EPIIC sees most applications, largest enrollment in history
Published: Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, September 18, 2012 07:09
This year’s Education for Public Inquiry and International Citizenship (EPIIC) colloquium began two weeks ago and features the largest class the program has seen to date.
Run through the Institute for Global Leadership (IGL), the EPIIC program is focusing on global health and security for the 2012-2013 academic year.
“We’re looking at global health and security as a broad thing, so it’s everything from bioterrorism to the spread of pandemics to the impact of health and disease on economies,” IGL Associate Director Heather Barry said.
Over 100 students indicated interest in the program this year, Barry said, but only 57 were admitted into the class. The usual EPIIC roster is made up of 40 to 45 students, but more students were accepted into the class given higher interest this year, she added.
IGL Director Sherman Teichman noted that about 80 students were interviewed before choosing the ultimate 57.
Another teaching assistant will be added this semester to help accommodate the larger class size, and program directors will consider the effectiveness of this year’s program in determining whether to continue accepting a larger class, Barry said.
Barry cited the fact that the subject of this year’s EPIIC class was announced earlier than usual as a reason for the increased interest.
“This year I think the theme really hit one of the core clusters of the international relations program and also broader sensibilities of people engaged in public health,” Teichman said.
Past themes featured in the EPIIC program include “Conflict in the 21st Century” in 2011-2012, “Global Crises” in 2006-2007 and “Oil and Water” in 2004-2005. The first theme was “International Terrorism” in 1985-1986.
“We began to realize we were dealing and wanted to deal with conundrum issues—issues that would have persistence and meaning to our students throughout their lives in terms of giving them a basis for understanding and comprehension,” Teichman said.
Teichman hoped the topic would attract a variety of students, including those interested in social sciences, engineering and natural sciences.
“It became evident to us even last year when we began to formulate the syllabus and think about the theme that this was going to be very attractive to a broad range of majors,” Teichman said.
Half of the class is composed of science, engineering and pre-med students, and the other half is composed of social science and humanities students, according to Teichman.
“Frankly, we were interested and always are interested in taking the most highly qualified, intriguing, eclectic class that we can, and it was very hard to choose this year,” he said.
Sophomore Hanna Ehrlich, a student in the class this year, described EPIIC as capturing the essence of a Tufts education.
“This is just one of those opportunities that’s so ‘Tufts,’ so representative,” Ehrlich said. “It embodies so much of what Tufts represents: active citizenship, applying textbook readings
to everyday life and to the global community. It works with the interconnectedness of the international world, really just everything that Tufts is about.”
Much of the primary coursework takes place during the fall, and the students help prepare for the EPIIC Symposium in the spring, Ehrlich said. Many classes feature speakers who are specialists in relevant fields, while others include discussions of the readings, according to sophomore and EPIIC student Hadley Green, who expressed excitement about her acceptance into the EPIIC class this year.
“Knowing that this is a once-in-a-lifetime kind of opportunity to be able to meet all these people and to hear them speak
and also to be surrounded by a class of super smart people who are also interested in it — it’s just a really great collaborative academic experience that I wanted to be a part of,” Green said.