Jack E. Turman, Jr


Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health

Internationalized Courses:

Biosocial Approach to Global Health, Dept of Social and Behavioral Sciences

Curriculum Internationalization Effort

In my course, Biosocial Approach to Global Health, IU senior undergraduate students in Community Health and MPH students in the Social and Behavioral Sciences work in partnership with MPH students at Hassan 1st University in Settat, Morocco.

Students work in teams to compare the status of a particular women’s empowerment issue in both the US and Morocco and then design an intervention strategy to address this issue in both the US and Morocco as a means of improving maternal and child health outcomes in both nations. Students learn to navigate setting up and conducting meetings across two different time zones and vastly different cultural and language norms.

In many cases this is the first time for many IU students to work with students within an Islamic nation. Likewise, it is the first time that Morocco students get to meet and work with American peers. I have loved to see new friendships formed, stereotypes eliminated and a deeper understanding of cultures. It is wonderful to see students gain an appreciation for the realities of women’s experiences in both countries and to see students advance a passion for improving women’s empowerment and health outcomes.

“I really enjoyed working with the Moroccan students throughout this course, I mean how many college students can say they collaborated on a group project with people halfway across the world– not many, so that's why I'm glad I got to have this experience, which I think will help immensely in the real world of public health. Also, it helps so much to get a different perspective of public health in a different country, and it was an eye opening experience that I am so grateful I got to have.”

IUPUI Undergraduate Student

Benefit to the Students:

Students learn how to work with a team of students from a different nation to create a report and intervention plan based on the daily realities, assets and needs of a partner nation, not on US goals/culture.

Benefit to the Faculty Member:

Teaching in this framework is the greatest joy of my entire teaching career of more than 25 years. The students from both nations provide so much insight into the social determinants of women’s health outcomes.

Jack Turman posing with students while in Morocco

For more information about this effort, please refer to these articles:

  1. Global health class gives IUPUI students unique chance to engage with Morocco
  2. Jack Turman: Hosted by Hassan First University, Morocco (2020)
  3. Legal Discrimination in Morocco and the United States.