By Chris Putnam
The Department of Psychology at the University of Saskatchewan (USask) is now the Department of Psychology and Health Studies.
The new name formalizes the department’s relationship with the undergraduate Health Studies Program, which has been led by Department of Psychology faculty members since launching in 2015.
The change does not signal a new direction, but a recognition of work already happening within the department, said Dr. Dirk de Boer (PhD), acting head of the Department of Psychology and Health Studies.
“Health studies has grown into a thriving program, and many of our faculty conduct health-related research. By changing our name, we want to acknowledge the full breadth of research and teaching in our department and provide an official home for students majoring in health studies.”
Health studies is an interdisciplinary program in USask’s College of Arts and Science that combines the sciences, social sciences, humanities and fine arts.
Students in the program earn a Bachelor of Arts and Science (BA&Sc) degree that prepares them for careers in health-related fields. Some health studies graduates continue on to professional programs such as medicine, or pursue graduate studies in areas such as community health and epidemiology, public health, or marketing.
Courses in the Health Studies Program are taught by departments across USask and the College of Arts and Science. The program’s co-chairs, Dr. Ulrich Teucher (PhD) and Dr. Marla Mickleborough (PhD), are both faculty members in the Department of Psychology and Health Studies.
“The Health Studies Program basically teaches everything about health—the whole spectrum, from shamanism all the way to biomedicine. I think what’s exciting about it is that it teaches health so broadly, which is important when we deal with patients and their families,” said Teucher, who, along with Mickleborough, teaches the program’s four core courses.
Over the last six years, health studies has grown into one of the College of Arts and Science’s most popular interdisciplinary degree programs. More than 230 students were registered as health studies majors last year, and the program recently added the option of a fourth study stream.
“There are more and more graduates every year in the program. It’s been wonderfully successful,” said Teucher.
USask’s psychology department first opened in the College of Arts and Science in 1947.