Philadelphia University + 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, the Jefferson Humanities Forum explores a thought-provoking theme from a wide range of perspectives. During the 2018-2019 academic year, the Jefferson Humanities Forum investigates the theme Fusion

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Throughout the year, forum events will inquire into aspects of Fusion, including:

  • Collaborations across disciplines resulting in new knowledge, methods and ways of knowing
  • Creative thinking at the intersection of broadly different fields and industries
  • Unconventional combinations of technique, style and perspective

Students are invited to complete the Asano Humanities & Health Certificate by attending eight (8) Jefferson Humanities & Health events during the academic year and completing a portfolio of four (4) reflective essays in response. Registration for the 2018-2019 certificate program is now open.  

CLICK HERE to learn more and register for the Asano Humanities & Health Certificate. 

Questions? Contact Megan Voeller, Director of Humanities,  

Please Note: Jefferson Humanities & Health events are only open to students unless otherwise indicated.


Looking for a creative way to help patients? The Jefferson Knitting and Crocheting Group creates  graduation caps for babies in the NICU, chemo caps for SKCC patients, lap blankets for patients receiving dialysis and more. Meetings will be held throughout the semester, but members can also work independently. Interested students, faculty and staff can sign up here for more information.

Calling all Center-City musicians!

Music is one of the most powerful tools we have to enhance our mood, mindset, and behavior. In that spirit, Human Resources is partnering with Thomas Jefferson University student organization, J-Jams, and Thomas Jefferson University Hospital employees to bring live music to our employees, patients, and their families.

Music volunteerism has been warmly received for many years at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. Having seen the positive impact that music has on patients, their families, and their care teams, we are expanding this positive initiative by piloting a campus-wide program where all Jefferson musicians can come together to share their talents.

The “call for talent” is now open to all students and employees who sing or play an instrument. If you are interested in donating your time as part of this program, please fill out this form. A 2019 calendar will be created for various locations around campus. The deadline to sign up is February 15. Once you complete the form, you will be contacted with more information. Thank you!


Thursday, April 18, 12-1 p.m., Eakins Lounge, Jefferson Alumni Hall, 1020 Locust St.

Open to the public. Lunch provided. Pre-registration is appreciated, but not required.

The Jefferson Humanities Forum and Confronting Racism, Bias & Social Injustice Lecture Series are pleased to present Jonathan Metzl: Dying of Whiteness.

Physician and sociologist Jonathan Metzl is the Frederick B. Rentschler II Professor of Sociology and Psychiatry, and the Director of the Center for Medicine, Health, and Society, at Vanderbilt University. He received his MD from the University of Missouri and a PhD in American Culture from the University of Michigan. Dr. Metzl joins the Jefferson Humanities Forum for the release of his latest book, Dying of Whiteness: How the Politics of Racial Resentment is Killing America’s Heartland (Basic Books, 2019). In Dying of Whiteness, Metzl travels across America’s heartland seeking to better understand the politics of racial resentment and its impact on public health.

Following the talk, Metzl will join students, faculty and staff in a Roxboro House Roundtable discussion. Presented by the Arlen Specter Center for Public Service, Roxboro Roundtables foster interdisciplinary conversation and learning. Pre-registration is requested HERE

Co-sponsored by the Office of Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives

Lunch provided; first come, first served.

Thursday, April 18, 5-6:30 p.m., BLSB 101

Announcing the second annual Celebration of the Humanities! Join us for the official launch party of Jefferson’s student-run literary and arts journal, Inside Out. Be among the first to see the 2019 issue and hear the contributors reading their own work from the journal. Also at this Humanities Week event, we’ll celebrate the recipients of the Asano Humanities & Health  Certificate with awards and t-shirts.

Open to all Jefferson students, faculty and staff.

Friday, April 19, 12:30-1:30 p.m., Lawrence N. Field DEC Center, 4201 Henry Avenue

Live streaming available for Jefferson Center City campus HERE (requires Internet Explorer or Safari).

If attending at the East Falls Campus, please register HERE

Join us for a discussion about the inspiring story of two nurses at the frontline of the AIDS outbreak in New York City in the 1980s. Ellen Matzer, RN and Valery Hughes, FNP are joining the Arlen Specter Center to discuss their remarkable experience and their memoir, Nurses on the Inside. Both Matzer and Hughes noticed a growing number of young men with a peculiar immune deficiency entering their ICUs. Although it would be years before anyone understood what was happening, it became the main focus of their careers. The empathy and compassion of Matzer and Hughes deeply affected their patients’ lives. This is the book about that experience.

Presented by the Arlen Specter Center. Matzer and Hughes will be interviewed by Evan Laine, Director of the Arlen Specter Center.

Lunch provided.

Monday, April 22, 6-7:30 p.m., Connelly Auditorium, Hamilton Building

Open to Jefferson students, faculty and staff. Refreshments provided. Pre-registration appreciated, but not required HERE    

All successful professionals have endured failures to get where they are. Join us for an evening of storytelling with some of Jefferson’s most accomplished leaders, as they share insights into facing down failure and learning from mistakes and rejection. Take away a growth mindset and make a pledge to learn and grow from errors, rather than hiding mistakes, beating yourself up or fearing inevitable challenges. See how you’re not alone and why, if you’ve experienced failure, you’re in the very best of company.


Michael J. Leonard, MAEd, IDSA, Dean, School of Design and Engineering, Kanbar College of Design, Engineering and Commerce

Stephen K. Klasko, MD, MBA, President and CEO, Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson Health

Marie Ann Marino, EdD, RN, FAAN, Dean and Professor, Jefferson College of Nursing

Urvashi Vaid, MD, MS, FACP, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care, Sidney Kimmel Medical College

*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 ...

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