Abdul El-Sayed named scholar-in-residence in Wayne State’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

2018 Michigan gubernatorial candidate Dr. Abdul El-Sayed recently became the first-ever scholar-in-residence in Wayne State’s criminal justice department and public health program. El-Sayed will give two public lectures and teach the interdisciplinary course Wellbeing + Public Policy: Issues and Concepts during his residency this fall.

"Wayne State is a jewel in Michigan’s public higher education system,” says El-Sayed. “Since my father came to America to attend WSU, it’s played a particularly important role in my life. I’m so grateful to spend some time with the students, faculty, and staff at Wayne and to engage on issues that are critical in this time.”

El-Sayed's course will cover contemporary topics in human wellbeing such as public policy, criminal injustice, air and water rights, healthcare and how these factors influence the lifespan of Americans.

“We all want to ‘save lives.’ But, in my experience, that’s hard to do because everybody — to the best of my knowledge — passes away,” El-Sayed states in the course description. “Though we cannot save life, we can prolong life, improve life, and provide for equitable access to a long, healthy, meaningful life.”

This three-credit course will have both a public lecture portion featuring discussions with experts and a small group component allowing enrolled students to join the conversation.

“The college is thrilled to have someone of Dr. El-Sayed’s stature join us as scholar-in-residence,” says Steffi Hartwell, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. “His experience as a public servant and activism work makes him an invaluable resource for our students.”

El-Sayed is a recognized physician, epidemiologist, public health expert and political activist. He previously served as Health Commissioner in Detroit, as well as on the State of Michigan Child Lead Poisoning Elimination Board and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services National Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Advisory Committee according to his website.

He earned his doctorate degree from Columbia University where he was an assistant professor for the Department of Epidemiology. While there, he was named director of the Columbia University Systems Science Program and co-director of Global Research for Population Health. El-Sayed has contributed to over 100 peer-reviewed texts in the sphere of public health.

His first public lecture, Unlocking the System: Systems Epidemiology & Criminal Justice, takes place on April 3.

Written by Melanie Barnett, marketing and communications associate

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