223.860.01 | AY 2013-2014 - 1st Term | 1 Credit(s)
M 12:00:00 PM
  • Welcome Message

    Welcome to the GDEC Seminar Courseplus. This course is limited to MSPH students in GDEC. You are required to register for all four terms of seminar (223.860). This Courseplus site will serve as a primary communication tool for your 1st year in the program. We will use it to post seminar session material as well as provide important degree information to assist you along the way.  Prior to each seminar, materials will be posted for you to read, complete or review before coming to class.

    This seminar is pass/fail, but it is an actual course with expectations of participation and contributions to the discussions and topics. There will at times be homework and projects to complete, and occasionally there will be required seminars outside of the normal class time. This seminar is a forum for discussion and a way to connect the courses and material to ongoing research and programs in the areas of Global Disease Prevention and Control.  We will have faculty from our program and department as well as faculty and alumni from outside our department visit throughout the year.  We aim to provide a broad exposure to topics, but also provide some career development sessions to prepare you for searching and selecting a practicum. 

  • Contact Information
    Karen Charron
    Chris Coles
    Ingrid Friberg
    Cristina Garcia
  • Course Description
    Global Disease Epidemiology and Control faculty present ongoing research and program activities and doctoral students present their research interests and findings. Seminar may be used occasionally for administrative or academic matters.
  • Course Format

    The focus of the GDEC MSPH Program Seminar for the first two terms is to introduce students to different areas of research and practice in public health with the goal of helping GDEC students explore and refine their interests. Additional goals of the seminar include preparing students to apply for and be successful in future internships and jobs through presentation skills development, resume and interview workshops, and the introduction of software and associated skill sets not presented in other courses.

    The format of each faculty seminar session will be a short presentation of a public health research or program pursuit (25-30 minutes) by a faculty member followed by 35-40 minutes of discussion mediated by the faculty member. In addition to presentations from faculty, we will have guests from various GDEC-related organizations and projects. Some are alumni of our program and can discuss career opportunities and how to best use the skills from your degree. 

  • Course Learning Objectives

    Upon successfully completing this course, students will be able to:

  • Intended Audience

    This course is for first year MSPH students in Global Disease Epidemiology and Control Program area. It is not open to students outside of the GDEC MSPH cohort.

  • Methods of Assessment

    A grade of 'pass' will be awarded to students who attend all seminars, prepare for each seminar by reading the materials provided, participate in discussions, and complete the required assignment for each term (see below). Detailed guidelines for each assignment will be provided at the start of the term. A final grade will not be submitted for the student unless all assignments per term are completed. 


    1. Complete the assigned readings, videos, or discussion questions to prepare for each seminar.
    2. Arrive on time and ready to participate:
    • 12:00-12:15 Administrative Housekeeping
    • 12:15-1:20 Seminar Presentation and Discussion


    1. Attend one outside lecture/seminar of their choosing per term. The lecture/seminar may be hosted by any JHSPH department or any JHU department on a public health topic.
    2. Write a 2-3 page double-spaced reflection paper on the topic presented. This assignment is due the last Monday of the term and should be submitted to the appropriate Dropbox.


    1. Each student will give a 5 minute presentation with 2 minutes of questions on a public health problem of their choice at the end of the term.
    2. The objective of this assignment is to improve students’ presentation skills, not expertise on the topic, by working with faculty on the presentation layout and slide development. Students will be matched with a faculty member to help them develop their presentations.
    3. Prior to their presentation date, each student is responsible creating an electronic presentation feedback form using the provided rubric. Instructions for creating the form will be provided at the start of Term 2.
    4. Students are required to ask at least one question to two different presenters and to complete the feedback form for assigned presentations.
  • Attendance Policy

    Students are expected to attend all seminars on time and participate in the discussion. We will have guests for most of the seminars, and it is important for students to arrive by noon in order to maximize our time. If you have to miss a seminar or arrive late, please email the TA prior to seminar explaining the absence. You will still have to complete a make-up assignment for the missed seminar.


    • 12:00 - 12:15 Administrative Housekeeping
    • 12:15 - 1:20 Seminar Presentation and Discussion


    If a student misses a seminar, an ADDITIONAL 2-3 page double-spaced reflection paper is required per seminar missed. Make-up reflection papers should be submitted to the appropriate Dropbox by the end of the term. If you miss more than one seminar, submit one document to the Dropbox containing the reflection papers for each missed seminar.

  • Classroom Etiquette

    This is a lunchtime seminar we will treat as a working lunch. It is okay to eat lunch, but we expect you to be prepared and engaged in the seminar. As a courtesy to guest speakers and your fellow classmates:

    • Do not use laptops or cell phones during class unless requested by the presenter.
    • Arrive on time for seminar. The classroom is open at 11:50, and announcements will begin at noon.
    • Be respectful of the faculty, presenters, and your fellow classmates, and act in a manner which contributes to a positive learning environment for all.
  • Required Text(s)

    Summer Reading: Polio: An American Story by David Oshinsky (Available from Amazon)

    This book will be discussed during the September 16th seminar. All students are expected to finish reading the book before this session.

  • Course Schedule

    Please see the course Session for a full list of dates and items for this course.

  • Academic Ethics Code

    Students enrolled in the Bloomberg School of Public Health of The Johns Hopkins University assume an obligation to conduct themselves in a manner appropriate to the University's mission as an institution of higher education. A student is obligated to refrain from acts which he or she knows, or under the circumstances has reason to know, impair the academic integrity of the University. Violations of academic integrity include, but are not limited to: cheating; plagiarism; knowingly furnishing false information to any agent of the University for inclusion in the academic record; violation of the rights and welfare of animal or human subjects in research; and misconduct as a member of either School or University committees or recognized groups or organizations.

  • Disability Support Services
    If you are a student with a documented disability who requires an academic accommodation, please contact the Office of Student Life Services at 410-955-3034 or via email at