HU Students Compete in First Annual DC Public Health Case Challenge

By Monica Y. Queen
Howard University Health Sciences

WASHINGTON--An interdisciplinary team of six Howard University (HU) students competed and won third place in the First Annual DC Public Health Case Challenge, held at the National Academy of Sciences on November 15. Seven local teams competed including: American University, George Mason University, George Washington University, Georgetown University, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, and the United States Naval Academy, in addition to the Howard team. The event was sponsored by Georgetown University and the Institute of Medicine, with funding provided by the Kellogg Foundation.

The Howard team members included: Desiree Bygrave (Ph.D. candidate in neuropsychology), Christine Clarke (Ph.D. candidate in microbiology), Ariel Gaines (B.S. candidate in biology), Victoria Larsen (B.S. candidate in biology), Aubrey Palmer (2nd year medical student), and Ariel Turner (B.S. candidate in health education, with a minor in biology). The faculty advisors were Dr. Anna Allen (Assistant Professor, Biology Department) and Dr. Oritsetsemaye Otubu (Assistant Professor, Department of Community and Family Medicine).

“This was a great accomplishment for our team,” said Dr. Allen. “We are extremely proud of our students and how well they represented Howard University.”

The DC Case Challenge is modeled on Emory University's Global Health Case Competition and aims to promote interdisciplinary, problem-based learning around a public health issue that faces the local DC community. This year's competition challenged the teams to prepare a proposal that would outline interventions addressing violence affecting LGBT youth. The Howard team’s multi-step proposal included a “Love, DC” awareness campaign and mobile application to highlight LGBT-friendly establishments.

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