Emily Greenwald '16

Health: Science, Society and Policy

Thank you so much! A warm welcome to the incoming UDRs, congratulations to my fellow graduates, and hello again to the returning UDRs, faculty, and staff. Thank you so much for this award and acknowledgment. I am honored and grateful to learn that my work has been helpful enough for people to take the time to notice and nominate me, and the kind words about my work as a UDR.

I applied to be a UDR for the HSSP program because I felt that the diverse array of careers in the health and medical field needed more attention. I knew many students felt the weight of the “premed track,” or found interests in healthcare systems more than medicine, or wanted to be involved in community and advocacy work, and did not know how to plan their path or what career options were out there that matched their interests. My goals as a UDR were to creatively highlight the many sub-disciplines within the health and medical field that are necessary for the well-being of us as individuals, and our communities as a whole.

Throughout my two years as a UDR, I have tried to raise awareness for the wide array of health-related opportunities with which students can engage. I have led events to raise awareness for the many influences on health, which included an experiential-learning cooking competition about food inequality and forming an HSSP Relay For Life team. I have also tried to ensure that students know about the many opportunities to gain experience that is relevant to their career goals and interests. This included many more individual, personalized conversations with students, and a senior thesis event, throughout which I highlighted how to find and apply for internships, the value of study abroad experience, and how to get involved in research. I am grateful to learn that these events have been helpful in arming students with knowledge and skills that they can use in exploring their academic interests.

As we as UDRs continue to work with, mentor, and learn from our peers, I think the most important thing to keep in mind is that your name and your face matters. Make yourself known to students and let them know that you are their resource. Whether this is through creative events that get people excited, introducing yourself in front of classes, or sending out an occasional email, make yourself known. My most rewarding experiences as a UDR have come from students that reach out after an event or experience, and they are so eager to share their enthusiasm for HSSP with me. Make sure students are excited to share their successes, interests, and questions with you as well. Your fellow UDRs are your team—you can’t be effective without them! Support each other, bounce off ideas, and engage with the interests of one another. Try something really different and creative that brings all of your initiatives together. This will create an atmosphere of enthusiasm and bring attention to something in a totally new way. Find what activates you within your department, and use it to keep yourself motivated and to motivate other students as well!

Thank you very much for your kind words and for this recognition! I am so glad to learn that my work as a UDR has been beneficial for students and the department.