Undergraduate Education

SMU Global & Public Health Class Hosts Virtual Lectures on Pandemic by Health Experts

SMU’s Global Public Health course shows how the online class meeting format can be leveraged to radically expand the borders of the classroom.


When SMU classes moved online in mid-March, Professor of Global Health Eric G. Bing took the opportunity to expand his Creating Impact in Global & Public Health classroom beyond Dallas and even beyond the United States. During the first month of online class meetings, Dr. Bing hosted several experts in medicine and public health for virtual guest lectures on topics related to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic; students were able to interact with the guest lecturers in real time. Guests in the course included:

  • Dr. Trista Bingham, a CDC epidemiologist. Dr. Bingham spoke about how to create a career in fighting epidemics and pandemics.
  • Dr. Richard Sullivan, a professor at King’s College London who specializes in cancer policy, health systems, and public health in regions experiencing trauma and conflict. Dr. Sullivan’s guest lecture focused on how the pandemic will impact countries that are currently experiencing conflict.
  • Brett Newman, Director of Innovation at ACAP HealthWorks. Mr. Newman spoke about methods of creating innovative mental health outreach to first responders in times of crisis.
  • Dr. Geoffrey A. Funk, a surgeon at Baylor Scott & White Health.  Dr. Funk discussed how the pandemic will impact medial care.
  • Megan Brown, a doctoral candidate in Anthropology at SMU. Ms. Brown drew on her experience working in public health in Costa Rica to discuss how the pandemic will impact Costa Rica and similar countries.
  • Dylan DeMuth, an SMU alum currently in his third year of a medical degree program at the Long School of Medicine at UT Health San Antonio. Mr. DeMuth focused on the impact of the pandemic on medical education.

These virtual class visits by guest lecturers from different parts of the world – none of whom were scheduled to visit the class before it became virtual – demonstrate that the virtual format can enhance learning in new and unexpected ways. In Creating Impact in Global & Public Health, the format gave future health leaders access to new opportunities and connections that they might not otherwise have had access too.

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