Amber L Trout
Systematic study of specialized subject matter. Topics for each quarter vary, depending upon current interest and needs, and are announced in the preceding quarter.
This course is aimed for multidisciplinary students interested in fields such as urban planning, public health, policy, urban welfare, and community engagement that are looking for an opportunity to explore the concept of being built environment specialists. The course will briefly review the initial achievements of Built Environments (BE) and healthy communities. Next, it will focus on the second-generation issues—“what do you do after the sidewalks are fixed and the water is clean? How can a community respond and avoid the cyclic nature of urban decay?” The course will end discussing the future /role of BE specialists. These topics will be reviewed through a combination of dialectic lectures and group discussions of the interdisciplinary literature currently addressing these issues. Through assignments such as policy briefs, “elevator talk” advocacy speeches, and composing an editorial commentary, it is the goal of the class to help the students shape a few core issues into an interdisciplinary statement on their research of interest. This can serve as a platform for students to learn ‘who’ is in their areas of interest and make professional connections in preparing for their post-education careers. The purpose of this class is to provide a forum in which students with different disciplinary emphasis participate and formulate one’s own prospective research agenda through exposure to current topics in built environment and community health. The central theme is for students to begin getting oriented and critically think through collaborative learning, interdisciplinary research and methods of inquiry to develop their research question by identifying essential components needed.
Student learning goals
To become familiar with primary literature of physical built environment issues and how they can impact the social and emotional environments health of communities.
To become familiar with the history and concept of neighborhoods (physical and social) and how they can be protective or risk factors in community resilience.
To become familiar with how to integrate the core concepts of public health, urban planning, social welfare, and ecology to address community health issues.
To develop an understanding of how to start to address “wicked” problems from a multidisciplinary and systems thinking approach using different philosophical and methodological features characteristic of community-based research.
To develop communication skills using qualitative and quantitative through different media in support of their research topic areas of interest.
General method of instruction
Lecture and small group discussion to explore topics in theoretical and empirical evidence and for students to develop their own research and potential theory of change framework to address topic or problem of interest.
Class assignments and grading