173369 Intergenerational leadership and professional development in student led community based activities

Tuesday, October 28, 2008: 10:45 AM

Melissa C. Lovell, MPH , School of Public Health, Community Health Sciences, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA
Stacey C. Cunningham, MS , School of Public Health, Community Health Sciences, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA
Jeanette H. Magnus, MD, PhD , School of Public Health, Community Health Sciences, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA
As a community based health education center committed to offering leadership and career development opportunities, leadership development is intertwined in all programs. An example is the use of student participation in an environmental scan to gain a better understanding of three local neighborhoods in New Orleans. The scan provided several Tulane University students with leadership and professional skill development opportunities while leading community based activities. Fostering a stronger bond to the local community, career preparation and leadership development were integrated throughout the project. Students participated in the project as either community assessment team leaders or team members. They took part in all aspects of the scan including developing data analysis tools, community outreach, data collection and evaluation, and community feedback. Team leaders, in particular, gained leadership skills through intergenerational mentorship. Staff members mentored team leaders to ensure project progress and individual growth. Team leaders, in turn, supervised and mentored team members. Other responsibilities included organizing resources to complete tasks in a timely manner and working closely with community members to develop trust and participation. Creating individual and project work plans and evaluating the experience at the end of their internship formalized their leadership development. Leadership skills were also cultivated by facilitating weekly assessment team meetings and community focus groups. A peer evaluation of team leaders and members provided feedback to students in regards to their development as professionals.

Learning Objectives:
Identify ways in which leadership and professional development can be incorporated into student work at academic organizations. Analyze the success of formalizing leadership development in student led projects. Describe how the use of intergenerational mentorship can enhance leadership development strategies.

Keywords: Leadership, Students

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I designed and organized the program described.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.