Read about AMSA Chapter President Tiffany Hu’s dedication to enhancing her chapter’s service events to develop more meaningful experiences for members and connect with their community.
Focus: Neurobiology & Physiology
University of Maryland, College Park
When did you join AMSA?
First year of college (2013)
AMSA Leadership Experience
Co-Service Director (2014-2015)
Why did you join AMSA?
AMSA was one of many pre-med organizations on campus, but it had a particular focus on advocacy and community service that I sought to integrate with my interest in health and medicine.
Why did you become an AMSA leader?
While UMD AMSA provided programming to help pre-health students learn more about the health professions and what it means to be a doctor, I saw potential in our service events to develop into much more meaningful experiences and opportunities to connect with our community. I originally became Co-Service Director with the goal of revamping our service events to help pre-med students to be more cognizant of social health. After we started volunteering at soup kitchens, food pantries, and homeless shelters in DC, we piloted reflection sessions (with the help of AMSA’s Education and Advocacy Fellow, Matt Moy), to facilitate students’ understanding of poverty as it relates to health. All the issues we’re fighting for tie together into each individual’s experience of health and illness, and I am proud of our chapter for taking action to address community needs to target the underlying causes of health disparities and inequity.
Tell us about a favorite AMSA moment.
Every semester, UMD AMSA hosts an advocacy event in order to raise awareness for certain health-related topics among the campus community. One semester, our advocacy event was focused on campus community health, and our goal was to help students on campus learn about health resources, pertaining to both physical and mental health. This event took the cooperation of our entire executive board to plan, and we ended up displaying a large foldable chalkboard in the center of the busiest plaza of our school. The board contained information to access our self-care hotlines, counseling center, and recreational/stress-relief resources, all of which are important to prevent student burnout. The students who passed by enjoyed tracing their hands on the board and writing their health goals to our Community Health Wall.
What advice would you give to current & future AMSA leaders?
Don’t be afraid to dream big. The hardest thing sometimes is to motivate others to care about the big problems we need to address in our society, but everything interrelates. Everything ties holistically to health or individuals’ experiences of health, whether it seems medically related or not. Be confident in your vision, gauge the opinions and needs of those you serve in your communities, and craft your service around the community itself!