Faculty and students present at ASPPH

Dr. Julia Varnes and Dr. Page Speiss
Left to right: Dr. Julia Varnes and Dr. Page Spiess, in front of their presentation.

Julia Varnes, Ph.D., M.P.H., a clinical associate professor and director of the Master of Public Health program, and Page Spiess, Ph.D., a 2023 UF M.P.H. graduate, presented a poster at the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health, or ASPPH, annual meeting on March 21 in Arlington, Virginia. The presentation was based on Spiess’ M.P.H. capstone project and was titled: “Online Public Health Student Needs Assessment & Resource Plan.”

Shahzadhi Nyakhar
Shahzadhi Nyakhar in front of her presentation.

In addition, social and behavioral sciences doctoral student Shahzadhi Nyakhar presented in the “Teaching and Learning Methods, Tools, and Insights” session. The study she presented explored if teaching undergraduate students skills in productive discourse improves their confidence levels in their ability to engage in difficult and controversial topics in public health, including with individuals who hold different viewpoints than their own. The findings from the study also offer evidence on effective methods for course implementation in other schools and public health programs. This study’s other team members are Gaia Zori, Ph.D., M.P.H., a clinical associate professor in the department of health services research, management and policy and director of the M.P.H. social and behavioral sciences concentration; George Hack, Ph.D., the college’s associate dean for educational affairs; and Jamie Pomeranz, Ph.D., director of the Bachelor of Health Science program.