Melissa Schrieber, professor of biology


Another post in our series on endowed chairs. 

Melissa Schreiber, professor of biology, is using her Chesley G. Magruder Foundation Chair in Health & Life Science for a trip to Europe…with a group of students to study infectious disease, public health, and epidemiology.

Students will travel to Geneva, Switzerland, and Paris, France, spending time at the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Museum to understand their international humanitarian efforts. A visit to the headquarters of the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva will provide the students an opportunity to learn about international public health within the United Nations (UN) system.

Students will attend a lecture at a local university in Geneva and Paris to learn about public health and epidemiology. At the Ministry of Health in Paris, students will listen to a lecture by a health advisor on promoting and protecting the health of all individuals living in France. In Paris, students will get to interact with patients and the nursing staff at the modern Parisian hospital or the Hospital St-Louis to learn about the importance of health education.

“You can learn about health-related topics in a textbook, but to really understand the impact on public health it is better to travel to an area where the topics are studied and researched. I will combine lectures, discussions, and onsite visits in Geneva and Paris to emphasize the basic concepts of microbiology, infectious disease, public health, and epidemiology.”

In Geneva, one will find the headquarters of the World Health Organization (WHO), which directs international public health authority with the United Nations (UN) system. The WHO was established on April 7, 1948, and 61 countries have signed their constitution.

The WHO played a leading role in the eradication of smallpox. Its current priorities include communicable diseases, such as HIV/AIDS, Ebola, malaria and tuberculosis; the effects of non-communicable diseases; sexual and reproductive health, development, and aging; nutrition, food security and healthy eating; occupational health, and substance abuse. They have developed protocols on reporting, publishing, and networking within the health sector.

“I teach allied health Microbiology courses every semester and I would like to add more information to my lectures when I discuss the topics,” says professor Schreiber. “I want to be able to provide real life application of the material besides what is printed in the textbook.” Her goal is also to share what the students learn in Geneva and Paris about public health and epidemiology with her future students by incorporating their multimedia presentations in her lectures. The dates planned for the trip are April 29, 2016 to May 7, 2016.

Professor Schreiber received tenure in March, 2011. She teaches at the east campus.


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