Thomas Jefferson University

Jefferson Humanities & Health

Jefferson Humanities & Health supports student engagement in the arts and humanities to promote essential skills related to healthcare including close observation, critical thinking, communication and empathy.

Throughout the year, our programs highlight the social contexts of health and wellness, lived experiences of diverse individuals and communities, and self-care for health professionals.

Each academic year, Jefferson Humanities & Health explores a thought-provoking theme from a wide range of perspectives. During the 2020-2021 academic year, the Jefferson Humanities Forum speaker series will bring a handful of multidisciplinary scholars and thinkers to investigate the theme Creativity.

Throughout the year, forum events will explore aspects of Creativity as it relates to non-conformity, equity, connection/care, collaboration, and persistence/resilience. Learn more about the Jefferson Humanities Forum here.


Guided Meditation Sessions
Tuesdays and Thursdays, 12:30-12:45 p.m., Zoom (access the recurring event link in Canvas, instructions below)

Fifteen minute guided meditation sessions offered by the Myrna Brind Center for Mindfulness, Marcus Institute of Integrative Health. Research has shown that practicing mindfulness meditation can reduce anxiety, depression, and pain and enhance vitality and wellbeing.

Questions? Contact More information about mindfulness is available on the website,


Virtual Cooking with Vetri: Vegetarian Pad Thai

Tuesday, April 13, 5 p.m., Zoom (registration link in Canvas, instructions below)

The Jefferson Recreation & Fitness Center presents a FREE virtual cooking class via Zoom, brought to you by professional chefs and dietitians. Participants will learn the basics of cooking and how to navigate successfully through the kitchen. 

Register through the link in Canvas. You will receive the Zoom information and the list of ingredients you will need approximately 5 days before the workshop. Questions? Reach out to Angelina Seeney, Assistant Director of Wellness Programs,  

To access the event registration link, participants may self-enroll in the Jefferson Humanities & Health organization on Canvas and visit the Event Links module, or email Matilda Ostow at

Join a university discussion about Jericho Brown’s The Tradition for One Book, One Philadelphia 

Friday, April 16, 12-1 p.m., Zoom (register here)

This virtual event is open to all Jefferson students, faculty, and staff

Presented by the Jefferson Libraries and the Office of Diversity, Inclusion, and Community Engagement:

Join fellow Jeffersonians as the university participates in One Book, One Philadelphia. The city-wide event, organized by the Free Library of Philadelphia, encourages people to read and discuss The Tradition by Jericho Brown. Once you register, visit this website to get your copy of The Tradition and learn more about the book and the city-wide One Book, One Philadelphia initiative.

Open to all, this virtual conversation will be facilitated by Dr. Jaymie Orphanidys, Director, Diversity Equity Inclusion Education, in the Office of Diversity, Inclusion & Community Engagement. We will discuss topics covered in The Tradition, a Pulitzer Prize-winning collection of poems that explores racialized violence and the history of oppression in America while celebrating Black and queer experiences. 

The event will be introvert-friendly, giving attendees the freedom to participate in the discussion however they wish (video on/off, speaking/using chat to comment, silently participating).

Da Vinci Art Alliance & PMHC present

Drawing to Decompress with Dr. Nazanin Moghbeli

Wednesday, April 21, 6:30 p.m., Zoom (register here

Free and open to medical students from Philadelphia-area medical schools

Burnout is a significant problem facing medical students and physicians and is characterized by emotional exhaustion, cynicism, and overall job dissatisfaction. One way to foster connection and community and decrease emotional exhaustion can be found in developing your own artistic practice. 

In partnership with Da Vinci Art Alliance and the PMHC, artist and cardiologist Nazanin Moghbeli, MD will lead a 60-minute workshop on how to start a drawing practice. The focus will be on learning basic drawing techniques, including an exploration of mark making, contour drawing, and ideas for your own sketchbook. The workshop will help medical students to improve their observation skills, promote creativity, and demonstrate how even a basic connection to the arts can benefit well-being. 

No prior experience is necessary, and all levels are welcome. No preparation for the workshop is required as all materials needed will be sourced from your home! However, we will send a list of possible materials to have on hand in advance of the workshop (including but not limited to pencils and paper).

About the facilitator: Nazanin Moghbeli, MD, FACC is an Iranian-American artist and cardiologist, and the director of the Cardiac Care Unit at Einstein Medical Center. he is the Director of the Cardiac Care Unit at Einstein Medical Center and Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine at Jefferson Medical College. See Dr. Moghbeli's work featured in Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth's Literary and Art Journal here, or more on her website here.

About DVAA: Da Vinci Art Alliance (DVAA) is a non-profit art organization founded in 1931 that fosters an artist membership and provides free exhibitions and programming for the community. 

About PMHC: The Philadelphia Medical Humanities Collaborative (PMHC) is composed of faculty and staff at the following schools: Cooper Medical School of Rowan University, Drexel, Jefferson, PCOM, Temple, and the University of Pennsylvania. Our mission is to nurture creativity, connection, and collaboration in our medical school community. 

Celebrating the Humanities & Inside Out Release

Thursday, April 29, 5:30-7 p.m., Zoom (link to be announced)

Join us for a celebration of this unusual, but generative, virtual year of the humanities! A big congratulations to those who earned the Asano Humanities & Health Certificate and to the contributors and editors of Inside Out, Jefferson’s student-run arts & literary journal. Special guest Dr. Nazanin Moghbeli, artist and cardiologist, will present on the intersection of art and health and invite you to tap into your own creative self with a brief participatory drawing exercise (no artistic experience necessary). Then, hear students share excerpts of their works from Inside Out’s newly-minted edition. We hope you can tune in to close out this year with the pixelated faces of the humanities community.

This virtual event is open to all Jefferson students, faculty, and staff.

*Events marked with an asterisk can be counted toward the Asano Humanities & Health Certificate for Jefferson students. 

Please note: Events are added to the calendar as they are confirmed. Please check regularly for additional events. 

Review the list of past events ...

Did you know that Jefferson Humanities & Health has a monthly newsletter? Get all the updates about programs, events, and features in your mailbox every month.