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The Quinnipiac Chronicle

The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

School of Health Sciences introduces three new minors

Quinnipiac University’s School of Health Sciences introduced three new minor programs — Sports Medicine, Human Movement and Health Equity. 

While all of these minors pair well with any major in the School of Health Sciences, students from outside majors might benefit from them as well. 

The health equity minor is an interdisciplinary minor, co-offered by the College of Arts and Sciences. 

“Last spring, a student came to speak to me about an idea she had,” wrote Susan Norkus, associate chair of athletic training and sports medicine and interim chair of health science studies in an email to The Chronicle. “She had taken a special topics class that focused on this topic, and she was so interested in learning more that she focused her class project on creating and designing the minor. She proposed it to me and our faculty and department took it from there.”

That student was Anne Habeck, a health sciences major in the pre-medical studies program, who graduated last spring. 

“I came up with the idea for my capstone project,” Habeck said. “I wanted to create this interdisciplinary minor so that anyone could get the education of public health, because it should be a knowledge that is open to everyone.” 

Habeck was very involved in the process of starting this minor, creating the curriculum and naming the minor, despite graduating before she could declare it.

“When I first proposed the minor I proposed the name Social Disparities,” Habeck said. “But I like the name Health Equity much better. A lot of people think equality and equity are the same thing and they are not.” 

Equality means each individual or group of people is given the same resources or opportunities. Equity recognizes that each person has different circumstances and allocates the exact resources and opportunities needed to reach an equal outcome, according to Marin Health and Human Services.

“(It’s about) making sure everyone has the access to proper resources,” Habeck said. “That’s looking at socio-economic status, racial disparities, gender disparities and I can keep going. Which is why I encouraged to call it Health Disparities (once). But Health Equity really looks at, yes we have these disparities in our healthcare system, how can we change (it) to achieve this goal?” 

In other words, this minor was designed for students to understand “how the conditions in the environments where people are born, live, learn, work, play, worship and age affect a wide range of health, functioning and quality-of-life outcomes and risks,” according to Norkus. 

To earn the health equity minor, students will be required to complete an internship, community engagement or experiential learning course. 

The sports medicine and human movement minors were created by the Department of Health Sciences last spring, and approved by the Faculty Senate this past fall.

“Our faculty have exceptional expertise in both of these areas,” Norkus wrote. “So it made sense to benefit from our faculty strengths and find a way to allow students more opportunity to learn about areas they have interest in.”

While the minors might sound similar, the human movement minor is more focused on movement across the lifespan, from pediatrics to geriatrics, with the intent to provide a foundational understanding of normal human movement. 

The sports medicine minor is for health care professionals working with physically active patients or anyone interested in sports healthcare. 

Some of the courses in the minor are similar to those in the athletic training program, but the minor will not prepare students to work as an athletic trainer, according to Norkus. 

Along with these minors, Quinnipiac introduced three new three-credit classes — Introduction to Health Disparities, Introduction to Sports Medicine and Human Motor Development. 

Right now, there isn’t any consideration to offer these programs as majors. 

“Not at this time, but if enrollment grows and there is significant interest among the student body, who knows?” Norkus wrote. 

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Alexandra Martinakova
Alexandra Martinakova, Editor-in-Chief

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