Undergraduate Education

SMU Students Developed Pandemic Solutions for Global & Public Health Case Competition

Combating Covid-19 on Campus FlyerThe sixth annual Battle to Save Lives featured SMU students’ strategies to suppress COVID-19 on campus.  

After the coronavirus pandemic sent students home in mid-March, Dr. Eric G. Bing’s plans for the sixth annual Battle to Save Lives case competition were thrown into uncertainty. Bing, a professor of Global Health at Southern Methodist University, typically assigns students in his Creating Impact in Global & Public Health course to work with real-life organizations in the Dallas area to create impact in public health, but with these groups occupied combating the pandemic, Bing was forced to suspend the case competition. In its place, Bing saw an opportunity for his students to study a major developing public health issue in depth, so he immediately restructured the remainder of the course to focus on the pandemic.  

However, a few weeks after the course transitioned to its new subject matter and virtual venue, an opportunity to revive the Battle to Save Lives appeared: SMU and UT Dallas’ partnership with REVTECH Ventures to issue impact grants to students who submit proposals for suppressing the spread of COVID-19 on university and college campuses when students return. The grant opportunity was unveiled only two weeks before the final class meeting, and although students in Bing’s course typically work on their case projects for six to seven weeks, he realized that they had been studying the topics required for success on the grant proposal for the whole semester. With this in mind, Bing assigned the proposal as a final project and revived the case competition. 

At the sixth annual Battle to Save Lives, students presented before a panel of judges including Dr. Peter K. Moore (Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs ad interim) and Dr. K.C. Mmeje (Vice President for Student Affairs). Drs. Moore and Mmeje, who were recently named co-chairs of the SMU President’s Task Force for Healthy Opening Fall 2020, will provide comments on the students’ proposals. 

The sixth annual Battle to Save Lives was hosted virtually on April 30, 2020, from 5:00pm-8:00pm CT. Guests were encouraged to join the event.  

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