Investing in IH Students
As some of you may know, I’ve been investing time in meeting directly with students and faculty members at universities across the country. Last year I addressed IH students on campus at Johns Hopkins, the University of Cincinnati, UCLA, and Cal State Northridge. This year I have plans to meet with students at Arizona State University and the University of Texas-Clear Lake, and other trips are in the works. In addition, I’ve connected with students at various “student night” events at local sections. The purpose of all this outreach is to ensure students understand the value their student section affords them (assuming one exists of course, and if not, to suggest establishing one), as well as the value of an AIHA student membership.
Students have a variety of opportunities to invest in their professional development, including ways to serve as a student leader. AIHA is also stepping up its game and hosting new student-oriented functions, including a new academic track aimed at elevating awareness about fundamental research being conducted at schools across the country. Of course, student poster sessions will remain a component of AIHce too.
Turning to secondary schools: You may have heard about outreach activities such as Safety Matters and members delivering the IH message in middle schools and high schools via STEM fairs and other programs intended to excite our youth about careers in IH. Our award-winning comic books branded under the IH Heroes moniker are a big hit with kids of all ages.
But we must do more. In my travels I have heard about an Advanced Placement course on environmental science that makes no mention of IH. Perhaps there is a way to interject our profession. In addition, many students may opt to pursue a community college education and earn an associate’s degree as an OSH technician. AIHA should connect with this population of graduates and provide them with fundamental IH education that may build upon their studies and position them for greater professional opportunities. Our new e-course “Basic Principles in Occupational Hygiene,” developed by the Occupational Hygiene Training Association (a global IH/OH education provider), may serve as one vehicle to help accomplish this.
Please help with these efforts by taking a few minutes to complete this short survey. Your input will help us better target where we may be able to make a difference and further spread the good word about our profession. Thank you in advance for your consideration.