The Rutgers School of Public Health has just wrapped up two sessions of PHocus, its first ever public health summer experience for high school students. PHocus, which stands for Public Health: Outbreaks, Communities, and Urban Studies, was open to students entering the ninth through twelfth grades who wanted to learn more about the factors that influence health and disease.
PHocus was hosted in both Newark and New Brunswick with a total of sixty-six participants, representing thirty-nine high schools in New Jersey and beyond, across the two sessions.
Students participated in a variety of experiences including mock outbreaks, hands-on population health and community disease activities, a laboratory session, and conversations with public heath scientists and practitioners.
“PHocus exposed young scholars interested in health and healthcare to the field of public health and the many opportunities it presents,” comments Dr. Laura Liang, associate dean for academic affairs, who co-led PHocus efforts. “We continue to see the growing need for public health professionals and by providing information on the field, we hope to build a pipeline of students who will go on to study and become involved with public health.”
“I didn’t even know what public health was before this experience, but I really want to pursue a career in environmental public health,” said a PHocus participant. “It really changed my future and life.”
Tuition for Newark PHocus participants was funded by the generous support of GlaxoSmithKline.
The Rutgers School of Public Health thanks all of its community partners, faculty, staff, volunteers, and public health professionals for participating in PHocus.