Letter2-Student-Services-Staff

Dear Student Affairs Representative:

The University of California at Berkeley hereby renews our request for help from you or others at Student Affairs. Please join SPHs at Harvard, University of Michigan, University of Washington, UCLA, Emory, and many other top schools in circulating a nationwide 5-10 minute online survey to Public Health graduate students.

We very much want your students’ perceptions to be represented. Doing so requires you to circulate the SURVEY INVITATION EMAIL (below or here) to your public health graduate students via a listserv or in some other way — if possible, with a message that encourages responding. Sending a stand-alone email will best ensure that students notice the invitation, allowing their perspectives to be represented.

The survey asks student perceptions of how religious and/or spiritual factors have been addressed (or not addressed) in Public Health education (a similar national survey is underway among public health deans). This sensitive topic derives importance from a large and growing evidence base and its relation to cultural diversity issues. Data on student perceptions should inform current debates. Our project website gives additional background (and you can vet IRB approvals and survey questions). We will not publicize outcomes with regard to student perceptions for individual schools, including your SPH/CPH, without prior permission from the individual SPH/CPH — our interest is in overall patterns, not individual schools. By late December (check timeline), we hope to have most survey responses.

If we have reached you in error, or if you have any questions, or if you must decline, please email us at Viewscreen@berkeley.edu as soon as possible. If you previously circulated the invitation bundled into a newsletter, your students may not have noticed it — none from your SPH/CPH have yet completed the survey (n=0); we encourage you to resend as a stand-alone email. With much thanks in advance for your help on this important project!

-Professor Doug Oman, and other Berkeley-based faculty
(↓see our signatures below↓)

↓ ↓ ↓ ↓ ↓ INVITATION – FOR COPY/PASTE INTO LISTSERV ↓ ↓ ↓ ↓ ↓

SUBJECT LINE (POSSIBLE): Invitation from UC Berkeley SPH

Dear Public Health graduate student,

The University of California at Berkeley seeks your input to ensure that an important, sensitive topic of current debate can be addressed in light of student perceptions. We hereby invite you to complete a 5 – 10 minute online survey:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/STUDviewscreen

We seek input from all graduate students in accredited US Schools and Colleges of Public Health, and hope that you and your school are represented. The survey asks whether spiritual and religious factors have been addressed in your Public Health education, and what you feel might be needed (or not needed). Those who complete the survey can sign up to be notified of results when available next year. All your individual responses are completely anonymous, and we hope to receive them within 2 or 3 weeks (check timeline). More study background is available below our signatures. When/if you are ready to complete the survey, please follow this link:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/STUDviewscreen

With thanks and gratitude,

Professor Doug Oman, Principal Investigator
                    UC Berkeley – Community Health & Human Development
Professor Leonard Syme, Project co-Leader
                    UC Berkeley – Epidemiology, Community Health & Human Development
Professor Timothy Brown
                    UC Berkeley – Health Policy & Management
Professor Denise Herd
                    UC Berkeley – Behavioral Sciences
Professor Kristine Madsen
                    UC Berkeley – Joint Medical Program, Public Health Nutrition
Professor Linda Neuhauser
                    UC Berkeley – Health Education, Translational Research
Professor Amani Nuru-Jeter
                    UC Berkeley – Epidemiology, Community Health & Human Development
Professor Lee Riley
                    UC Berkeley – Infectious Diseases & Vaccinology
Professor David Lukoff
                    Sofia University – Clinical Psychology
Professor Stephen G. Post
                    Stony Brook University – Bioethics, Preventive Medicine

ADDITIONAL BACKGROUND INFORMATION

The purpose of this survey is to find out whether spirituality and/or religion have been discussed (or not discussed) as potential health-relevant factors in Public Health education at your university and across the US in other Schools and Colleges of Public Health. Spiritual factors are now often discussed in the graduate training in other health-related fields such as medicine and psychology. Whether and how to address these factors in Public Health training is a topic of current debate. We believe that these debates should be informed by data about student perceptions.

Our survey findings will be published next year (2014) in a publicly available online report, and later in journal articles. This project was initiated at UC Berkeley and has received funding support from the John Templeton Foundation. You may find out more about us and about the study by visiting our website, http://viewscreen.berkeley.edu

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