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Credit: Dominic Chavez/World Bank

This fall, a group of UT students will learn more about health-care systems in the Americas thanks to a collaboration between the Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy and the College of Nursing to host a Diplomacy Lab.

The Diplomacy Lab is a partnership between the US Department of State and a small group of American colleges and universities to conduct research in areas of interest for policy makers. Every semester the Department of State issues requests in specific topics, and universities bid to host the labs.

“The Diplomacy Lab is a great opportunity for students to work directly with the Department of State,” said Katie Cahill, director of the Baker Center’s Leadership and Governance program. The Baker Center facilitates Diplomacy Lab bids for UT.

The winning proposal was prepared by Carole Myers, associate professor in the College of Nursing and coordinator of the Health Policy Graduate Certificate program. Myers will lead the lab during the 2019 fall semester. During the class, graduate students from multiple disciplines will discuss the organization and financing of public health care, infrastructure and resources, outcomes, major challenges, and key national policies.

“It is possible to learn about health policy in the classroom and through reading. However, to gain a deeper understanding, immersion in the policy-making process is necessary—learning by doing,” Myers said. “This class also will offer students the opportunity to be part of a working interdisciplinary team.”

At the end of the semester, students will produce a 20-page report that will be shared with the Department of State.

Previous UT-hosted Diplomacy Labs have researched issues such as social media and democracy in China, fake news, and affordable energy in Kenya.

“When considering potential solutions for global issues, it is important to consider what others have already done, what works, and what doesn’t. Through this research, students can help decision makers be better informed,” said Cahill.


Andrea Schneibel (865-974-3993,