By Andrew Burgie, M.S.
This past Spring of 2014, the Fellow Special Interest Group (SIG), Student and Early Career Professionals (SECP) Committee, the Local Section Committee (LSC), and the Student Local Section Committee (SLSC) have organized forces to create a new Outreach Project Team to facilitate various outreach opportunities among the groups nationally regarding Industrial Hygiene Awareness and Recruitment.
The proposed idea is to have the Fellows SIG assist in reaching out to various entities (such as schools, industry, community groups, etc.) in various cities to publicize our profession as experienced, respected, and well-seasoned ambassadors. The Local & Student Local Sections would each have Outreach Coordinators that would coordinate the outreach needs of their Sections in various cities by working with their local Fellows, whenever possible.
Once these local needs are ascertained, a dedicated group of volunteers coordinated by the Student and Early Career Professionals would then design appropriate outreach materials to address the needs being conveyed by the Outreach Coordinators of various Local & Student Sections. Obviously, these materials would undergo a vetting process among the AIHA technical committees and other pertinent entities, depending on the materials requested.
The three main groups presently being targeted are high school, elementary, and college level students, but this may evolve as we think about outreach to industry and community groups.
Anyone that has conducted outreach in the past is encouraged to submit their presentations, lesson plans, hands-on activities/projects, materials, etc. to our Project Team so that we can have a diverse pool of resources to enable interested IH professionals to educate the public about the importance and relevance of our profession nationwide (and worldwide).
We already have a few generalized presentations regarding “What Is An IH?” ready to go for the elementary and high school audience and are busy working on other presentations. We will keep you posted on the progress of this exciting team initiative and we look forward to fielding any constructive criticism or ideas that you may have for us.
Andrew Burgie is the Co-Director of the Center of Occupational and Environmental Health at the CUNY School of Public Health and SECP Team Leader of the Outreach Project.