Monday, October 19, 2015

On the next WorldCanvass, Rebecca Arnold, UI Masters of Public Health graduate and senior program officer at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Center for Communication Programs, will receive the UI’s 2015 International Impact Award.  This is the sixth year of the award, which is given to exceptional individuals who have made sustained and deep contributions internationally or in the U.S. to promote global understanding.  The presentation and following WorldCanvass discussion will begin at 5 p.m., November 10, at FilmScene in downtown Iowa City and is free and open to the public. 

Arnold joins Richard and Mary Jo Stanley (2010), Trudy Huskamp Peterson (2011), Hualing Nieh Engle (2012), Marcelo Mena-Carrasco (2013), Selma Jeronimo and Roger Thurow (co-recipients in 2014) in receiving the award. Read more about the International Impact Award and past winners.

Throughout her career, Arnold has effectively blended her deep knowledge of communication strategies with an understanding of critical public health issues facing populations in many parts of the world.   A self-described ‘social and behavioral change communications specialist,’ her work has directly affected the delivery of knowledge and skills around family planning as well as maternal, newborn, and child health and nutrition, and has led to improved health behaviors in communities from Madagascar to Bangladesh.

Arnold’s focus has always been global.  She’s worked as a community health educator, has fought global poverty with the NGO CARE (Cooperative for Assistance and Relief Everywhere), and has developed grassroots advocacy guides used in Burundi, Uganda, and Rwanda to assist local activists in the prevention of gender-based violence in their communities.

In recent years, Arnold has directed the Bangladesh Knowledge Management Initiative (BKMI) in Dhaka, Bangladesh.  BKMI is a USAID-funded project to strengthen the capacity of the Bangladesh Ministry of Health and Family Welfare as it attempts to develop a national communication framework for health, population, and nutrition, which is currently absent in Bangladesh.  As part of this effort, she is developing digital resources (eHealth) for community-based, non-clinical field health workers to use in counseling at the household level.

She will be joined in the discussion by College of Public Health faculty members Edith Parker and William Story, and by graduate students Maya Ramaswamy, Jacob Kundert, and Natalia Santos.

WorldCanvass: Communicating for Social and Behavioral Change

Part 1--5:00-5:25

Presentation of International Impact Award

My public health journey: interview with Rebecca Arnold

Rebecca Arnold—senior program officer, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Center for Communication Programs

Part 2—5:30-5:55

Global efforts to address community and behavioral health challenges

Edith Parker—professor, Community and Behavioral Health, UI College of Public Health
William Story—assistant professor, Community and Behavioral Health, UI College of Public Health

Part 3--6:00-6:25

India, Gambia, Ecuador: student experiences in public health research

Maya Ramaswamy—Ph.D. student, Occupational and Environmental Health, UI College of Public Health
Jacob Kundert—MPH student, Community and Behavioral Health, UI College of Public Health
Natalia Santos—MPH student, Community and Behavioral Health, UI College of Public Health

The program, which is produced by UI International Programs and takes place at Iowa City’s non-profit cinema arts organization FilmScene, 118 East College Street, is free and open to the public.  Concessions will be available for purchase.

WorldCanvass is recorded before a live audience for later broadcast on UITV, YouTube, iTunes, and the Public Radio Exchange. Podcasts can be downloaded for free from iTunes and past programs are available through IP’s website.

WorldCanvass is a production of UI International Programs in collaboration with FilmScene and University of Iowa Video Services. For more information on WorldCanvass, contact Joan Kjaer at or visit the WorldCanvass webpage.