New human health major aims at culture change

By Carol Clark | eScienceCommons | Sep. 8, 2013

Brooke Healey, class of 2015, describes her experiences with the human health program at Emory — from her Health 100 class to becoming a Peer Health Partner the following year so she could work with first-year students.

Healey is majoring in human health, an interdisciplinary degree launched this fall at the university that aims to give students practical skills to develop health-related careers, along with a holistic understanding of physical, mental and spiritual well-being.

“We are offering the only bachelors of human health in the country, at a time when health is being redefined,” says Michelle Lampl, director of Emory’s Center for the Study of Human Health. “For too long, our concept of ‘health’ has been limited culturally by our construct of what it is not: The disease state. We are on the cutting edge of using science not just to cure disease, but to identify, predict and support health.”

Emory is uniquely suited to pioneer the human health major, Lampl says, drawing on expert faculty and resources from throughout the humanities and sciences. The first cohort of majors includes students interested in law, political science, economics and business, as well as public health and medicine.

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