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St. John Fisher College Launches Two New Undergraduate Programs

August 29, 2018

St. John Fisher College will expand its undergraduate degree offerings with the launch of two new degree programs in public health and sustainability.

The College will introduce a bachelor’s degree program in public health in fall 2019, meeting a growing demand for professionals who understand population-based health care issues and have the analytical training to interpret and address those issues.

“Public health professionals are on the front lines of the health force dealing with both chronic and epidemic health conditions,” said Dr. David Baronov, professor of sociology, who will serve as director of the program. “Our students will graduate understanding the unique health care issues that impact residents of the seven county area surrounding Fisher, and experience a practice-oriented education that allows them to work directly with clinics, hospitals, and agencies to positively impact the health and wellness of those communities.”

While the program will be housed within the Department of Sociology and Anthropology in the School of Arts and Sciences, Baronov said they are interdisciplinary by nature. Students will engage with faculty from gerontology, anthropology, biology, and psychology within Arts and Sciences, while also interacting with professors in nursing, mental health counseling, and pharmacy.

The program will prepare graduates to work in the fields of health education, public health administration, program planning, development, and evaluation, as well as on special initiatives including mother-child health programs, opioid crisis, diabetes, and other emerging health needs.

Also housed in the School of Arts and Sciences, the new bachelor’s degree in sustainability builds upon the College’s growing focus on an interdisciplinary approach to sustainable development. It will be available starting fall 2018. Over the last several years, a sustainability minor and the creation of the Center for Sustainability have provided opportunities for students to better understand the careful stewardship of natural, social, and economic resources required to not only meet present needs, but those of future generations.

Dr. Michael Boller, associate professor of biology and director of the Center, said that the sustainability major will include both the theory and practice of the disciplines.

“Students will explore concepts in a number of different fields, including biology, business, chemistry, and ethics, among others,” he explained. “It is also directly connected to our community, as the major required a 140-hour sustainability experience with a partner organization.”

Boller said that the program will arm graduates with the highly sought after skills—including data analysis, project management, and cultural competency—that are necessary for the successful implementation of sustainable practices.

“There is an immediate need to understand sustainability because most organizations in all sectors now evaluate themselves along the dimensions of social, environmental, and economic performance,” he said.

To learn more about the programs, visit the public health and sustainability program webpages or call the Office of Freshman Admissions at (585) 385-8064.