Dr. Joyce O'Connor is ahead of her time.
Thanks to her early foresight, NYU's College of Global Public Health is also ahead of the curve - offering advanced public health courses online so our students can explore the limitless potential of learning management technologies.
Joyce sees barriers to online learning simply as challenges to be overcome. She is highly punctual, organized and efficient - much like the extensive clock collection she has accumulated through the years. She anticipated the growth in demand for our online course offerings and serves as Director of our online Advanced Public Health Certificate Program.
As a Clinical Associate Professor at CGPH, Dr. O’Connor has spent 15 years creating innovative curriculum with a student-focused and faculty-driven approach. The key to her success is getting on students’ wavelengths and identifying the right combination of course flexibility and structure to best meet a student’s needs.
While working at Staten Island University Hospital as Administrative Director of Public Health Education and Research for the Department of Medicine, she resolved a pressing concern: how to provide residents with community and public health training without reducing their clinic hours in the community. Dr. O’Connor developed an online training module that was so successful, the hospital offered the courses to nurses and other healthcare professionals. She is also credited with developing a complete distance education curriculum for a Bachelor’s of Science in Health Science degree and at UMDNJ/Rutgers.
“It’s exciting to be able to reach out to people who might not otherwise be able to take our courses because they don’t live nearby or have time-limitations,” said Dr. O’Connor. Without obstacles of location and time, a diverse student population from many different fields and backgrounds can come together and learn in a shared online environment.
Dr. O’Connor’s innovations have not only helped our online program thrive, but they have also created a ripple effect across all CGPH curriculum. CGPH teachers conducting research or interventions can bring public health practice into the classroom with Learning Management Technology. Students can see firsthand how an Environmental Scientist in Mongolia or Social Epidemiology in the Ukraine applies their skills. The class can watch pre-recorded interviews with busy public health experts despite the differences in time.
Joyce is also showing teachers how to enhance the classroom experience by incorporating online classroom modules, which in turn allows them to build on what they find most exciting about their classes. “I’m able to help our faculty look at teaching in a whole new way. Faculty come to me with more and more ideas and I work with them to find creative solutions to help turn their ideas into dynamic new features of their classes."
Dr. O'Connor firmly believes that online forums are a great way to learn. They are essential not only for student to faculty interaction but also engagement with their classmates. "In all my years of teaching, I’ve seen more peer interaction around a course subject online than I’ve ever seen in a traditional classroom setting," she said. "As a result, we've seen unlikely leaders emerge. It’s great for people who aren’t as verbal in a classroom setting of 100 people.”
Whether a student is looking to complete an online certificate to qualify for the CEPH exam or simply benefit from the flexibility an online course affords them, Dr. O’Connor sees online programming as a critical - and timely - component of the future of CGPH.
Dr. O’Connor completed her B.S. degree in Community Nutrition from State University of New York Downstate Medical Center, a Masters of Arts from NYU Steinhardt School and her Doctor of Public Health from Columbia University, Mailman School of Public Health.
Dr. O’Connor can be reached at email@example.com.