From the very beginning, students have been an integral part of IAPHS. IAPHS student membership has grown from about 10% in 2016 to over 30% in 2020. Students occupy IAPHS leadership roles, serve on committees, and organize and participate in webinars and conferences. One of the most direct ways students have shaped IAPHS is through the IAPHS Student Committee, a group of predoctoral and postdoctoral scholars tasked with developing and executing professional development and learning opportunities for the larger IAPHS student populace. Here we discuss the past, present, and future of the IAPHS Student Committee.
The Past (2016-2020)
IAPHS launched as a membership organization on September 19, 2016, and the advisory board included a spot for a student member. I (Allen Mallory) was elected as the first student board member in 2017 for the 2018-2019 term. My role was to provide a student perspective for decisions about the structure of IAPHS as it developed. It was not until 2019 that the Student Committee was organized to help increase student membership and programs for IAPHS. The first iteration of the Student Committee consisted of myself and five student volunteers (including Rae Anne) from across five institutions and three disciplines. Together we organized two successful events: “Preparing the Next Generation of Population Health Researchers” and a panel at the 2019 IAPHS conference, “Funding 101”. I deeply enjoyed my time as the student board member and I’m proud to have been part of the Student Committee launch. The momentum of the committee’s early success motivated efforts to increase its size and scope.
Following Allen’s initial position on the IAPHS advisory board, the Student Committee developed into a larger and more formalized IAPHS committee. I (Rae Anne Martinez) was asked to step into Allen’s role as the student board member and leader of the Student Committee in early 2020. In its second year, the Student Committee roughly doubled in size to 10 student volunteers, spanning 7 institutions and 8 disciplines. This talented group of students rallied together despite the disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic to plan a brief training series, “Launching a Career as an Interdisciplinary Scholar” with two events focused on career paths, marketing, and job market preparation: the webinar “Understanding Interdisciplinary Career Paths In Population Health” and a virtual conference session, “Effective Social Media Use and Only Platforms for Interdisciplinary Scholars.”
In 2020, a big accomplishment of the Student Committee was formalizing an internal governing structure (see diagram below). The intent is that each core leadership function has a two-person rotating schedule, with one individual rotating in and out of the position each year. We hope that this structure will preserve institutional knowledge and continuity in each role while also providing learning and leadership opportunities for IAPHS students.
The Present (2021)
The Student Committee continues to grow! We are implementing the new leadership structure for the first time, and our committee includes 15 members across 10 institutions and 8 disciplines. You can learn more about our current student leaders here.
In 2021, the committee is exponentially expanding its content. Each month, Student Committee Co-Chairs will organize an event on the 4th Thursday of each month at 12 pm Eastern (see graphic below).
This year, the Student Committee activities involve building community and preparing for the job market—two areas we all may need a little help with in 2021 due to the pandemic. Scholars of any level (predoctoral, postdoctoral, early-, mid-, or advanced-career) are welcome to participate in our events. The live events are free to anyone; however, the recordings are available only to IAPHS members via the Resource Library.
The Future (2022 and beyond)
We don’t know what’s to come in 2022. The current moment is filled with more chaos and uncertainty than ever before, but we hope you stay with us through these unprecedented times. This year, IAPHS will elect a new student member to the IAPHS Board for a two year term (2022-2023) and, subsequently, a new Student Committee Chair. Several of our internal co-chairs and general members will be rotating off the committee at the end of the year as well. But, we look forward to the new directions and leadership of other talented and dedicated IAPHS students.
We hope to connect with you all at events throughout this year!
If you are interested in joining the IAPHS Student Committee in 2022, reach out to Sue Bevan (firstname.lastname@example.org), or please fill out the membership survey following the annual conference.