Former democratic gubernatorial candidate Abdul El-Sayed, recently named a Wayne State scholar-in-residence, will be teaching a public health course this fall.

El-Sayed is the first ever scholar-in-residence for WSU’s criminal justice and public health programs. He says he plans on making the course, “Well-being and Public Policy: Issues and Concepts,” as impactful as possible by discussing topics that are relevant to students.

“We’ll include a public lecture portion, with several guest speakers, and a smaller discussion section for students in the course,” El-Sayed said. “We want to highlight important topics from recent history and draw out key concepts that they raise — including the Flint Water Crisis, and my own work in the Detroit Health Department.”

El-Sayed has prior experience in academia — most notably, as an assistant professor at Columbia University for the department of epidemiology. El-Sayed said his experiences will allow him to teach the course more efficiently.

“I love teaching. Both of my parents are professors, and I started my career in the academy,” El-Sayed said. “I think teaching always helps you learn material better — which as a public servant is critical to me.”

El-Sayed said his diverse professional background as a politician, professor, doctor and civil servant will cultivate a different class experience for students.

“I think it brings a ‘real world’ feel to some of the complex and sometimes abstract topics in public health,” El-Sayed said.

El-Sayed said he is honored to be teaching the course and is hopeful of what the class can accomplish, he said.

“My hope is that it will empower them (students) to think through the nuances of how we apply public health concepts in the real world, on real problems that real people face in their lives,” said El-Sayed.

The 3-credit course isn’t designed for any specific major. The deadline to apply is April 19.