The Center for Global Health Impact is committed to enhancing public knowledge about COVID-19, epidemiology, and pandemic mitigation strategies. The Center has pursued these goals through virtual classroom instruction, a public health case competition, student research, consultations, lectures, and media interviews.

In the News

Center Director Dr. Eric G. Bing has made several television and other media appearances to discuss the spread of COVID-19 and to share public health best practices.

Learning from the Pandemic

2020 Battle to Save Lives

In Spring 2021, Dr. Bing will be teaching a class called Pandemics! The Science of Disease Spread, Prevention, and Control (APSM/ANTH/MNO 4344).  More information is available on the training page.   

Bing’s Spring 2020 section of Creating Impact in Global & Public Health featured assignments related to COVID-19 beginning in January, but Bing restructured the course to focus entirely on the pandemic when SMU switched to virtual classrooms in March. As a public health disaster unfolded, the course hosted public health leaders for virtual conversations on several aspects of the pandemic, such as its impact on first responders

Students in the course were divided into teams; each team had the opportunity to research a different aspect of the pandemic and develop presentations that kicked off class discussions. The topics of these discussions included systemic obstacles and economic tradeoffs of pandemic mitigation, the physical effects of COVID-19, and mental health in pandemic situations.

The course culminated in the sixth annual Battle to Save Lives case competition, which was hosted via Zoom.

Student teams presented several strategies for mitigating COVID-19 on college campuses:
Team A focused on infrastructure modifications, infrastructure repurposing, and symptom tracking
Team B focused on infrastructure modifications, temporary “social distancing” spacers in public areas, and signage
Team C proposed a campus food delivery app designed to reduce student use of dining areas
Team D proposed an app designed to reduce physical transactions with student IDs on campus
Team E focused on contact tracing, distributing personal protective equipment, developing an honor code to reduce infections, and implementing social distancing and hygiene protocols

Team A and Team D applied for implementation grants from RevTech Ventures, and both teams received grants.

Researching COVID-19 Stress

Research Assistant Kaitlyn Contreras-Castro is working with Bing and Applied Physiology and Wellness doctoral student Claire Trotter to research how meditation apps can impact stress in a pandemic situation. The study is ongoing.

Additional information and guidance on COVID-19 is available on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website.