Winter 2024 Honors Rome

Winter 2024 Honors Rome

Honors Rome 2020

Colosseum in Rome, Italy

Global Refugee Crisis: From Devastation to Diaspora

Location: Italy, Rome

Program Dates: Winter 2024

Credits and Courses: 12 credits

  • HONORS 382, Interdisciplinary, SSc/A&H and “W” and “DIV”, 5 credits
  • HONORS 381, 5 Interdisciplinary, SSc/A&H and “W” and “DIV”, 5 credits
  • ITALIAN 199 (Italian Language), A&H, 2 credits

Director: Jonathan Carey Jackson MD, MPH, MA, and Diem Nguyen PhD, MPH

About the Program

Using Italy and the U.S. as case studies in refugee resettlement, the connecting thread of this course is the lived experience of refugees and asylum seekers as they traverse the extensive journey from their home country to the country of final asylum.

The perspective of migration for specific streams from Ukraine, East Africa, and the Middle East to Southern Europe and the U.S. will be reviewed in detail, and contrasted with legacy migrations from Southeast Asia. This will include the lived experience and layers of loss as refugees move through countries of first and second asylum, including refugee camp life, and detention. We will discuss prevalent mental health sequelae, common infections, and the many challenges faced from language and culture, to racism, class, and poverty in host countries. Students will becomes familiar with:

1) Italian refugee policy and legislation including quotas, current political challenges, and resettlement strategies and we will contrast these with similar dynamics in the U.S.. Speakers from Rome and the U.S. engaged in policy and legal challenges will be invited lecturers and discussants.

2) Common sequelae of warfare, and genocide to individuals and communities.

3) Prevalent infections and nutritional challenges faced by adults and children, and host country responses.

4) The mental health burden of trauma and relocation and institutional responses.

5) The loss of social capital, language, and culture and examples of the challenges.

6) Equal attention will be paid to resilience, diaspora communities, success in the new host countries, and the systems that facilitate this success. Students will engage in classroom learning from one another through reflection, discussions, group projects and presentation. The classroom will focus on readings, lectures, video/film, group presentations, and discussion.

Evaluation will be based on papers, group presentations, and in class participation

About the Directors

Dr. Jackson is trained in Public Health, Anthropology, and Medicine. He has 32 years of experience designing research programs and services for immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers. He has mentored and taught generations of graduate students, medical students, residents, fellows and colleagues on refugee related issues for decades. The programs he has developed (International Medicine Clinic, Community HouseCalls, EthnoMed, Northwest Health and Human Rights, the Refugee Health Promotion Program) have received many national awards from the Office of Refugee Resettlement, the Office of Minority Health, the American Pediatrics Association, and the Congressional Black Caucus to name a few. He has been recognized as a community health leader by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. He has done 30 years of prevention research as an affiliate investigator with the Fred Hutchison Cancer Research Center and has 70 peer reviewed publication and over 150 abstracts drawn from numerous research grants focused on immigrant and refugee health issues. His work has taken him to Africa, Asia, and the Pacific. He has not taught in Italy before, but has taught students in Bangkok, Hanoi, and at Makerere University in Uganda.

Dr. Nguyen is currently a clinical faculty at the University of WA in the Department of Global Health. Her research focuses on immigrant and refugee health and education through the lens of social determinants of health and equity. Dr. Nguyen’s work is informed by a community-based participatory research (CBPR) approach. CBPR is a community engagement framework that approaches research and knowledge construction in partnership with communities. Dr. Nguyen works closely with local community-based organizations, including the Vietnamese Health Board and the Community Health Board Coalition (CHBC), an organization made up of different health boards that serves Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities in the King County metro area. Dr. Nguyen has taught both undergraduate and graduate students at the University of Washington. Some of the courses she has taught include Global Mental Health, Health Disparities, and Social Adaptation of Immigrant Children to the U.S. As a refugee herself, Dr. Nguyen has a deep and personal interest in helping students to understand the complex and interconnected social, historical, political, and economic conditions that shape refugees’ plights and resettlement experiences, both globally and locally. As someone who is situated in multiple spaces – heath, education, and community – Dr. Nguyen’s approach to teaching and learning intersects and draws on these rich disciplines and experiences to inform classroom dialogue and engagement.

More details are forthcoming (program fee, exact dates, and application link — all coming soon)