The IAPHS Student Committee has had a full and productive year. During 2021, the Committee orchestrated multiple professional development events and social media activities to prepare population health students and early career scholars for ongoing research and academic skill development. Subcommittees developed durable professional development resources, including podcasts, blog posts, and webinars, as well as peer learning and networking activities held during the annual conference. This small but mighty Student Committee has successfully reflected and promoted the values and priorities of IAPHS by convening the next generation of population health scientists to bridge gaps and foster collaboration across disciplines and sectors.
This year marked the inaugural year of the Diversity & Membership Subcommittee, chaired by Brooke Staley and Sandte Stanley, which is dedicated to promoting diversity and inclusivity in all Student Committee efforts. This subcommittee produced three projects designed to humanize academia, research, and population health work. The first project, an episode of the Sick Individuals/Sick Population IAPHS Podcast, focused on Grads of Color and the COVID Crisis, where guests Sandte Stanley, Zelma Oyarvide Tuthill, and Kevin Martinez-Folgar shared their experiences in navigating the pandemic as early-career scholars. The second project, the five-part blog series Humanizing the Journey to Graduate Funding, featured stories from Aaron Neal, Charlene Poola, Connor Martz, and Stephani Lechuga-Peña. The final project, another podcast episode, explored The Two-body Problem – Navigating Personal and Professional In the Job Market and featured Akilah Wise, Alana Inlow, and Alexis Santos-Lozada. The subcommittee also established collaborations with IAPHS’s Membership Committee and the Racism and Social Justice Working Group.
The Student Committee’s Webinar Subcommittee hosted two webinars this year, Reflections on Interdisciplinary Research as a Spectrum and Interdisciplinarity and the Job Market which featured panelists across career stages, disciplines, and academic environments. The “Reflections” webinar drew attention to how interdisciplinary work can take on a variety of flavors, depending on project needs and investigator interests. The Job Market webinar provided insight for interdisciplinary researchers preparing for, and currently on, the job market. Webinar panelists shared amazing insights drawn from experiences both as scholars on the job market and as leaders of search committees. We encourage you to watch the webinars and reach out to the Webinar Subcommittee lead, Natalie Smith, with any suggestions for future topics.
Joining the vlogging (video blogging) and TikTok video craze, the Social Media Subcommittee showcased several students and their research by sharing their short videos on the @ia4phs Twitter account last April. The social media activities featured IAPHS student members who study a wide range of #PopHealth topics: health disparities, epidemiology, civic engagement, and how expanding public transport affects communities of color. Some even featured their adorable furry friends, their beautiful campuses, or their roller-skating skills. Just in time for the job market season in July, the Subcommittee featured job market advice from three #PopHealth scholars from different career stages: Student Committee member Dr. Muntasir Masum, who recently transitioned from grad student to postdoc; Dr. Danielle Rhubart, who landed a tenure-track job after a postdoc; and Dr. Catherine García, who is transferring to Syracuse University’s Department of Human Development and Family Science.
For the conference this year, the Student Committee organized a lunchtime networking event for students and postdocs to connect with other attendees within the virtual conference format. Pre-registration allowed us to collect information on participants’ research interests and to sort participants into small groups. Each group was assigned a volunteer discussion leader. Participants were divided into their groups using Zoom breakout rooms and provided with a document with various conversation starters and discussion questions to help guide the networking activities. Throughout the event, Adam Lily and Julene Kemp Cooney (Conference Activities Co-Chairs) moved between the groups to listen and participate as needed to keep the conversations flowing.
Student Committee membership occurs year-by-year, with some students choosing to stay on in leadership roles. During the election for next year’s Board, the Student Committee saw one of its own, Sandte Stanley, elected to the IAPHS Board. The committee sends gratitude to the outgoing members of the committee: Allen Mallory (past Chair), Matthew Lee (Webinar Subcommittee), Adam Lilly (Conference Subcommittee), Wyatt Bensken (Secretary and Social Media Subcommittee), and general members: Elizabeth Jelsma, Connor Martz, and Muntasir Masum. The Student Committee is also excited to welcome Sandte Stanley as the new Student Committee Chair.
The Student Committee looks forward to continued involvement in key IAPHS activities and professional development events such as webinars, workshops, and panels. The Student Committee also welcomes new students, offering general involvement as well as Subcommittee and Co-Chair opportunities. Stay tuned in January 2022 for a more detailed preview of the upcoming year’s events, and be sure to follow #StudentsIAPHS to keep up with future Student Committee offerings. For more information or to join, go to https://iaphs.org/join-iaphs/