Thank you for taking the time to read the sixth edition of the Undergraduate Journal of Public Health. Over the past year, we navigated the evolving challenges brought about by the pandemic, matching uncertainty with immense resiliency, and are pleased to share with you a collection of important works authored by the next generation of public health leaders. The endurance of this pandemic illustrates the dynamic nature and permanence of public health; the need to research, discuss, and holistically understand all topics within this field is constant. As such, this journal examines a variety of complex, interdisciplinary public health issues, both inside and outside the scope of the pandemic, at the local, national, and global levels.
The influence of the pandemic is reflected in the number and subject matter of this year’s submissions. We recorded the highest number of submissions since the journal’s conception, representing a widespread, unprecedented motivation within undergraduates to explore the public health crises most meaningful to them. A number of these submissions investigated the pandemic directly, providing us with the unique opportunity to include a special section dedicated to pieces about COVID-19. Alongside the literature review, independent research, and perspective sections, this journal offers a unique blend of pieces which touch on core themes of public health that are applicable to all areas of academia.
We express our utmost gratitude to our editing team, whose dedication and constant eagerness to learn supported a final product even better than we could have possibly envisioned. To our faculty advisor Dr. Ella August, we thank you for your wisdom and trust in our team to create a volume of work that reflects what we find most dire to bring to the forefront of public health. Additionally, we are grateful for our PhD reviewers, whose breadth of experience offered a necessary perspective on this year’s pieces. To MPublishing, we are indebted to your flexibility and kindness throughout this process in making this journal one that exhibits professionalism. Thank you to our cover artist, Yoo Young Chun, for your timely, artistic expression of public health. To the University of Michigan School of Public Health, thank you for your consistent support since the journal’s first edition in 2017.
Finally, to our authors whose pieces are the foundation of this publication, we thank you. Your desire and dedication to contribute to and expand the public health field have been inspiring to our entire team. Your investment in communicating the lived experiences and voices of those often marginalized by society advances one of the most important goals of public health: equity. We know your work will have a profound impact on readers and the academic community at large.
We reflect upon our time here with great fondness and are proud to present Volume 6 of the Undergraduate Journal of Public Health.
Madeline Cohen and Maya Nassif