December 2016: Doing Harm by Doing Good

On December 1 – 3, 2016, 50 UI students completed a 1 s.h. workshop offered by the University of Iowa Global Health Studies Program entitled, “Doing Harm by Doing Good: Ethics of Students Studying, Volunteering, and Working in Global Communities.”

The workshop (which was co-sponsored by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and International Programs) was designed to introduce students to the complex issues involved whenever we try to “help” across geographic and cultural boundaries. Students were engaged in lectures, breakout sessions and discussions involving professionals from the fields of global health, international development, health sciences and higher education.  Keynote presenters included Dr. R. Balasubramaniam (Founder and President of the Swami Vivekananda Youth Movement in Mysuru, India), and Dr. Judith Lasker (Professor of Sociology and Anthropology, Lehigh University, and author of Hoping to Help:  the Promises and Pitfalls of Global Health Volunteering).

presenters
Presenters Robin Paetzold, R. Balasubramaniam, and Emily Wentzell

In addition to the student attendance at the workshop, 25 UI faculty and staff attended a session entitled, “Ethical Learning Abroad:  Advice for Faculty and Staff.”  Presenters Robin Paetzold (Director of Global Programs, UI Carver College of Medicine), Dr. R. Balasubramaniam (Founder and President of the Swami Vivekananda Youth Movement in Mysuru, India), and Dr. Emily Wentzell (Associate Professor of Anthropology/ International Studies Program Faculty Director, University of Iowa) discussed the ways that faculty and staff can help students find reputable international experience programs, ones which include preparation for and reflection on appropriate involvement in international health and development work.

Click here for a list of suggested resources from the workshop presenters.