Members of the Vanderbilt Institute for Global Health (VIGH) Student Advisory Council gathered August 28 for a fall retreat. Undergraduate and graduate students from across the university met to update each other on developments at the Institute and set goals for the upcoming academic year.

The council functions as an assembly that arranges involvement opportunities in an array of global health issues. Opportunities are generated by faculty and students alike, according to Matt Gartland, a fourth-year student at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and co-chair of the VIGH Student Advisory Council.

At the fall retreat, council members discussed  potential collaborations between fifteen campus organizations with similar mission statements. Members addressed sharing resources to provide higher impact service, learning and networking opportunities to the student body throughout the year.

The council also discussed logistics for the university-wide Global Health Case Competition, planned for early 2013. The case competition allots 36 hours for team members to work together to research and analyze a given subject, develop a solution and prepare a compelling presentation to a panel of expert judges. The winning team represents Vanderbilt University at the annual Emory Global Health Case Competition in the spring.

Students will be able to register for the Global Health Case Competition as individuals or teams at vanderbilt.edu/vigh-sac starting this fall. Organizations or departments interested in getting involved as partners or sponsors should contact vigh.sac@gmail.com.

“I can tell that this year’s Student Advisory Council is ready to build on the foundations of the past two years by increasing our presence through networking events, innovative outreach and marketing, and the third installment of our case competition,” added Rebecca Reed, College of Arts and Science senior and VIGH Student Advisory Council Co-Chair. “This group is a great way for students from all of Vanderbilt’s schools to connect with each other, with the Institute, and with global health. I’m excited to see where the year takes us.”

The VIGH Student Advisory Council will be announcing plans for the Global Health Alliance, the Global Health Case Competition, and other events and student opportunities at  vanderbilt.edu/vigh-sac. Students interested in global health at Vanderbilt or getting involved with the group should contact vigh.sac@gmail.com.