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Scholar Bowl team places third for opioid overdose prevention program

On April 6, the College of Public Health Scholar Bowl team competed at St. Louis University in St. Louis, Missouri, for the seventh annual Public Health Scholar Bowl, demonstrating their knowledge of public health issues and ranking third in the case study competition for their fully planned intervention focusing on opioid overdose prevention in Philadelphia.

Throughout the spring semester, team members Patrick Kelly (who also competed in last year’s competition and returned this year as team captain), Faith Befano, Venise Salcedo, Tirzah Sheppard, Melanie Schupler, and Aurora Trainor met weekly to prepare for the two components of the competition: a series of quiz bowl matches against other universities and a case study that tasked the students with developing a community-based participatory approach intervention to address a public health concern in their community.

The Temple team won three of their four quiz bowl matches, which consisted of 20 questions each, beating teams from Brown, Truman State and DePaul Universities. Ultimately, the team fell to St. Louis University without scoring enough points to proceed to the semifinals.

For the case study, the team proposed a program to prevent opioid overdose among African American men who use heroin, using Photovoice to engage the population and encourage them to adopt the use of fentanyl testing strips. Their proposal scored 247 out of 258 points, earning them third place in the competition.

They prepared a presentation that included an assessment of the problem, including background information on the population and community. The group then created a budget, planned the marketing and educational components of the intervention, and described how they would evaluate outcomes.

They were scored on the thoroughness, relevance, and overall quality of each of these areas, as well as on public speaking skills, the professionalism of their presentation, and their responses to questions following the presentation.

“The team put in an extraordinary amount of time to prepare for this, sometimes missing work, staying up late, or putting aside other responsibilities,” said Michelle Scarpulla, instructor in the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences and faculty advisor for the team. “Their presentation was well researched, evidence-based, and innovative.”

Read more about student organizations in the College of Public Health.

Posted:  April 12, 2019