On Monday, October 19, talmidim participating in MTA’s Honors College were privileged to hear from Dr. Dean Hosgood, a professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Population Health at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Dr. Hosgood gave a virtual presentation on the topic of how epidemiologists identify and analyze diseases within populations. He explained the process through which epidemiologists investigate an outbreak of a disease and many of the external factors that could affect the results of their studies.

The Honors College invited Dr. Hosgood to speak after reading sections from Dan Fagin’s Toms River, which discusses the emergence of a cluster of childhood cancer cases in Toms River, New Jersey, in the 1990s. Throughout the work, Fagin describes the efforts of epidemiologists to identify the source of the cancer outbreak in the years following the emergence of the cluster. Dr. Hosgood’s presentation built upon the issues discussed in Toms River and helped talmidim understand the valuable work of epidemiologists in identifying the source of the cancer in Toms River.

Dr. Hosgood also briefly discussed the work of epidemiologists in response to the spread of the coronavirus and emphasized the need for appropriate measures to be taken to mitigate the spread of the virus. The Honors College is looking forward to continuing their study of Toms River throughout the year.

An enriched academic program, the Honors College offers seminars with renowned speakers, cultural and religious experiences, the utilization of MTA’s location in New York City as an integral part of the classroom experience, and monthly programs and trips to enhance the understanding of religious, historical, artistic, and scientific issues. Another major component of the Honors College is a commitment to comprehensive academic mentoring, where talmidim are paired with a mentor, from either the MTA or YU faculty, who meet with them on a regular basis and help guide their academic growth.

 By Mordechai Fox (’22)