Dean's Lecture Series: Perspectives on the Pandemic announced

The College of Health and Human Development has announced the Dean’s Lecture Series: Perspectives on the Pandemic, which seeks to help better understand the COVID-19 pandemic from a public health perspective.

The lectures, to be held virtually, will feature leading national and international scholars to provide insights on the pandemic on a variety of topics, including:

  • The public health and health care response to the pandemic in Pennsylvania.
  • The COVID-19 experience in China.
  • How statistical models of infectious disease dynamics are helping us understand and respond to COVID-19.
  • The mental health impact of living in, and through, this pandemic.

Lectures will be moderated by Craig J. Newschaffer, Raymond E. and Erin Stuart Schultz Dean of the College of Health and Human Development.

The lectures will begin Thursday, April 16, via Zoom webinars. Participants are invited to join the live events, which will include question-and-answer sessions. All lectures will be recorded and available for viewing at a later date.

To date, scheduled lectures include:

The public health/health care system response to the COVID-19 pandemic in Pennsylvania

April 16, 4-5 p.m. — Join via Zoom

Esther Chernak, associate professor in the Department of Environmental Health, Drexel University School of Public Health and the Drexel University College of Medicine and cirector, Center for Public Health Readiness and Communication at Drexel

This presentation will provide a comparison of data on the epidemic in Pennsylvania vs. other states, offer a framework for the theoretical range of public health/health care response options, highlight some response strategies from other parts of the country/world, and focus on the public health/health care response here in the commonwealth. 

Confronting the COVID-19 Pandemic: Major Lessons From China

April 23, 10-11 a.m. — Join via Zoom

Yuanli Liu, dean, School of Public Health, Peking Union Medical College

This presentation will provide a comprehensive review of the major interventions undertaken in China in response to COVID-19 and will extract lessons that can be learned from China by other countries.

Simple principles for interpreting complex models: how to make sense of COVID-19 projections

April 30, 4-5 p.m. — Join via Zoom 

David Dowdy, associate professor of infectious disease epidemiology (Affiliate Infections Disease Dynamics Group), Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

This presentation will outline a series of simple principles that can be applied in a matter of minutes to help make heads or tails of the latest model-based projections (regarding how many people will get sick, how many ventilators will be needed, the impact of different control measures, etc.) related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Additional lectures

Additional lectures, including recordings of previous lectures, will be added to hhd.psu.edu/Deans-Lecture-Series.