Jun 22, 2020
Meg Cole, Natalie Kimbrough
In Policy Analysis and Management

CPC recently launched DemSemX—a new cross-center population initiative to support scholarly interaction and training—in collaboration with Bowling Green, Michigan, Minnesota, Penn State, Texas, UCLA and UW-Madison.

The inaugural event on May 29 included a plenary session and virtual roundtables. Attended by more than 250 people, the plenary featured talks by Wendy Manning (Bowling Green) on “Social Science Research and Social Distancing: COVID-19 Research Opportunities and Challenges” and Elizabeth Wrigley-Field (University of Minnesota) on “Racial Disparities on the 1918 Flu: What Drove Them and What Can We Learn for Today?”

Eight virtual roundtables provided opportunities for students to present and get feedback on their work and interact with other emerging and established scholars in population. Student presenters selected their "dream team" of faculty discussants from across the collaborating centers. CPC’s Pamela Meyerhofer (PAM PhD Candidate) presented “Who Are Essential and Frontline Workers” in Wisconsin’s breakout room. Xuewan (Shelley) Yan (SOC PhD Candidate) with collaborator, Tianyao Qu (SOC PhD Candidate) presented, “Networked Infections: How Does Contracting COVID-19 Together with Loved Ones Affect Illness Severity?” in Penn State’s breakout room.

The organizers stated, “This initial virtual meeting was a proof of concept and we are planning on continuing DemSemX during the academic year. We hope new collaborations and opportunities for exciting population science stem from these events.”

“…hearing about research examining social problems in a careful way has been really grounding, personally helpful, and inspiring for me. Thank you so much for making that space amidst all the uncertainty.”

Youngmin Yi
PAM and SOC PhD, 2020