Focus on the Future

If you read the SynergistNOW blog, you may remember a series of recent posts featuring student members of AIHA. In those posts, the students—Alyson Gray, Jay Clinger, and Brenna Hogan—discuss the knowledge they have gained from membership as well as ways AIHA has assisted them in pursuing their industrial hygiene careers.

From student-focused initiatives such as the AIHA Mentoring Program and the IH Professional Pathway to broader benefits like Catalyst and The Synergist, AIHA has many resources that are useful to early-career professionals. Our commitment to students includes direct outreach to student local sections, special opportunities for students at AIHce, and student representation on the new Local Sections Advisory Group. OUTREACH For several months, AIHA’s CEO Larry Sloan has been visiting colleges and speaking directly to students about the benefits of membership in AIHA national. Larry has met with students and faculty members at Johns Hopkins University, the University of Cincinnati, UCLA, and California State University-Northridge. He is scheduled to meet with students at the University of Arizona, the University of Houston-Clear Lake, and the University of Massachusetts-Lowell. Many but not all of these institutions have AIHA student local sections. Following Larry’s visit, one institution with a disbanded student local section has decided to reinstitute its local section. AIHCE Another aspect of our commitment to students is the creation of a new academic education session track at AIHce. This track, which will debut in May at AIHce EXP 2019 in Minneapolis, was developed in partnership with faculty advisors. It is intended to help students map out their careers in industrial hygiene. Topics include mentorship, internships, the CIH exam, and career advice. The track also features presentations by current students who will highlight their research from their institutions. A full list of sessions in the academic track is available online. In addition to this new track, other special opportunities exist for students at AIHce. The CareerAdvantage Development Fair, a fixture at AIHce for many years, offers students (and others) the chance to network, practice skills in interviewing, meet employers, and perfect their resumes. And the PAL Program—the acronym stands for Personal AIHce EXP Liaison—helps first-time conference attendees learn how to get the most out of AIHce by matching them with experienced attendees. The conference website has more information.
Students will have representation on the Local Sections Advisory Group. This will allow student local sections to have direct communication with the Board.
CYNTHIA A. OSTROWSKI, CIH, is AIHA president and owner of CAO Consulting near Detroit, Mich. She can be reached via email.

As presented in my previous columns, the AIHA Board of Directors recently approved the recommendation of a volunteer-led task force to transition the Local Section Council into a new Local Sections Advisory Group. This group will provide guidance to the Board on matters of interest to local sections. An important development is that students will have representation on the Local Sections Advisory Group. This will allow student local sections to have direct communication with the Board. WORDS OF ADVICE Although AIHA is assisting our students, individual members can, and do, make an impact. Each of us can help cultivate the next generation of industrial hygienists by participating as mentors in the AIHA Mentoring Program, serving as PALs at AIHce, donating to Foundation scholarships, and offering advice and encouragement. The students who were profiled on SynergistNOW all acknowledged that opportunities to interact with experienced professionals are a key benefit of AIHA membership.  Those students also had advice for their fellow early-career professionals. “The best way to utilize membership with AIHA is to take advantage of every resource offered,” said Brenna Hogan, a Foundation scholar. “Whenever there is a conference or networking event, whether it be national or local, make every effort to attend and be engaged. If you can mentor or be mentored, accept the opportunity…. Getting involved in everything possible is valuable for both yourself and the AIHA community.” 

SynergistNOW: "#IAMIH Spotlight: Brenna Hogan" (December 2018).