellness, and Healing

Course Description:  Concepts of illness, wellness, and healing reflect the societies and cultures in which they are found. This course compares ways in which a variety of Western (e.g., France, Germany, and the United States) and non-Western (South American, African) societies and cultures think about and institutionalize health and illness.  Selected topics include:  the history of medicine, changing health and nutritional status from human prehistory to the present, social and cultural definitions of health and illness, ritual healing practices, ethnomedicine, epidemiology, the relationships of social organization and stratification to health and illness; and the social and personal construction of medical knowledge.


Course Objectives:

  • Apply critical thinking skills as they learn to analyze the ways in which illness and wellness are socially and culturally constructed.
  • Conduct research using a variety of sociological and anthropological journals,
  • Develop writing skills in production of a research report, and will enhance verbal and nonverbal communication skills in presenting information in individual presentations.
  • Use both sociological and anthropological perspectives in the analysis of illness and wellness.
  • Understand many of the issues in the contemporary debate dealing with the delivery of health care
  • Learn and reflect on personal wellness practices through writing assignments.

According to Dr. Robert Heiner, wellness courses such as this one are important because they provide opportunities for students to identify connections between life choices, personal wellness and a field of study. Students learn how to develop an appreciation for the connection between mind and body and make a commitment to life skills and life style choices.  This is learned through content and assignments from several dimensions of societal and personal wellness and their interrelationships. In this course, students will learn to show how models of illness, wellness, and healing reflect the Western and non-Western societies and cultures in which these models are found.


What I Found Most Interesting:

Through out this semester what I found myself hooked on and continuing further research pertaining to medicine and disease in the third world. I found it to be extremely intriguing to learn the diverse effects of this multi-billion-dollar industry through out the world. Specifically, I had the opportunity to research AIDS within Africa. It was shocking to compare how much more advanced and funded other countries are in comparison. Lectures and assignments in class like this are what fuel my interest in global health and helping others.


Principles of Health

Course Description:

An introductory course that explores the fundamental issues related to health. Learning outcomes include understanding all the dimensions of health, the overarching foundations of health behaviors, how to access health literature, national health behavior guidelines/recommendations as well as how to begin exploring health behaviors through the use of various theories and models in health promotion.


Course Objectives:

  • Discuss health in terms of its dimensions and historical, current and future perspectives.
  • Explain the importance of a healthy lifestyle in preventing chronic disease and promoting wellness.
  • Discuss the health status of various populations.
  • Understand and analyze health behavior guidelines/recommendations and use these to promote healthy behaviors in various populations.
  • Discuss various introductory behavior change models and theories and apply these theories and models to understand and promote effective health behavior change in one’s self and others.
  • Identify and evaluate the various barriers and facilitators that influence health behaviors.
  • Provide an overarching explanation of how the following behaviors impact personal health: physical activity, nutrition, tobacco/alcohol/drug use, safe sex practices, and disease/health care management.
  • Evaluate sources of health information to determine reliability.
  • Perform a literature search and review.

What I Found Most Interesting:

As the final weeks of class have started to end I recently found myself in awe of the sexual assault and rape culture here in the United States, particularly in college. I wish to learn more about this issue b

oth in the United States and abroad. While working with families in El Salvador I listened to the stories of how rape was common and women didn’t stand a chance at reporting this issue because without their husbands they would be financially unstable. Similarly, in many instances of sexual assault and rape on the college campus, victims don’t report because their cases typically don’t get brought to trial due to the fact universities are trying to keep a good reputation. I wish to continue research and compare and contrast rape culture effects those in the U.S and beyond.

Slutwalk London - Stop Victim Blaming

RIP Nirbhaya. (UNiTE to End Violence against Women and girls!)


One thought on “We are Taught in Order to Learn, We Learn in Order to Teach..”

  1. This post did SO much to help me understand the passion that fuels your curricular curiosity these days. I really see that Global Health perspective coming through in your course choices and in the way you write about your interest in these topics.

    The images here do so much to enliven the post, too, though don’t forget to add a caption to them so we know where they came from (and hopefully they are openly licensed!!).

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