A team of Aggies from the Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences (CVMBS), School of Public Health, and College of Medicine co-hosted the 2021 Consortium of Universities for Global Health (CUGH) virtual conference this March.
Approximately 1,900 participants from more than 100 countries attended this year’s conference, “Addressing Critical Gaps in Global Health and Development,” which also included more than 47 educational sessions and 700 poster presentations.
As one of the six host universities for the conference, Texas A&M was represented on the executive planning committee by CVMBS director of International Programs Dr. Linda Logan, CVMBS Global One Health program coordinator Erika Walker, School of Public Health professor Dr. Brian Colwell, and College of Medicine instructional associate professor Dr. José Florez-Arango.
Texas A&M’s plenary session, “Training the Next Generation of Global Health/One Health Professionals,” was moderated by CVMBS associate dean for Global One Health Dr. Gerald Parker and had more than 250 attendees. School of Public Health dean Dr. Shawn Gibbs was one of the four speakers addressing the importance of training future global health practitioners to coordinate across disciplines.
“The plenary session provided an opportunity to talk about transformative education models needed to prepare next generation professionals for global health careers and the skills they need to solve new and complex global health challenges of the future,” Parker said.
Master of Public Health student Blanca Brosig, a graduate assistant in the CVMBS’ Global One Health office, contributed directly to the conference organization as a project assistant by conducting a needs and gaps analysis, applying for grants, and coordinating with internal and external stakeholders.
Brosig also had the opportunity to facilitate a networking session during the conference, which allowed her to meet leading experts from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
“I believe conversations such as these are important to encourage interdisciplinary collaboration across borders, and I’m glad that Texas A&M was able to be part of that dialogue,” Brosig said. “As a future global public health professional, this opportunity showed me the range of One Health and the importance of cross-cultural communication to tackle some of the world’s biggest healthcare issues. I’m extremely grateful to Dr. Linda Logan and Erika Walker from the Office of Global One Health and International Programs for welcoming me onto their team and providing me with the tools necessary to succeed.”
In addition, Logan gave welcoming remarks on the first day of the conference; Texas A&M associate professor of English Dr. Jessica Howell contributed to a concurrent session; and 12 other university scientists and students from across disciplines presented their research in the poster program.
“I very much enjoyed working with the executive planning committee of the CUGH to develop a timely and highly relevant 2021 annual meeting program,” Logan said. “I have been so impressed with the skilled leadership of Dr. Keith Martin (executive director of the CUGH) and his team. Dr. Martin’s skills in diplomacy and keen ability to conduct interviews with global health authorities, and his clear, succinct summarization of their key points, is truly amazing.”
The CUGH was established in 2008 and consists of more than 170 academic institutions and other organizations from around the world, including Texas A&M University, engaged in addressing global health challenges.
Contact Information: Jennifer Gauntt, Director of VMBS Communications, Texas A&M School of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences; firstname.lastname@example.org; 979-862-4216