Graduation Year


Graduation Month


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

School or Department



Psychology – Research

Faculty Mentor

Peter Koehn

Faculty Mentor Department

Political Science


international health, global health, disease outbreak, global health ethics, health crisis response plan

Subject Categories

Other Public Health


Health crises are often met with much support from the global health aid communities, who strive to contain the current health crisis and improve the conditions of the affected society. The recent Ebola outbreak of 2014 is no exception. Driven by public panic and media coverage, the global health community responded in force, dispatching aid organizations, monetary help, and military assistance to both assist those affected with the disease and prevent it from spreading. The World Health Organization, along with Doctors without Borders and many other global organizations, swept in to provide aid to the affected areas. This project examines how these organizations responded to this particular outbreak as well as examining how the global health community responds to health crises in general. It will look at the possible negative impacts of unhindered foreign aid, specifically how the presence of so many possibly conflicting aid organizations in one area attempting to solve a health problem can inhibit local aid work, damage local infrastructure, and insult local culture and practices. The project will examine the importance of empowering and retaining the autonomy of local communities and working with them to create a framework that will sustain itself, address future potential problems, and rely on local organizations and resources. Using a combination of news articles, books, social studies of the area and of providing health aid in general, and interviews with Michele Sare (a nurse, author, and advocate for local autonomy in developing countries) and George Risi (a doctor who responded to the Ebola epidemic), this project will use the crisis of Ebola in Africa as a study in how the global health community should aim to respond to health crises.

Honors College Research Project




© Copyright 2015 Nicole Thelen