courtesy of kathleen kurtz
The Comparative Health Policy and Law class poses for a group photo during last year's trip to Europe.
Health policy and related laws vary considerably throughout the world. Presumed dissent law in the United States, for example, forbids the removal of citizens' organs upon death unless citizens declare themselves organ donors. In Belgium, however, presumed consent law permits the removal of citizens' organs upon death unless citizens specify a desire to preserve their organs.
      Graduate and undergraduate students explore these issues through Comparative Health Policy and Law, a summer course offered through the Division of International Programs Abroad (DIPA). "Through this course, students develop a clearer understanding of health policies in our time and a clearer perception of the strengths and weaknesses of health policy in the United States," says course founder Samuel Gorovitz, professor of philosophy in the College of Arts and Sciences and professor of public administration in the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs.
      Students complete readings on topics the class will address, then spend three weeks or more traveling through Europe. Upon returning home, they write research papers on topics developed during their travels. Topics have ranged from a comparison of smoking reduction programs for children in India and the United States to an examination of responses to malpractice and patient injury. "The course has always been successful because it deals with issues that are relevant," says Daisy Fried, DIPA's director of summer programs.
      At each destination, students listen to speakers, visit assigned locations, and conduct interviews. The professor selects different issues to be covered each semester. "What makes the course so good is the quality of speakers at each place the class visits," Fried says. "You're dealing with individuals who are at the forefront."
      "I was amazed by how much we did in three weeks," says Kathleen Kurtz, who took the class last summer. "You must have connections to line up that many speakers in such a short time frame."
      Law professor Richard A. Ellison will teach this summer's course. The first week, students will attend classes at the Syracuse University London Centre. The next stop will be Amsterdam, where they will examine death-related issues like physician-assisted suicide, euthanasia, and elder care. The third week will be spent at the World Health Organization in Geneva, where the class will focus on international health care issues.
                                                                                                                                            —ANN R. MEARSHEIMER



Graduate students in the Marriage and Family Therapy Program (MFT) are broadening their practical experience thanks to the 1993 National and Community Service Act. The act expanded volunteer opportunities in the United States through such initiatives as AmeriCorps, a national service program that provides volunteers with educational awards in exchange for a year of service in fields like education, public safety, or the environment.
      Anne Gosling, MFT director of clinical training, brought AmeriCorps and the MFT master's program together at SU through a grant proposal. She saw an AmeriCorps grant as a way to expand the program, providing graduate students with financial assistance along with increased practical experience.
      Students in the MFT master's degree program must complete 500 hours of clinical practice—known as a practicum—as part of their requirements. Much of this service is carried out on campus at the Goldberg Marriage and Family Therapy Center, or at local organizations like Catholic Charities, the Onondaga Pastoral Counseling Center, St. Joseph's Hospital, and the SUNY Health Science Center.
      Four graduate students—Dawn Bedford, Loree Johnson, Theresa Nolan, and Laura Schmidt—have each received a $1,444 educational award for tuition reimbursement from AmeriCorps. In exchange, AmeriCorps requires the students to complete 550 hours of clinical work㬮 more than the MFT program. "AmeriCorps definitely provides more experience and will help me concentrate on what I want to specialize in," says Bedford, a second-year MFT graduate student.
      As part of her yearlong internship, Bedford counsels individuals and families at Catholic Charities and Family Medicine. The additional hours allow her to focus on her specialty-counseling victims of sexual abuse. "The grant inspired our supervisors to provide us with more opportunities," says Bedford. "Instead of just working at a clinic, we work with other outreach programs in the community. The grant has really broadened our options."
      Gosling sees AmeriCorps' extra hours as a key part of the program. "Traditionally we have considered only face-to-face counseling when we tally hours," Gosling says. "But the hours required by AmeriCorps take a broader range of tasks into account."
      The grant helps MFT students expand their view of field work through duties like record keeping, case management, and group meetings. It also allows participants to more fully integrate service learning into the academic experience, Gosling says.
      She predicts long-range benefits for students, including expanded career options and an increased sense of professional identity. "AmeriCorps will help us restructure the program, encouraging students to take a more holistic approach to clinical practice," Gosling says.                                                                   —WENDY S. LOUGHLIN

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