Interdisciplinary Team of Students Garners Recognition at Public Health Bowl

Posted in GUMC Stories

APRIL 17, 2014 – During National Public Health Week, a team of undergraduate students from the School of Nursing & Health Studies (new window) competed in Saint Louis University’s Public Health Scholar Bowl.

Human science major Nishi Dsouza (NHS’15), international health majors Stephanie Muci (NHS’14) and Cathie Chen (NHS’16), and health care management & policy majors Whitney Dockrey (NHS’15), Lucas Wakefield (NHS’15), and Sonya Nasim (NHS’15) earned second place in both the trivia and case competitions at the event, held April 11-13.

“The competition was a great demonstration of the amazing education we get here at Georgetown,” says Dsouza.  “Many of the trivia questions tested concepts that we learn in our NHS classes.  It’s clear that we get a great, well-rounded education in the NHS, and it was exhilarating to see that knowledge come to fruition.”

Two-Part Competition

Well-known population health researcher Michael Stoto, PhD (new window), professor of health systems administration, traveled with the team.

“We had a great time with Professor Stoto and meeting students from other universities with an ultimate interest in public health,” says Nasim.

For the competition, the undergraduates participated in both a trivia challenge round that tested their knowledge of the basic competencies of public health.  They also prepared a case, focusing on reducing homicide and stroke rates in Chicago, which was judged anonymously by leading public health officials.

“It was evident how blessed we are to attend a university that truly supports us with its resources and prepares us for careers in public health and the health care industry,” says Dockrey.

Value of Teamwork

The Georgetown team was the only one to place in both categories.

“This experience was a true portrayal of teamwork,” says Muci.  “By recognizing each other’s weaknesses and strengths, we were able to work together to obtain the greatest rewards. It’s evident that more can be accomplished with a high-performing, supportive team than with just one high performing individual.”

Public Health Interest

Wakefield says that having the chance to present “the idea that we worked so hard discussing, researching, and refining was definitely a rewarding experience.”

And Chen adds that the experience contributed to her passion for the public health field.

“Being a part of this competition has not only tested my knowledge but my reflexes as well,” she says.  “I can confidently say that the [event] further fueled my interest in public health.”

By Bill Cessato
NHS Communications