Description: The article is about front row student dashboard. There is an organization at the Masters level where people work to engage potential prospective students to know what a career in public health looks like and what it is like to be a student at Iowa College of Public Health by sharing perspectives of the current issues.
From the front row student voices in public health a program featuring graduate students from the University of Iowa College of Public Health sharing perspectives on student life and current issues in public health. I’m Wednesday worth a second-year masters of Public Health student in community and behavioral health.
My name is Virgil blue Jackson, I’m a first year mph epidemiology student, my name is Lexi FINA, I’m a first year masters of science student in epidemiology, so I’m already outnumbered by epi students, today this is great, so I’ll give a little introduction that we are all graduate student ambassadors, so that is an organization at the Masters level where we work to engage potential prospective students to let them know what a career in public health looks like and what it’s like to be a student at the College of Public Health.
Do you want to talk a little bit about what it’s like to be an ambassador? So we started this ambassador program earlier this academic year and this is the first year, we’ve all been a part of it and I will say it’s little, we’re working through some of the elementary steps.
But it’s forming into something good like a week before spring break karai and myself went up to Luther college and gave a presentation to a bunch of prospective students there, it was a heavily based science cohort of students and they had a lot of intriguing intriguing questions.
I do think we got a few more students for the next upcoming year, strictly from that, that was one of the first outreach events, I was a part of that, I want to say it was one of the first outreach events, we did as an organization in this school year.
It came from nothing a year ago, I’d say it’s going well, what have you been involved with it? We started now, we have students that have been accepted into the program for the next year, so we started reaching out to them through email to answer questions about their program student life questions that type of thing.
We do have a lot of students that are coming from the University of Iowa, because we started the public health major at the University of Iowa’s and now students are recognizing it as a field which is exciting, because we have a lot of more interesting students which is great.
That was one of the main points of forming the organization to spread the message of public health and get the message of Iowa’s College of Public Health, there’s a little more for those of you listening that might not know the Iowa’s College Public Health.
We’re still in our first ten years, fifteen years of having this building, it’s good headway for being so young and I think the numbers of the college that I didn’t know much about was the College of Public Health here, I was number 17, overall for public colleges.
I think that is impressive to say that we go to this institution and we’re learning here and doing research years. I’m exciting and will look great on a resume, one day though organizations, I’ve done so much more in my one year in public health school than I ever would have thought.
I would have that and that is a hundred percent because of my involvement with ambassador organizations not only working for prospective students, but current graduate students as well, it’s a great way to meet your other peers that might be in different departments or different different years of their program.
But it’s a great organization, I highly recommend it any prospective students come here to read our little page on the website. I guess outside of G’s app for short what other organizations you take part in now. I got involved this year with the graduate and professional student government at the University of Iowa which is interesting.
I’m on the allocations committee, so we decide which student organizations get funded for what projects and that type of thing and then the Department of Epidemiology here has their own epidemiology Student Association which I’m part of which has been fun too.
So you like being part of the student government, how has that been since you started? It’s been good, it’s not a huge time commitment, we get together at the end of every application period and review grants. I bet a lot of organizations want to be your friends especially if you’re on doing allocation of funds and things definitely.
But we do have a strict list of requirements, so it’s non-biased who gets funded, it’s how you write your grant gotcha and that’s for the entire university or is it grad fir for the entire graduate college and then we can fund some undergraduate grants.
If they don’t get funded by the undergraduate student government, I am not involved in any other organization yet, given my hundred ten percent effort to gee SAP and it’s going very well. I guess outside of being involved in organizations, how’s your coursework going now?
It’s good that week after spring break was the only week, we’re going to have a relaxing for probably until finals again, that’s true, I did have a long list of things. I wanted to accomplish over spring break to make this time easier and none of which got done.
So that’s a little bit, we both have on Epidemiology appraisal due next Monday, I have a paper or I have an exam this Thursday and the next Thursday. I have another exam and I also have another exam next Friday, this Friday, I have infectious disease conference as well.
We’re doing this podcast this week as well and that’s two weeks after spring break, you’re juggling a lot right juggling, I’m good juggling now, you’ve adapted as grad school has gone on absolutely my student.
My professionalism has increased tenfold since becoming a grad student. I would say the same is true for myself and especially thinking that it’s a one year down out of two, we’ve done so much so far, we have another year ahead of ourselves.
It is weird to think we’re halfway done though today in before they started talking in epi lecture. I was talking to Hannah and Monica and we were doing the math inside fifty eight weeks till graduation six weeks to her half perspective for everybody.
But that class work is going well, all the core classes that you’re involved with a bunch of other students from different departments, they’re all pretty, I’m not going to say it is easy, but they’re very manageable, some of the more focused classes like what me Alexian now epidemiology to advanced methods, that’s where we meet three times a week for the class.
We have individual groups for the class, because we have semester projects, I meet with my group at least once a week outside of class, if not twice, that’s five meetings a week for one class constantly working on one project, it can get to be a handful a little bit, it is cool though.
Because all the groups are there, you don’t have to be in the EPI Department, so in my group two of our members are in occupational and environmental health same and we have two PhD students and two masters students, I have a PhD, we have three epi students that are all mph.
So it’s a healthy mix for learning in the class, but there’s definitely a few times where the PhD students and some of the mph students were on the complete different pages, when it came to the project, it’s going well, it’s doing for weeks.
We started talking about how we plan to cystic aliy analyzed our data for our group projects and one of our PhD students used this model called group based radec trajectory group based trajectory model to analyze data that, she used for her comps, because a lot of students are going through comps now.
So she’s busy, but she used this model and was telling us about how it would work well for a study and showed us a YouTube video about it, because it was way over our heads, but it sounds cool, I did have a quick follow-up about that you are chatting about epi too.
As you know from CB H, so my area of interest and I guess I can in air quotes a expertise, it’s a little bit different than you, so a lot of work that I do is community based on a lot of researches that I’m in now is focus on programming designing interventions, so it looks a lot different than data models and analysis software.
Sometimes, I have to think hard and try to connect the dots when you are chatting about that, that’s one great thing about public health and I don’t think everybody who knows what public health is necessarily knows how it functions me and Lexie are both epidemiologists.
In our future career, it will still be doing epidemiological work, but we will work alongside people like Wednesday who are community health professionals and you use both of those backgrounds and different approaches to public health to give the best outcome for whatever you would be working on.
So you’re saying earlier with the classes where the departments are combined, it’s a great example, like I wish you were in my EPI to class. I do wish I was in it, because I get to hang out with you, but are you taking any classes now?
I am taking one, because you’re doing your practicum as well, so I am doing the practicum and the one class I’m taking is called survey design and analysis, there are a lot of people, you should take it trying to work, that is only spring semester.
I think it’s going to be a spring course, but it’s awesome, I think from my experience working with faculty in the department, I’ve had to help design surveys before and I didn’t realize how bad I was at it until I’m currently taking that class and they go through the steps in the logic of how you want to set up a survey and how to set up questions alone.
The wording and basic things that I thought is not necessary, you ask them a question and give them options or a blank text box that they can fill in, that’s fine, but taking this class the whole first half, this is how you should properly design a survey and then now we’re doing the analysis portion, so not only using SAS software which is my first time using and was very complicated at first, we’re using that software, but then also understanding sampling methods and going back to my intro to BIOS that stuff.
You should remember some of those formulas, that’s been interesting, but I would highly recommend that class if you are interested and I imagine as epidemiologists, you will have to do, I was going to say, I serve a similar one and in epi two, I was talking about this with my group.
Because we plan to have some survey type things in our study and we’re talking about how we don’t want to have any leading questions or phrase it in a way that you under qualified questionnaires ourselves, so maybe you can do that for us, we’re talking about the working together the collaboration.
It’s key, that’s the class that I’m in now, there are a lot of doctoral students from that, I’m one of two masters level students, so although that is intimidating to be in a room full of doctorate students, it’s also exciting, because I get to learn a lot from them and hearing their input and their responses to questions where I’m the professor’s asking a question.
I think that’s way over my head, I have no idea, but then listening to a doctoral student, put it into normal layman’s terms, then I realize that and I understand what’s going on, that’s something I could have, I could have done definitely.
But I guess some stuff outside of class, because I know that could be a drag and I know we’re halfway there, but I don’t even want to think about it, do I want to think about all that? What kind of work are you doing outside?
I know you have cheese app and you also have ESA, the epidemiology Student Association, but what other things keep you busy every day? I am a research assistant for a PhD candidate here at this here at the school. I helped Geneva Wilson do some bio aerial sampling for c-diff Hospital more specifically Hospital based on infections.
We started working together at the start of this semester and probably about two or three times a week. I go into the hospital whenever we get notified of a seed, if positive room, I have to go in, we have this big fancy cart that Geneva got and made for specifically for her research project and it seems that you know something, a hobo threw together at the junkyard or something until you get down to the very bottom.
Because it’s got these fancy air filters on it which is the whole point of the cart, because we take it into that, we take it into the bathroom of the room, the patient got the positive notification and I use the cart and I sit there for 45 minute.
I basically suck a bunch of the air out of the bathroom and filter that, it’s not that complicated to do, but then afterwards, we take all the plates back and we’re checking for a positive cultures of the c-diff and we’ve been doing that now for about a month and a half.
I’ve done probably like seven or eight samples and we’ve only gotten two cultures, so that can be mess with your head a little bit, see that’s the thing we have this planned out to do this until mid-august.
I believe and my boss is fully aware that we’re probably only hopefully get one positive culture a week or something, but that’s exactly what science is, we’re trying to get what information we can see, but that’s my one school job, it sounds silly a little bit.
But it got me through the door into working with infectious disease, it got me work with a higher ranking professionals, it’s a great stepping stone, we’re headed, I would say that’s true for a lot of students, you got to get your foot into the door and network and talk with the right individuals.
Hopefully, it’s someone who also has the same interests as you and I think it can do a lot for you, so what about you, Lexi? I am doing preceptorship research eventually, but I haven’t started that yet, I teach ballet lessons outside of school, so that’s my other job in Iowa City at the University of Iowa.
I order up drive to every now and then on the weekends to make a little extra money, I wouldn’t have even thought about what you are doing now, you’re for your preceptorship, you’re heavily involved in a couple of different researches.
I usually got my plate full most of the time, you’re right, because you’re a second year and you’re in your practicum and we’re still first year, so we don’t have to do that until the end welcome and you were mentioning earlier one more yea.
It will go by fast, that’s what I was in your position a year ago and I thought I have so much time, but once that first semester of your second year starts, it snowballs, but then it leads to your great practicum experience which I’m sure you both are going to have a wonderful time.
So I’m working with Johnson County Public Health here in town which is very convenient. I’m working with an alum from the program, so she is a health planner for the department and she’s tasked with helping design the community health needs assessment.
Then I got recruited as the free labor, but also there learn and experience things to help her prepare for that, so the community health needs assessment that will essentially be a lot of different types of data collection, so we’ll be designing a survey doing potentially doing in doing lots of community outreach and what we want to do is to understand what the health needs for people here in Johnson County.
That’s not only Iowa City which is what we oftentimes think of, because Iowa City tended to be the largest town here, but we want to think about the smaller communities as well, so what I’m focusing on is searching the literature and finding the evidence on how we put together a great community health needs assessment that will work for this community.
So I’m working on that now when we spoken with IDPH which seems that the Holy Grail is talking with them about what type of work I’m doing and they’re excited, because it’s a requirement to do a community health needs assessment every county has to do it.
But there’s no standard, no one tells you that this is how you should do it, so it’s left up to the counties which has its pros and cons, look at what other counties are doing and base it off their models, they are the questions, what you have been doing, you already read my mind, you already know what I’m doing.
You could take it over. I reckon we should switch, so one of the things I’m tasked with is communicating with other local public health departments and finding out what their strategies were, when they did their community health needs assessments, so that’s part of it parting finding stuff through the literature.
I’m also looking to help them analyze how their partnerships are going, so as part of the community health needs assessment, you want to bring key stakeholders from the community people from different organizations and also opinion leaders from the community.
You want to rally them and get them trained on what’s going on, so that they can help, then later collect data and analyze data, so I’m looking to see how those partnerships are working with Johnson County and then how can Johnson County strengthen those partnerships so that they can continue having a successful community health needs assessment.
Once you get your data back from the needs-assessment deep, are you working with anyone to implement new policies or something to address the needs there, this is the stage that I’m at now, it is very preliminary, so the community health needs assessment, it won’t take place until closer to 2019 2020.
I’m expecting not to be around at that time, so I’m doing the preparation, but Johnson County and the other key stakeholders, they will then analyze that data and they will work together all the organization’s to figure out what strategies we best use for each of the health priorities that are identified.
So it could be things, they realize that affordable housing is an issue so what type of strategy should we use to address this? What will work best in our community? So that will be the results, that’s called the health improvement plan.
When you start making those strategies and targets to reach, so that won’t be until a few years from now. I won’t be around, but I’m hoping to still keep in contact and see if they got to use all the hard work that I’m putting into it now.
You mentioned you were doing that the whole project with a University alum correct, so when you leave, they are going to find another Iowa student to help with that project, would you say that? I think a lot of local public health departments and various organizations could use the expertise of NPH students.
They have the work to do it, they have lots of work for us to do, so I think that a lot of times, when one practicum student leaves, there’s still opportunity for a new practicum student to come on and pick up where they left off. I don’t have it. I’m taking this survey class.
But I might not be the best person to be preparing a survey, so they may have some objectives where it’s specifically survey based and they want a student who has that expertise, so I think sometimes as the project evolves their requirements do too.
So they might be looking for a student who is in a different department, I’m a great student for what they need, but they need a student who’s in biostatistics next or epidemiology, so that’s a good question, the Alumni keeps a good relation with the school and the students involved in the school’s.
Currently I would say from my experience, I’ve been able to network with a lot of different alums and we have the alumni network as well, that’s hooked up with the college and I think specifically communications helps out with that as well.
I think I would say so, I’ve had good experience connecting with alum. I’m aspiring to get a practicum with the CDC and I met with who’s the practicum director Jeannie, I met with Jeannie and she informed me that there were several EPI students who are working for the CDC within last year.
It did the printing and the practicum with the CDC and she said that when the time comes, I need to start preparing for mine that contact information is waiting for me, so my experience is that that’s another great plus of Iowa’s Public Health College that we have great outstanding connections.
I would say that we’re definitely not in Iowa, we’re all over the states, all over the world, they had a workshop last week, I think that was so cool injuries shakeela from CDC, it hurt maybe injury prevention, I remember the injury prevention cdc, that was cool, she’s insightful on the different levels.
What you can get involved in at the CDC is having speakers like that come in, I did not expect to be starting as a student. I assumed that when I came, it would be coursework if I got lucky and get a research position, but to have all that professional development and networking with people outside of the college was incredible.
I didn’t see that coming at all, that’s true, they gave a lot of opportunities which is awesome, so to continue, there were some interesting things that have been happening recently in the public health world. I have something specific in my mind.
But I’m wondering about you, you have different interests than I do and different experiences and you follow different people, different pages, so I’m wondering what you have been following recently or what’s been buzzing your phone about Public Health.
One of my friends pointed out some Facebook article to me and it was about the the garbage island, the size of Texas all over the west coast and apparently, it’s been a thing for a while, I’m amazed, I found out about it, we looked into it and apparently like we showed this map of the west coast by California and then the east coast of Asia and the water in between and the initial barge island that we started off the coast of California because of the ocean current.
Everything is circulated all the way over to the east coast of Japan, when you’re sitting there looking at the map of the ocean, how has that gotten? It has gotten that out of hand and no one’s done anything about it, it did the current recently change, I didn’t look into it, I wouldn’t think so, because I’m sure that widespread of garbage couldn’t happen over a winner.
This is unrelated, but have you seen the movie The Day After Tomorrow? It’s like an extreme weather movie, my dad made me watch all the time when I was growing up which is not a children’s movie, but it reminds me of that, that’s a little intense, when you’re a kid, that’s cool, I heard about that when I was in a class last semester.
One of the mph core courses, the global and environmental health, so we covered that you won’t have to take it Lexie, because you’re an MS student, I don’t, but I’ll take it, you’ll take it and you’ll know exactly what’s going on with that trash island.
But that’s intense, I didn’t know it existed until then, I like the thing that blows my mind, it is the fact that it got all the way on, I don’t know, we had some barriers that we are trying to implement and they didn’t work or maybe we didn’t try it all.
But someone needs to talk to somebody about that, it is only my first year, my public health education, someone should have taken care of that, that’s what I’m saying, they called it the trash vortex and it’s where a kind of current slide, so these three currents basically are coming in and trapping all this plastic and trash.
So it gets stuck in it even if it gets out of the current, it stuck, now it is the next one, so that’s why I keep growing exponentially, as there’s more trash, we keep shipping trash out to the barge or island or whatever, you want to call it, it’d be interesting to know how long it took for it.
We’re currently going to Asia, they need to drop a tracker on something, I don’t know if I’d be more amazed, if it took a long time or if it took a very short amount of time, that’s a good point, I don’t know, hopefully, you’ve heard about some more interesting positive public health.
I was going to say I could be in charge of putting the tracker device in the ocean for my preceptorship research, but I met with professor Carnahan. I do know professor Carnahan, so he’s my advisor and we met last week to talk about research that I could do for my preceptorship.
You’ve both heard of the opioid crisis, apparently, we’ve had lots of speakers come to the College of Public Health and talk about it not that specifically, but it’s related, it’s been traditional for physicians to prescribe opioids specifically codeine for children after tonsillectomies and the FDA in 2013.
I think it was recently sent out a warning saying that codeine isn’t necessarily safe for children to use which isn’t effective, some warning of that type of thing and since then there have been papers on now that the FDA has warned physicians not to use that our physicians prescribing something else in place of codeine like another opioid alternative.
What’s that doing to children? So I’m thinking of looking into that next year, it is very interesting, I think you’ll get a lot of support for that, as you mentioned, there’s been a lot of hot topics not a press around it lately.
I think that you’ll see a lot of success with at least being able to collect information on that. I think I saw recently that in Canada, they set some new guidelines for either way clinicians prescribe mm-hmm something along those lines.
I think it’s recent within the last month or so and they’re working hard there as well to chip away at this issue, so hopefully, we can see some guideline if they see success, maybe it’s something, we need to consider too.
What about you? You’re all eager to talk about yours, I was thinking about the recent events that happened this weekend, for example, the March for our lives, that’s been everywhere for me in the last couple days.
I personally was not able to attend, but I know a lot of people who did here in Iowa City also at the Capitol and then it was interesting to see a lot of publicity around it, if you log on anywhere and see people with the nation’s capital as well.
So I was wondering has that been showing up a lot of places and do you know a lot of people who have participated? I’ll be honest, I skipped over my radar, I didn’t even know that I was out of town this weekend, you hear anymore about that, I heard a lot about it and a lot of things on Facebook about it too.
But my friends and I were interested in going there, because we were snowed in this weekend, that was an issue in Iowa in March, but I heard it was successful and I know a lot of people that were able to go.
So that’s cool, I agree, I think they have a great mission to Stop gun violence and I know it’s specifically in a school setting for that particular group, but I think it’s definitely something that we need to consider outside of that area as well.
You know in our communities more broadly, so I did see on the news that they interviewed some school-aged kids, I think it was Arizona about their thoughts on gun control and it was interesting, because a lot of them grew up in homes where guns were accessible and not necessarily bad.
So a lot of these students had different opinions than those that would be interested in marching, so it was cool to hear from them, I haven’t seen that so far, but that’s interesting, I have to say I’m impressed because of course here in Iowa City.
We had a lot of University of Iowa students, but to see a lot of leaders or this march being high school students mm-hmm was impressive, I don’t think me being in high school, I was aware of a lot of things that were going on especially when it comes to policy change.
I don’t think I would have even known what the first step was and how to get involved to see people younger than us taking these big bold steps and making changes and making sure that their voices are heard mm-hmm, it’s an exciting thing to see.
I think that’s a bit about all for today, I don’t want to keep you from your busy schedules virtually, you’re talking about juggling all the things you have this week alone, I go study after this, I won’t keep you any longer, because I don’t want you to miss out on any of that.
But thank you all for tuning in, we appreciate it and we hope you can join us next time from the front row student voices and public health.