David Rosner

This professor has earned a CULPA gold nugget

Dec 2010

While I definitely agree with what much of the previous post said, I think it gives the class a little too much credit. As a person, David Rosner is by far one of the most interesting people I have ever met. However, lecture can become redundant. If you're one of those students that feels compelled to always go to class and feels guilty about skipping, this class might be the bane of your existence. There are times though when they class is very enjoyable. If your TA is Kylin...switch.

Dec 2010

Rosner's class is definitely one of the most interesting that I've taken in my four years here. I bought all the books for the class (about 6) in the beginning of the semester and planned to re-sell them after the class ended, but I'm now going to keep them so that I can read them over break and use them as references for the future. I didn't take many notes during lecture, but all the discussions there and in section were really enlightening and I regret not having done more of the reading. It seemed like most people hadn't done the reading (at least very well), because Rosner had some trouble getting people to participate and answer questions about it, but he was pretty genial about it and assumed the best, which made me feel a little guilty after each class. In addition to going over the reading, we looked at political cartoons, movie animations, advertisements and youtube videos, and had at least two classes when Rosner posted lyrics on the computer screen and we all were instructed to sing along as part of the learning experience. Hands down awesome experience.

Dec 2010

This was possibly one of the best classes I have taken at Columbia. Rosner gives a great overview of major issues in American public health, beginning with colonial health and tracing the development of cities, epidemics, and bacteriological theory, then moving into issues such as lead, tobacco, AIDs, and vaccination. Rosner is essentially an incredibly intelligent teddybear--he's both extremely experienced in his field but also approachable and really tries to make the class fun and interesting, outlining major themes and mottos over the past few hundred years. I emailed him about my first paper and he not only gave me a million different sources, he also set up a meeting for me with another professor at the school of public health who is an expert in my field--he's always willing to help out students in any way possible and is genuinely interested in both his subject and his students. Definitely take this if it's offered again!

Jan 2010

I took Social History of American Public Health the first time it was offered, in Fall 2009, and I absolutely loved this class. Probably one of my favorite ever in my career at Columbia. It is offered through the history department, but plenty of premed kids also take it so there is a good balance of history and science. It's taught seminar style, with the professor asking a lot of questions, which may sometimes seem boring and pointless as first when your classmates are largely incorrect; however, the arc of the course is broad and extremely clear, and although many time periods are simplified down to a few rules and "mottos," you do come out of the class with a good general idea of what the history of public health has been. The professor himself is amazingly charismatic, very personable - makes a huge effort to learn your name if you speak up in class (even in a class of about 50 kids), draws upon his wide personal experience and generally is humorous and a really nice guy. I think he is offering it again so take the class if you're interested in this type of thing at all.