Virginia Tech™home

Global Systems Science Courses Fall 2019

Appalachian Community Research

APS/PHS/SOC 4094 | CRN 90495 (APS) 90527 (PHS) and 90496 (SOC)

Solitude Conference Room

Partnering with Virginia Rural Health Association, students will conduct research on substance abuse recovery-to-work programming needs and opportunities in Southwest Virginia. Students will work with VRHA staff and their local partners, including the New River Valley Community Services Board, New River/Mount Rogers Workforce Development Board, and the New River Valley Regional Commission, to identify and prioritize the barriers and opportunities for providing recovery-to-work programs in Southwest Virginia.  Students are expected to travel to Washington, DC, December 5-7 to present their research findings as part of the Appalachian Teaching Project funded by the Appalachian Regional Commission. Students will gain skills in: 1) engaging health care and employment service providers, those seeking services, and the public, 2) designing and implementing key informant interviews, 3) communicating public health information in writing and orally, 4) describing and critiquing the roots of the opioid crisis and 5) developing policy action memos and policy briefs on key health issues.

Additional information

Lead instructor: Dr. Julia Gohlke, Population Health Sciences
Dr. Kathy Hosig, Population Health Sciences
Dr. Korine Kolivras, Geography
Dr. Emily Satterwhite, Appalachian Studies

Societal Health in Local and Global Contexts

STS 4304 (CRN 89166) STS 5984 (CRN 90888) APS 4984 (CRN 90688) APS 5984 (CRN 90687)

1040 Torgersen

The central question of the course is: “What social and political arrangements might allow for human flourishing?” Foregrounding questions of power and justice, students will explore the ways in which health, illness, and well-being are influenced by cultural norms, social structures and hierarchies (including hierarchies of race, gender, and class), and economic and political systems. When addressing health concerns, conventional views look to personal responsibility, technofixes, markets, and siloed clinical thinking. This class considers instead the roles of collectives, social movements, mutual aid, interdisciplinary thinking, and studies of power in working toward human well-being. As a result of this course, students will understand the life and death consequences of inequity and injustice in the United States, Latin America, and globally. They will also gain insight into how experts and communities are working to improve societal health by confronting what physician-anthropologist Paul Farmer has called the “pathologies of power.”

Additional information

Dr. Rebecca Hester, STS
Dr. Emily Satterwhite, Appalachian Studies


Become a Partner

  • Is your organization dealing with complex problems?
  • What if you had access to new and innovative approaches that could meet your organization’s needs?
  • Would your organization benefit from different perspectives on the areas you are addressing?

Also, visit LINK online for other great partnership opportunities.