Student Op-Eds Make a Case for Health

February 25, 2021

Being an effective public health professional means being an effective communicator. As part of the Core Curriculum, Columbia Mailman School master’s students write op-eds that marshal evidence to support their argument. Six standout examples published today shine on a variety of public health problems and point the way to solutions.

The op-ed exercise trains MPH students to both sharpen their ability to write effectively and to use their public health knowledge to advocate to external audiences. The assignment is meant to empower students to add their voice to important public health conversations and to bring ideas and information that the world needs to make evidence-based decisions in the face of complex and conflicting information.

Across the board, the student op-eds proposed policies to improve collective health and promote social justice for marginalized groups.

Claire Bang writes that the United States needs a national mandate to screen for childhood traumas that are known to contribute to a host of physical and mental health problems.

Taylor Crutison argues for legislation requiring crisis pregnancy centers to provide accurate and comprehensive reproductive healthcare information, including abortion options.

Luz Mercado writes that community gardens can be powerful contributors to community development, health, and social wellbeing.

Nikki Nguyen calls on Texas legislators to ensure that all people, regardless of their citizenship, have access to adequate community health centers.

Jack Seifarth calls for a program to help older adults navigate the health care system, and provide a one-stop-shop for volunteer opportunities. His op-ed also appears in Next Avenue.

Rachel Suss argues for a national policy to protect transgender students’ right to participate in sports consistent with their gender identity without restriction.