Student and Early Career Task Force
The Student and Early Career (SEC) Task Force is designed to contribute to the overall professional and career development of students and early career members within an interdisciplinary environment. This task force is unique in that it focuses primarily on the connection, interest, and skill development of the group.
Specific discussions and projects develop organically to meet the needs and interests of our members, allowing us to focus our meetings on topics that are interesting and relevant to the group. The SEC Task Force is committed to providing our members with mutual support, practical discussion, and mentorship and networking opportunities while supporting the learning, experience, and confidence of our members.
Task Force Co-Chair
Nadha Hassen, HBSc, MPH
PhD Student, Environmental and Urban Change
Task Force Co-Chair
Cori L. Cafaro, MSc, MA
PhD Student, Clinical-Community Psychology
In the Works
In anticipation of the Coming Together for Action Conference in 2022, the SEC Task Force members are currently collaborating to explore how we can enhance the student and early career experience through timely, relevant, and action-oriented session(s).
At our regular meetings, in an effort to learn and grow together, we are making space to discuss topics of interest to our members. Recent examples include:
- Getting involved in policy and policy basics
- Engaging with community in research
What We’ve Worked On
As a task force, we’ve consistently focused on three primary objectives:
Supporting Students & Their Work
The SEC Task Force has always dedicated much of its efforts to provide opportunities for interdisciplinary, skill-building open discussion and support for students, particularly those in graduate programs. Highlights of our student-focused work include:
- Policy Brief: Impact of COVID-19 on College Students’ Mental Health (October 2020)
- Dissertation Virtual Coffee Chat (October 2020)
- Meeting Discussion Topic: Tips and tricks for dissertations
Early Career Development, Support, & Advice
Our task force has consistently supported early career members of our group by offering valuable career-related information and advice, as well as encouraging dialogue relevant to professionals from a variety of disciplines:
- Meeting Discussion Topic: Navigating non-academic career paths (May 2021)
- Webinar: “From Idea to Impact: Demystifying Social Justice Policy Processes” (March 2020)
- Coming Together for Action 2018 Conference: Policy Careers Panel (October 2018)
Mentorship & Networking
Our task force also focuses on fostering opportunities for our group to engage in mentorship and networking to further collaboration, connection, and contribution. Recent mentorship and networking events include:
- Meeting Topic Discussion: Professional use of social media/Using social media as a student or early career professional
- Coming Together for Action 2020 Conference: Networking/Mentorship Session (October 2020)
What SEC Members Have Worked On
Our members take part a wide range of activities. From writing policy resolutions and briefs, holding and participating in listening sessions, publishing manuscripts, to co-chairing our Coming Together for Action conference, SEC members are involved in many initiatives and projects both within and outside of the Global Alliance. Check out some of our members’ recent work:
- Blog by Nadha Hassen: The Built Environment, Mental Health, and Health Equity: What Are We Missing? (August 2021)
- Blog by Surasya Guduru: An Intern’s Experience at the 74th WHA-USDHHS Stakeholder Listening Session (July 2021)
- Pre-Conference Spotlight Panel Discussion featuring Mia Campbell: Framing Global Mental Health Priorities: Policy and Practice through a Human Rights Lens (September 2020)
- Poster Presentation by Steph Miodus: Mentoring and ASD: A Gap in Services for Children with Moderate to Severe Autism Spectrum Disorder (June 2020)
Testimonials of SEC Members
“As an active task force member, I have been supported as I navigated the early career space and a return to school for my masters. The experiences and opportunities I have been afforded through the GA reinforce the fact that my voice matters and that I am not alone in my mission to empower communities that are systematically disenfranchised.”Mia Campbell
“Even as a graduate student, my opinions were always welcomed and respected, and I felt that my professional and personal development mattered to my fellow Global Alliance members. In my two years of involvement with the organization, I have contributed to numerous projects on various task forces and subgroups, ranging from journal publications, a blog post, resolutions, and policy briefs and statements. Additionally, I have found mentors and peers from different disciplines than my own that continue to positively impact my professional growth.”Cori L. Cafaro
“Being involved in Global Alliance as a student member has provided me with the opportunity to connect with passionate students and professionals who are dedicated to a world committed to behavioral health and social justice. The organization, its leadership, and members have supported my growth and learning in advocacy and policy work. I particularly appreciate being able to learn from others outside of my field through an interdisciplinary perspective.”Steph Miodus
“Global Alliance teaches me that I can be an activist and a researcher simultaneously, and I do not need to do this alone. I can collaborate and work with scholars from all over the world. Their taskforces are teaching me that researchers from different fields can connect virtually and contribute to social change. I recommend Global Alliance, especially for students and emerging scholars like me. The more involved you get, the more you can network and be part of research studies focused on social justice.”Michelle Angelo-Rocha
The Student and Early Career Task Force is always accepting new members who share our passion and vision. You are invited to attend one of our regular Zoom meetings at any time. This task force is the only one that does not require Global Alliance membership in order to participate.
While we encourage your active participation in the task force’s work (writing, researching, planning, etc.) between task force meetings, we also welcome members who can contribute to meetings but may not have time to spare outside of their schooling and careers. Our meetings typically function as a drop-in space to learn about what is going on and to be supported. We encourage you to share and celebrate your work outside of the GA, as we often find this leads to opportunities to build on members’ interests and engage in aligned work within the GA.
Even if you are not a member of the task force, we encourage you to follow and share our work and to attend events sponsored by the SEC Task Force.