Office of Public Affairs

USM hosting course and webinar series on COVID-19

The issue of the year, COVID-19, is becoming a class.

USM’s Muskie School of Public Service and the University of Maine Graduate and Professional Center are hosting a new short course and webinar series on the COVID-19 pandemic.

It is titled, “Understanding the COVID-19 Pandemic: Resilience and Recovery.”

The series —  which is free to the public — will feature online lectures delivered by University of Maine System experts in the fields of public health, policy, law, and business.

Two special guests — Dr. Nirav Shah, Director of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, and Dr. Dora Mills, Chief Health Improvement Officer at MaineHealth — will kick off the lectures on June 1.  

The series aims to help people gain a stronger understanding of the COVID-19 pandemic, its local and global impact, and the recovery from it. Over each of six lectures, faculty members will present an aspect of this pandemic through their disciplinary lenses, highlighting how we understand, track, mitigate, and recover from its impacts.

For Firooza Pavri, the director of the Muskie School of Public Service and a professor of Geography, the idea of creating a class spoke to her role as an educator. 

“For every one of us, it's hard to keep track of COVID-19 developments on a daily basis,” Pavri said. “How do academics contribute? We do what we do best. Teach.”

Feeling a need to incorporate several disciplines, she cast a wide net among colleagues, who were eager to join her.

“Everyone just jumped on board,” she said.

This series was developed by the Muskie School of Public Service at the University of Southern Maine in collaboration with the University of Maine Graduate and Professional Center, the University of Maine School of Law, and the business schools of the University of Southern Maine and the University of Maine.

This series will start on June 1 and conclude on June 11. Each lecture will run from 5 to 6 p.m. and recordings will be made available. You can join any and all of the lectures on June 1, 2, 4, 8, 9, 11.  Registration is online. For students, the series can also be taken as a one-credit class and will include an additional 30 minutes of instruction, on Zoom, following each public webinar.

Lectures will examine:

  • Epidemiology of COVID-19
  • Public health systems and health policy
  • Crisis management best practices
  • Global/local disparities in impacts and outcomes
  • Privacy rights and freedoms; federalism
  • Impacts on the international and U.S. economy and workforce