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A Message from the President: Summer 2017

Action, Not Talk

President Michael Driscoll

Two things make me want to brag about IUP’s new Public Health program.

The first of these you’ll find right inside this edition of IUP Magazine. This summer, Pennsylvania has been in the midst of a record-breaking tick infestation, according to both IUP biologist Tom Simmons and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. Take note that Dr. Simmons provides some valuable advice for what to do if you pick up a tick on your next hike in the woods.

The other is the nation’s ugly opioid and opiate epidemic. Some pundits disagree on whether ground zero is Ohio or West Virginia—certainly close enough to home. We have an obligation to help remedy this tragic problem. This summer, IUP hosted the 27th annual Mid-Atlantic Research and Training Institute conference. MARTI has long been a fixture here at IUP. Thanks to the efforts of our faculty members, communities across the nation have access to well-prepared treatment counselors, social workers, school employees, and psychologists.

Vital aspects of the public health field include monitoring health, investigating hazards, and seeking solutions to problems presented by epidemics. Our new Public Health programs will prepare students to tackle major health problems of the future, and I’m proud to be able to speak about those programs in the plural. Because we are taking a multidisciplinary approach, students will be able to choose from three tracks: Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Environmental and Occupational Health, and Behavioral and Mental Health.

In each of these disciplines, students will gain invaluable experience by working with faculty members who already are conducting solid research and providing real service to those in need.

As the subject of our cover story, John Kopchick certainly proves that IUP has for a long time prepared students to reach high and to be ready to tackle problems they may not even consider during their baccalaureate course of study. 

I am proud of the fact that we are rising to the needs of our world by instituting a multidisciplinary Public Health program.

I am equally proud of how creating this program illustrates that, at IUP, we don’t just talk. We act. 

Michael A. Driscoll