Future Public Health Professionals Learn About Youth Violence Prevention

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We are pleased report on another successful semester of HBHE 680. This course, which provides students with an introduction to youth violence prevention in the context of public health, is a key component of the training core of the Michigan YVPC. It is offered every winter term to students in the University of Michigan School of Public Health, and is taught by Dr. Sarah Stoddard.

Dr. Stoddard states that “for many of the students, this is their first exposure to youth violence prevention practice and theory.” She invites speakers to class that represent a wide range of expertise. “The students have a variety of interests, from dating violence to bullying to gun safety. This course offers the opportunity to learn from researchers studying different forms of youth violence as well as practitioners implementing interventions in the community.”

This semester, guest speakers and topics included:

  • Rebecca Cunningham, M.D., Department of Emergency Medicine – Emergency Department Approaches to Violence Prevention
  • Eric Dubow, PhD, Professor, Department of Psychology, Bowling Green State University and Adjunct Research Scientist, Institute of Social Research, University of Michigan – Contagion of Collective Violence: Contagion from Ethnic-Political Violence to Other Forms of Aggression and Violence
  • Cheryl King, PhD, Department of Psychiatry – Youth Suicide
  • Robert Lipton, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Emergency Medicine – Spatial Analysis and Youth Violence
  • Susan Morrel-Samuels MPH, MA, Managing Director, Prevention Research Center – Firearms and Violence
  • Edmund McGarrell, PhD, Michigan State University – Youth Violence from a Criminal Justice Perspective/Community Policing
  • Desmond Patton, PhD, Assistant Professor, School of Social Work, University of Michigan
  • Pat Smith, M.S., Michigan Department of Community Health – National Violent Death Reporting System
  • Lori Thompson, Artistic Director, The Bullycide Project, Flint MI
  • Richard Tolman, LMSW, PhD, School of Social Work – Dating Violence
  • Maureen Walton, PhD, Research Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry – Substance use and Violence
  • Marc Zimmerman, PhD, Professor and Chair, Health Behavior and Health Education – Michigan Youth Violence Prevention Center

Toward the end of the semester, students had the opportunity to watch and discuss the nationally acclaimed film, The Interrupters. The film, which tells the story of three young adults working to prevent violence in Chicago, is intended to engage audiences around the structural causes of street violence, and creative approaches for interrupting the cycle of retaliatory violence. Many of the students reported that the film helped them see how what they learned about in class was relevant and how the theory could be applied in real life situations.

Students also had several opportunities to write  and discuss their own ideas about youth violence prevention on the HBHE 680 class blog. All students are required to write at least one blog post on a topic of interest. They also read and write comments on each others’ posts. This semester’s topics included gun legislation as well as dating violence, bullying and violence in media.

To learn more about HBHE 680 and to read the class blog visit: https://yvpc.sph.umich.edu/training-and-education/