PROGRAMS: New Health Studies Initiative
With the help of the comprehensive campaign, Lewis & Clark will build upon its newly launched Health Studies Program and Center for Community and Global Health. This program—led by a multidisciplinary team of faculty and staff—brings together premed/prehealth advising opportunities; community and alumni engagement; and coursework in the sciences, social sciences, and humanities.
Across the College of Arts & Sciences, many faculty have long taught and specialized in health-related courses, but it wasn’t until the creation of the Health Studies Program that these courses were brought under one umbrella. Starting in fall 2020, students were able to declare a health studies minor, taking courses ranging from Health Psychology and Global Health Economics to Intro- duction to Neuroscience and the Anthropology of Suffering. In its first year at L&C, more than 25 students declared the minor.
According to Professor of Psychology Jerusha Detweiler-Bedell, who spearheaded the effort for health studies, L&C students have long been drawn toward using their liberal arts education in the health field. But interest in public health has grown even more with the COVID-19 pandemic. This fall, the college is offering its first course in global health, which filled almost immediately. And next spring, the college will see its first epidemiology course.
“The pandemic has brought into reality for all of us how health and well-being are so fundamental to our functioning as a culture and society,” says Detweiler-Bedell. “There’s no better foundation for solving public health problems than a liberal arts education.”
“The pandemic has brought into reality for all of us how health and well-being are so fundamental to our functioning as a culture and society.”
One student, Rebecca Teichman BA ’22, is majoring in psychology, with minors in both health studies and English. The new program is allowing her to study the intersection of psychology and public health, with an emphasis on behavioral health and messaging campaigns. Teichman has dived headfirst into L&C’s new cocurricular health-related opportunities.
As the former health studies representative for the Student Academic Affairs Board (SAAB), she was responsible for granting money to student health projects. She also helps direct the Pio Support Network, a student-run organization that facilitates social connectedness and support; it’s housed within the Center for Community and Global Health.
Another emphasis of the center is advising current and prospective students, as well as alumni, on careers in health. Students learn from the community through hands-on workshops, panels, and networking events. To lead advising, the college hired Carolyn Zook, who brings more than 20 years of experience in higher ed, most recently in advising at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU).
“I draw inspiration and energy from working with students, witnessing their resilience and growth, and coaching them as they navigate the complexities of finding their career path in the health professions,” says Zook.
The center also received $750,000 from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for the interdisciplinary project “Healing Social Suffering Through Narrative.” The grant funds work with four community partners: Write Around Portland, Northwest Narrative Medicine Collaborative, Inside-Out Prison Exchange, and Roosevelt High School.
According to Alexis Rehrmann, the center’s community engagement coordinator, “Our programming gives Lewis & Clark College students opportunities to explore the role that humanities and liberal arts can play in healing, and to take learning out of the classroom and into the community.”
In February, the center held its first Narrative Scribe Train- ing with the Northwest Narrative Medicine Collaborative, an organization that brings together patients, providers, artists, and scholars to build a community around narrative medicine. Sixty-six undergraduate students participated in the training, built on the narrative medicine practices of listening and witnessing.
One attendee, Soren Gotshall BA ’22, says that through both the training and a related practicum taught by Professor of Rhetoric and Media Studies Daena Goldsmith BS ’86, he has developed his own ideas on the meaning of narrative medicine.
“I see it as the practice of healing a person, rather than the stepwise process of questioning, identifying, and treating an illness,” says Gotshall, also a Pamplin Scholar.
Funding from the Exploring for the Global Good campaign may go toward expanding programming opportunities like narrative scribe trainings. It could also fund internships for students, expand course offerings, and provide opportunities for health-related overseas study programs in Ireland, South Africa, or Mexico. Additional funding will also help the Center for Community and Global Health—now housed within J.R. Howard—build a permanent home on campus to emphasize the central role public health plays in society and the value of using a liberal arts approach to solve health challenges.
Hanna Merzbach BA ’20 is a freelance journalist based in Santa Cruz, California. She is a former editor of the Pioneer Log.
Exploring for the Global Good
New interdisciplinary initiatives
The College of Arts and Sciences will invest in three interdisciplinary initiatives to enhance its liberal arts core: health studies (see story at left), entrepreneurship, and data science. The college plans to expand existing opportunities at the Bates Center for Entrepreneurship and Leadership, including Lunch with a Leader, Winterim, Expert in Residence, and more. Funding will also help the college expand the Data Science Program, adding a major on top of the new minor, to help students harness data and use its power for the global good.
Community Counseling Center
The campaign will support the work of the graduate school’s Community Counseling Center, with a particular focus on two innovative programs: the nationally known TransActive Gender Project and the Art Therapy Program. TransActive plans to establish a new certificate offering, expand therapeutic services, and employ additional graduate students. The Art Therapy Program will gain dedicated space to pilot Art Hives, hybrid clinical-studio settings serving veterans, people experiencing homelessness, and other underserved populations.
Part-time MAT in elementary education
The graduate school’s newest MAT program supports the need for diverse teachers by removing scheduling barriers that keep many talented individuals from underrepresented backgrounds from entering the field. Investments will support partnerships with local school districts; provide scholarships for the first cohort in 2022; and fund a program coordinator role to support districts and place students in jobs post-graduation.
Center for Business Law and Innovation
This center serves both law students and the local community. The campaign will support the work of the center and advance all of its offerings, including the Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic and the Small Business Legal Clinic, which serves low-income small and emerging businesses, including those owned by women, people of color, and immigrants.
This campaign will help Lewis & Clark Law School maintain its status as the top environmental law program in the nation by continuing to fund rigorous courses; outstanding faculty; and innovative programs and clinics. The law school will also invest in the new Global Law Alliance, a collaboration between the environmental and animal law programs that champions wild animals and wild spaces across the globe.