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John Charles joint program with AUA

This information comes from the Reves Center's website.

Summer 2014 will be the inaugural year of a William & Mary Summer Study Abroad program in conjunction with the American University of Antigua. This partnership with AUA's College of Medicine, which states in its web-site that it is “committed to meeting the healthcare needs of diverse communities in the United States and globally”, provides an excellent opportunity for William & Mary students, particularly the many undergraduates who have expressed an interest in health professions, to experience the pre-med milieu in a Caribbean culture. The program will be jointly organized and taught by John M. Charles, Professor of Kinesiology and Health Sciences and Jobila Williams-Sy, who served as the Associate Director/Director of Academic Advising at W&M (2006-2012) and is currently an Assistant Professor in the Educational Enhancement Department at AUA, where she teaches educational enhancement and study skills techniques to medical school students and pre-medical undergraduates. Throughout this program, she will offer cultural immersion experiences and arrange a guest speaker series that will expose students to Antigua, which not only represents one of the most beautiful locations in the world, but also a rich and complex history of West African, European, and Amerindian culture. Students will have an opportunity to learn about historical influences that compose today’s Antiguan culture and how these cultural aspects interconnect with issues in health sciences, including the role of homeopathic and traditional medicine in modern Antiguan healthcarethrough KINE 393: Health Ethics.

The topic of Health Ethics, a GER 7 class that is consistent with the new MCAT focus on reasoning about values, is the ubiquitous challenge of our time when the question of what we can do in the health care fields is often eclipsed by considerations of what we should do. Health Ethics will be adapted to focus on health issues that are most pressing in Antigua and will provide insights into the intersection of traditional British policy and the practice of medicine and health care in the United States as exemplified in Antigua. Health Ethics will complement campus requirements in that it is a GER 7 course which also fulfills the Kinesiology premed and writing requirement and is accepted as one of the classes for the humanities requirement for Environmental Science and Policy. It should be of particular interest to premeds across campus and students interested in public health, global health and health care public policy.

Through KINE 335: Play Sport and Culture students will consider preventative healthcare strategies through play and sport in culture such as engaging the community in sports activities to promote healthy lifestyles, building awareness of chronic non-communicable diseases, and educating individuals on applications of kinesiology and sports medicine. Play, Sport and Culture links health and human movement, using play to consider personal recreational choices and sport as a lens through which to view society. Play Sport and Culture will be co-taught with a particularly Antiguan flavor. Play analysis will revolve around a theoretical study and series of exercises written by the professor entitled Playing in Antigua that will immerse students in the community. The sport focus of the class will include cricket and colonialism and the study of health promotion and wellbeing in Antigua.

The cultural immersion trips and excursions will include an initial introductory excursion of the island and extra-curricular events which will aim to immerse students in Antiguan culture, expand their understanding of health sciences internationally, and broaden their exposure to issues in health found within a developing, tropical environment. Cultural experiences may include clinical shadowing in local clinics which will provide students with hands-on experience interacting with clients from diverse backgrounds, as well as historically and environmentally-themed tours that lay a contextual foundation and introduce students to components of Antigua that impact multiple facets of human and
environmental health. For example, a trip to Barbuda will expose students to a less-developed portion of the twin-island nation of Antigua and Barbuda, and ethical and socio-cultural concerns such as waste management issues that highlight critical health concerns and potential threats of contamination of the island’s largest export – lobster. In addition, students may engage in community outreach activities such as volunteer opportunities with local health and sports-affiliated organizations which will allow students to apply concepts discussed in Health Ethics and Play Sport and Culture.

There is a required 1 credit course to be taken in Spring 2014, which you will be registered for following your acceptance into the program. This course is designed specifically for students going on the summer program and is intended
to enhance your cross-cultural understanding of Antigua and to cover a variety of pre-departure questions. The scheduling of this course will be dependent on the class times possible for the program participants.