Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Dr. Rivera part of interdisciplinary faculty teaching summer COH behavioral health course

Faculty from the College of Health -  Drs. Mary Dallas Allen, School of Social Work; Jenny Miller, Health Sciences; Marny Rivera, Justice; and Karen Ward, Center for Human Development; and Dr. Patricia Sandberg, Psychology, College of Arts and Sciences, co-taught a 3-credit summer course, "Interdisciplinary Exploration of Alaska's Critical Behavioral Health Issues." Students were from the disciplines of justice, social work, counseling, and public health. The course was supported through a grant from the College of Health, and made available to students in Anchorage and Fairbanks. UAA and UAF sites were connected by videoconference.

The course provided an overview of critical behavioral health issues in Alaska, including domestic violence and sexual assault, substance abuse, and suicide; introduced evidence-based practices and local resources; and offered an interdisciplinary perspective on the issues by featuring a cadre of state experts.

The faculty collaborated on the curriculum development and delivery, and gained a deeper understanding of how to organize and process an interdisciplinary course. Future work involves institutionalizing the course. This effort is part of the ongoing interdisciplinary collaboration that is a goal of COH and UAA.