New global health minor available to students at Iowa State

A new minor in global health was created for Iowa State students interested in pursuing a path in health.

A new minor in global health was created for Iowa State students interested in pursuing a path in health.

Owen Pasa

Previously known as global emerging disease, the global health minor is one of Iowa State’s newest minors.

Hoping this change will attract more students, Betsy Matos, assistant professor of global resources and assistant director of environmental health and safety, said she hopes “students can see the health system more than the traditional doctor and nurses people think of with this major.”

Matos went on to explain that although Iowa State does not have a medical school, this minor will help attract students wanting to make a difference in the human health field.

Matos said this updated minor sets out with the goal of providing information to students on how the health system works with communities and the impact it plays on our society. Consisting of a minimum of 15 credits, students can elect to take two tracks with this minor: either the biological sciences or the social sciences aspect of health.

Students must take two classes credits: Global Health (GLOBE 360) and Insects and Our Health (MICRO 374) in addition to three credits from each of the two tracks mentioned previously. Students must take the remaining 15 credits from approved courses in their track.

Matos said all of these courses have an overview of showing not only the scientific view of how disease affects people but also how disease can affect communities and how communities can effectively tackle them.

She also explained that although this minor is a medical-focused minor, it can benefit any major. Matos hopes this minor helps show students they are part of the health system and that they can have a positive impact on their community’s health.

Sarah Smith, senior in microbiology, recently declared the global health minor. Smith said she wanted to declare the global health minor to expand what she learned from microbiology and get more of the side of how it affects people and society in contrast to what microbiology talks about, which does not hone in on the people and community aspect of disease.

Smith, who has previously worked in labs for plant pathology and is a medical track in microbiology, believes she has gotten eye-opening experiences from her classes on how society is impacted by diseases and health scares.

Smith said with the current climate of the world and the pandemic with no clear-cut end in sight, this minor is now more important than ever and can help students make a positive impact on not only their community health but health on a global scale, too.