WSU Offers Community Education Course on Pandemics

OGDEN, Utah – To help understand past and present pandemics, Weber State University Community Education and the College of Social & Behavioral Sciences is offering a free online summer course titled “Pandemics and People,” beginning May 18 and running through July 1. 

The course will provide the community with a broad understanding of the issues and effects of a global pandemic such as COVID-19. It will cover a variety of topics intended to help participants engage with all aspects of how a pandemic changes daily life.

“We decided to offer ‘Pandemics and People’ because we wanted to enrich our own —  and our students' — understanding of the dramatic changes we are living through,” said Susan Matt, WSU history professor. “COVID-19 is reshaping our personal lives, but it is also altering our towns, states, nations and globe. This course will help us all place our individual experiences into a larger context.”

The course will be taught virtually using Zoom and Google Meet video conferencing platforms. Although there is no cost associated with the course, participants are required to register at Everyone who enrolls in the course can earn one free credit in Short Courses, Workshops, Institutes and Special Programs (Sociology  2920).

During the seven-week course, faculty from various disciplines in Weber State's College of Social & Behavioral Sciences will examine how COVID-19 is reshaping daily life around the world, including national and international politics, social interactions, and even emotions and cognition.

“Experts in various fields will help participants see this pandemic in a new light,” Matt said. “Psychologists will explain how pandemics change the way we think and feel; sociologists will show how social class influences experience; political scientists will help us understand how politics shape responses.

“Historians will outline how past generations dealt with illnesses. Criminal justice scholars will examine how viruses affect incarcerated populations. Geographers will explain the effects on climate; and social workers will explore how it is reshaping grief.”

Weber State’s continuing education department offers various courses throughout the year to encourage life-long learning, professional development and community engagement. For summer 2020, WSU will move its community education courses online. Courses will be available for registration by May 4. Visit for course listings and more information. 

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Allison Barlow Hess, Public Relations director
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