Dear Readers,

Thank you for taking the time to read the annual print publication of the Undergraduate Journal of Public Health at the University of Michigan. Our fourth year as an undergraduate platform for public health ideas carried great expectations, prompted from growing interest in public health within our campus community and a new editorial team to manage the publication. Our writers successfully answered the call to action, with insightful submissions on public health issues affecting communities locally, across the nation, and around the world. We are excited to present to you research and commentary on topics ranging from waste management systems in developing countries to the intersection of unconscious biases and health disparities. We encourage you to consider how this knowledge will transform the public health field and how you will continue to add to this growing body of knowledge as a member of the public health community.

In an effort to broaden our involvement in the public health community and provide a more engaging media format, we are spearheading a podcast this year. Inclusion and community engagement have been at the forefront of our focus this year. Thus, the podcast is an endeavor to act on these values through the encouragement of critical thinking and active discussion between those with a variety of different perspectives. Once you have read the print journal, we encourage you to visit our website to keep updated on our blog and podcast. As always, all aspects of this publication are supported first and foremost by our committed and passionate staff members. We could not succeed without our editors’ meticulous reviewing, so we cannot thank our editors enough for their hard work, energy, and passion for public health.

We express gratitude toward our past editors in chief, Caitlin Heenan and Tiffany Loh, for offering keen advice and providing us the privilege to grow their work over this past year. We owe our PhD reviewers for the accuracy of our journal and mentorship to our writers, as their expertise greatly improves the academic rigor of our publication. We thank Professor Eduardo Villamor for continuing to mentor the journal’s progress as our faculty advisor, new partnerships within the School of Public Health and campus community, MPublishing for bringing our writers’ words to life, and financial support and encouragement from the School of Public Health. Finally, we thank our writers for their investment in these public health issues and communicating the urgency with which we must address them. We wish them the best of luck in their endeavors to improve public health and hope you enjoy reading their analyses and perspectives.

Isabella Gierlinger and Simone Konrad

Co-Editors in Chief