Teaching Cases

Working with professional case writer Eric Weinberger, the STRIPED team has developed a series of new teaching cases designed to engage students in real-world dilemmas, problem solving, and teamwork to tackle current, high-impact issues in eating disorders prevention. Learn more about STRIPED’s unique approach to case-method teaching in “Closing the ‘know-do’ gap: Training public health professionals in eating disorders prevention via case-method teaching” by STRIPED Director Bryn Austin and Collaborating Mentor Kendrin Sonneville (Abstract). See below for a synopsis of each case and links to the narrative documents for students and lesson plans for teachers.

STRIPED’s Latest Teaching Case!

Weighing the Evidence: One University Takes a Hard Look at Disordered Eating Among Athletes

Synopsis: Colburn University is the largest private university in the fictitious state of Columbia and is often recognized by people from distant parts of the country for its award-winning Division I athletic teams. That’s why when athletic director Harry Ritchie makes an offhanded comment about Colburn student-athletes with eating disorders, the press pounces. This incident coupled with a complaint from a parent draws the attention of Dean Francis Reilly, who finds himself needing to peel back some of the layers embedding college athletics on the issue of eating disorders among athletes. Throughout the narrative, different perspectives on sports and eating disorders are revealed from top-level administrators, like Dean Reilly, to the student-athletes themselves. As the story concludes, the conversation about eating disorders has begun, but questions still remain on how to make Colburn University a healthy environment for its student-athletes.

Skills: In this case students learn how to use the social ecological model to identify factors at multiple levels that influence risk of eating disorders.

“Weighing the Evidence” Narrative Document for Students
“Weighing the Evidence” Intermediate Lesson Plan for Teachers
“Weighing the Evidence” Advanced Lesson Plan for Teachers

Some Skin in the Game: Negotiating the End of a Campus Health Menace

Synopsis: Fictitious Colburn University boasts many “amenities” for its students, including cafes, a gymnasium, and U.V. tanning salon Campus Tans. Meredith Tang, a law student originally from Australia, and Barbara Holly, a public health student, cannot believe that this insidious industry has infiltrated campus life and worse yet seems to be promoted by the school, or at least is allowed to advertise on campus. Soon these students turned activists begin a campaign to evict the salon; however, they quickly discover that evicting Campus Tans may not be as easy as they thought. As the story ends, the student activists sit down to a meeting with school officials and the owner of the salon to negotiate an agreement that protects the health of Colburn students while balancing the interests of diverse stakeholders.

Skills: In this case students learn crucial skills in strategic negotiation to address complex public health problems.

“Some Skin in the Game” Narrative Document for Students
“Some Skin in the Game” Lesson Plan for Teachers

Beauty and the Breast: Mobilizing Community Action to Take on the Beauty Industry

Story synopsis: One day Joe Wendell’s 16-year-old daughter announces she would like to have breast implants, and Joe finds himself quickly learning all he can about implants and the surgery. To his relief, he discovers that, as long as his daughter is a minor, she cannot legally obtain the surgery without his consent. Yet, distressed by his newfound knowledge of the pernicious beauty culture, Joe gets involved with advocacy for greater protections for teen girls in his home state, the fictitious U.S. state of Columbia. In this effort Joe is guided by the confident figure of Anna Pinto, director of a community center in an East Franklin neighborhood with a vibrant Brazilian‐American community where cosmetic surgery, especially for girls and young women, is a particular concern. Together, Joe and Anna work to extend their coalition and find sponsorship for a bill, which will directly confront the problem. The story ends on the eve of the legislative committee hearing with testimony for and against the bill still being arranged.

Skills: Through this case students learn vital skills in policy advocacy and how to craft testimony for legislative hearings on important public health issues.

“Beauty and the Breast” Narrative Document for Students
“Beauty and the Breast” Lesson Plan for Teachers

“The Governor Is Very Interested”: Or, Cost-Effectiveness Analysis for School Health Screenings

Story Synopsis: Nefertiti Nelson, a senior official at the Columbia Department of Public Health (CDPH) in the fictitious U.S. state of Columbia, has been asked by the governor’s office to examine the cost-effectiveness of administering BMI and eating disorders screenings in schools. To carry out the project, Nefertiti and her team of CDPH colleagues join forces with the consulting firm, Datamon; yet, as the analysis begins questions quickly arise about the logistics and costliness of implementing the screenings, potential outcome measures, and the interests and concerns of respective stakeholders.

Skills: In this case students gain experience in estimating the cost-effectiveness of public health programs.

“‘The Governor Is Very Interested’” Narrative Document for Students
“‘The Governor Is Very Interested’” Lesson Plan for Teachers

“Retweet Does Not Imply Endorsement”: The Logic of Cyberbullying in Schools

Story Synopsis: School nurse Hazel O’Leary and her supportive principal, Jamal Morden-Jones, strive to effectively respond to weight-related cyberbullying at their middle school. While there is a district-wide bullying prevention and intervention program guide that supposedly has all the necessary guidance on the subject, the duo still find themselves scrambling to implement the plan in the school, highlighting the gap between policy and practice. As the case study ends, Hazel prepares to initiate her school’s first foray into the world of logic models for public health program planning.

Skills: Through this case students learn how to use logic models for public health program planning as they develop a strategy to combat weight-related cyberbullying.

“The Logic of Cyberbullying in Schools” Narrative Document for Students
“The Logic of Cyberbullying in Schools” Lesson Plan for Teachers

Who’s Calling Me Fat? Or, How Columbia Got Its Obesity Prevention Campaign Back on Track

Story Synopsis: Gisele Rodriguez, MPH, moved back to her hometown, East Point, in the fictional U.S. state of Columbia, after graduate school and joined the Columbia Department of Public Health (CDPH). Working with a marketing firm, Gisele and colleagues set out to create an obesity prevention campaign; however, the resulting product is met with community and national backlash for its stigmatizing messages and images. At the end of the story, CDPH releases a request for proposals to invite applications from community agencies to develop a new campaign that is both evidence-based and solicitous of community ideas and input, thus more likely to be effective and engender community-wide acceptance and support.

Skills: Through this case students develop skills in designing a social marketing campaign that is informed by the evidence and attentive to ethical concerns in both its design and evaluation plan.

“Who’s Calling Me Fat?” Narrative Document for Students
“Who’s Calling Me Fat?” Lesson Plan for Teachers

We’d love to know if you are thinking of using our STRIPED teaching cases in your classroom. Drop us a line to let us know or to ask any questions about the teaching case: grace.kennedy@childrens.harvard.edu