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Canadian Public Health Association


Two students at the mentoring lunch, 2013 annual conference

Student Director

Public health professionals in training are critical to the work of CPHA; including students in who are currently engaged in undergraduate, graduate, resident and post-doctoral public health-related programs in Canada. The creation of the Student Director position on their Board of Directors in 2006 exemplifies CPHA's long-standing commitment to supporting and engaging students, residents and public health trainees in the work of the Association.

The Student Director position is a full CPHA Director position with general Board duties, additionally bringing a student perspective to the table. The Student Director spearheads CPHA's current activities in relation to students and has sufficient freedom to inspire and direct further developments in CPHA's work of student engagement and capacity building. The Student Director chairs the CPHA Student and Early Career Committee, which acts as a resource and advisory group to the Student Director.

Student and Early Career Committee

This is an advisory group to the Student Director to help provide input on current CPHA student activities and future directions. This group initiated a student representative on the Conference steering committee, established the student Editorial group, updates the student corner website content, and connects students across Canadian universities and colleges.

Editorial Group

Students in the Editorial Group edit the Student Blog and select a piece by a student or early career professional for publication in the Association's Health Digest, a quarterly publications for members. Read recent publications. Future opportunities for student involvement in the Canadian Journal of Public Health are currently under consideration.

Student Representative on Conference Committee

The CPHA conference provides a unique venue for student engagement around issues of interest in the Canadian public health context. This exposure is critical for students to interact with the broader professional community, be grounded in the history of the field, learn about and understand the current salient issues and debates, and be a part of creating the future of public health in Canada.

The student representative on the CPHA Conference Steering Committee provides a student lens to the overall conference program and liaises with conference partners and other key stakeholders regarding student oriented events/activities. Past student representative activities have included: reviewing conference documents and identifying sessions of interest to students; assisting in the planning of a pre-conference workshop for students; recruiting students to review abstracts through existing student networks; planning the CPHA Student Breakfast; promoting the conference to students; working with other committee members to plan conference plenaries and concurrent sessions; communicating on behalf of the Conference Steering Committee to stakeholders and students; and developing new student activities as possible.

A range of activities have been implemented to facilitate greater student involvement and recognition. In addition to the very successful Student Awards program which honours outstanding student abstracts, a Travel Bursary program was established in 2007 to enable students whose work was accepted for presentation to be considered for travel support. While at the 2008 conference, students were oriented through the new Student Supplement which offered tips for navigating a CPHA conference, described sessions of interest to students, recognized student award and bursary winners, and featured information on CPHA membership, student opportunities in partner organizations, and employment information.

If you are interested in finding out more about any of these positions, contact the student director.