Beginning this semester, the School of Public Health will be offering a great opportunity for students who are interested in discovering and developing their leadership skills. Both undergraduate and graduate students at IU will have the opportunity to participate in SPHEngage. Engage is a co-curricular program that combines coursework, workshops and portfolio development with the goal of helping students build confidence and take control of their academic career at IU, while also preparing them for the next steps in life.
SPHEngage, is open to students of all departments and majors at IU. Students do not have to change their major or plan to pursue a career in public health; however the program will seek to weave in themes of public health that fit each student’s interest. Required coursework for the program will consist of two, 1 credit leadership courses, and then another 9 credits of various Public Health courses and Personal and Professional Health courses of each student’s choice. Throughout their coursework, students will be required to participate in workshops focused on growing various aspects of leadership while also building their career portfolios. SPHEngage faculty will have set aside time for information hours for participants in the program and any other students who are interested. They hope to make these information hours an opportunity for students to make connections within the School of Public Health and best learn how to use resources that the school has to offer.
SPHEngage director, Dr. Deb Getz, is especially passionate about making SPHEngage a student-centered program. She emphasized the importance of allowing the students to complete the coursework and other requirements on their own time – while learning leadership skills is advantageous to a student’s academic career, it is also important that they prioritize the coursework for their degree. As a senior, I can look back on my college career and list a few extra-curricular opportunities that I had to say no to in order to focus on my school work. Getz wants SPHEngage to be something that is attainable for students within a two-year period and complements, rather than hinders, their studies.
Dr. Getz also wants students to have a well-rounded sense of what leadership is. She explained that the Personal Leadership Development course that the program offers is meant to “give students an intrinsic sense of leadership” where the Organizational Leadership Development course is supposed to give them “an extrinsic sense of leadership.” Descriptions of these courses and a list of the other courses available through the program can be found on the SPHEngage website.
If you are a just beginning your time at Indiana University and are unsure of the path you would like to forge at IU, SPHEngage is a great way to explore your interests and build a foundation for the rest of your college career. When students enter the program, Getz plans to present them with a string back pack – most students will have accumulated a handful of these throughout high school and freshmen welcome week. She says that the string backpack is representative of where a student stands at the beginning of SPHEngage. You may be entering college life with some tools or skills, but they could use some fine-tuning and strengthening. At the end of the program, Getz will present students with a portfolio bearing the program emblem. The portfolio is representative of the matured leadership skills and fortified confidence that Getz hopes students will leave the program with.
If you are interested in SPHEngage or have questions about the program, you can send an email to PHEngage@indiana.edu.
Sarah Purpura is a senior studying Dietetics. She hails from Wauwatosa, WI. Sarah has enjoyed her years at IU studying dietetics and getting to know people throughout the Bloomington community. After she graduates, she hopes to complete her dietetic internship somewhere in the Midwest and go on to become a nutrition educator in a school or community setting.
IUSPH Career Services
Job opportunities for Indiana University School of Public Health-Bloomington majors are diverse and expanding as the emphasis on living a healthy lifestyle grows around the world. Career Services experts in each of our academic departments will provide one-on-one counseling and career building opportunities throughout your academic career, from choosing the right major to developing a strategy to find a job. They can assist you with:
•resume and cover letter preparation
•graduate school preparation