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COVID-19 Case Rates in Rural and Urban Pennsylvania

Author: Raeven Faye Chandler, Ph.D. , Katrina Alford, M.S. , Leif Jensen, Ph.D.

Article Topics: school districts, racial disparities, health, education When the COVID-19 pandemic became widespread in the United States, much of the discussion and attention centered on urban epicenters with rapid spread due to the high population density. While rural areas are less populous, other characteristics of rural America make those individuals living there far more vulnerable than their urban counterparts. In this post we describe the unique dynamics making rural residents more vulnerable, provide a comparison of COVID-19 trends in rural and urban areas in Pennsylvania, and offer insight as to why the COVID-19 pandemic highlights and magnifies the…

Adding Nuance to School Reopening Plans during COVID-19

Author: Erica Frankenberg, Ed.D. , Katharine Dulaney

Article Topics: school districts, racial disparities, health, education Note: This blog is a follow-up to our August report published at the Center for Education and Civil Rights. You can find that here: In 2020, as school boards around the country weighed the public health and education concerns brought on by COVID-19, we observed that districts were developing vastly different reopening plans for the fall. The distinctions between these plans were especially apparent when compared to the similarities observed between districts in mid-March, a time when virtually all districts decided…

Fostering College Students’ Sense of Belonging Amidst COVID-19

Author: Maithreyi Gopalan, Ph.D. , Shannon Brady, Ph.D.

Article Topics: education, disparities, mental health, psychology, research “When I first arrived at school as a first-generation college student, I didn’t know anyone on campus except my brother. I didn’t know how to pick the right classes or find the right buildings. I didn’t even bring the right size sheets for my dorm room bed. I didn’t realize those beds were so long. So I was a little overwhelmed and a little isolated” -Michelle Obama (2014) Introduction As illustrated in the quote above, the transition to college has always been challenging. Making new friends. Enrolling in the right classes. Responding to critical feedback from professors. Perhaps…

COVID-19 presents a real-time educational opportunity

Author: Matthew Johnson, Ph.D. , Amber Cesare , Tiffany Lewis , Kathleen Hill, Ph.D.

Article Topics: education, innovation, technology What do you remember about middle and high school science classes? You may remember spending a few weeks learning about what scientists do (like measuring things and the scientific method). Then, you remember having to memorize things like the phases of mitosis, the chemical symbol of tungsten (W), and the gravitational constant (-9.81 m/s2). You may also remember doing “labs” to verify these concepts. For example, you may have shined light on an elodea plant in an aquarium and observed the carbon dioxide bubbles that form. Or you might remember looking through a light microscope to…

Project ECHO at Penn State College of Medicine

Author: Jennifer L. Kraschnewski, M.D. MPH , Erica Francis, M.S. , Ellie Hogentogler, B.S.

Article Topics: innovation, technology, education The COVID-19 pandemic and knowledge of this novel disease has pushed our medical communities to identify new ways of learning. When the pandemic hit, medical experts suddenly found themselves facing an illness they knew little about and struggling to rapidly learn about how best to prepare and care for patients. With assistance from Penn State University’s Huck Institute and Social Sciences Research Institute, our Project ECHO at Penn State was rapidly able to mobilize and provide a platform for sharing much-needed, and ever-changing, information on COVID-19. About Project ECHO Project ECHO…

Building Community in Medical Education during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Author: Mark Stephens, M.D. , Thomas Laux , Daniella Lipnick , Ryan Kenney , Lindsay Buzzelli , Jeffrey Wong, M.D. , Dan Wolpaw, M.D.

Article Topics: education, innovation Over the past 3 months, nearly 30,000 medical students across the United States have been displaced from their traditional health care roles. With relatively little warning or time for preparation, students, faculty, and administrators scrambled to create platforms, structures, and processes to support learning and find ways to keep students engaged in patient care. Here is a look inside the impact of COVID-19 on medical education through the eyes of four class leaders at the Penn State College of Medicine, University Park. Tom’s perspective: new ways of teaching, learning and contributing…