Dan Gerber is currently Associate Dean of Academic Affairs and Assistant Professor at the School of Public Health at UMass Amherst. He is also Director of the online MPH in Public Health Practice program and Principal Investigator for a $2.4 million grant from the Western Massachussetts Public Health Training Center. Dan has received multiple Outstanding Teacher awards from the School of Public Health, a Student Choice Award for Best Professor, and Outstanding Faculty awards from UMass Amherst.


He shared about some of his classes in 2005: 


At the graduate level, I teach three courses: Group Dynamics; Community Development in Health; and the Theory of Community Health Education at UMass Worcester Medical School. All three courses are based on CIE's participatory class discussion, and the first two courses bring practice into the classroom through community service projects.... A common statement from students at the medical school is, "Paulo Freire might have some interesting ideas but he never had to tell a patient over and over again that they need to lose weight."


At the undergraduate level, I teach a large Personal Health course (460 students) in Mahar Auditorium... Fortunately, I also have ten graduate students (TAs) implementing small group discussion classes along with my twice-a-week lectures. The course covers basic health issues (nutrition, physical fitness, sexual health, etc.) but I have also moved the lectures towards critical thinking of the media, our society’s values, etc. … On the first day of class when I explain that this class has a mandatory community service component, you can hear the groan of 460 students… yet in every evaluation the community service component receives extremely high marks.


The usual comment we see in students’ reflection papers is "Thank you for making me do some volunteering, once I started it I very much enjoyed doing it." The challenge for me now is moving the students from a "charity mindfulness" to issues of social justice and why is the world the way it is.


Prior to coming to CIE, Dan was Director of Training for the Peace Corps in Belize, Micronesia and Yemen, Country Director of Save the Children Indonesia, and held various positions in health programs in the US, Bangladesh and the Philippines. He has a Master's in Public Health from Hunter College, New York. [1/17]



Email: gerber@schoolph.umass.edu



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CIE Graduate