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Leading on a Global Scale

February 3, 2022

With more than 800 student clubs and organizations, UNC offers something for everyone—but figuring out which organizations best align with your interests and how to get involved can be overwhelming at first.

When Autumn Tucker (UNC ’22, CSS 6) began looking for student organizations to join, she heard about GlobeMed at the beginning of her sophomore year, through a listserv targeted towards students interested in public health and medicine.

The senior neuroscience major from Waxhaw, NC was drawn to the public health organization’s mission to partner with grassroots non-profits around the world to address health disparities and create sustainable solutions to critical health issues.

“I chose to get involved in with GlobeMed to join a community of other undergrad students who are passionate global public health and committed to promoting advancements in diverse causes,” Tucker said.

Now in her second year as the organization’s co-president, Tucker enjoys mentoring younger club members and fundraising to support public health initiatives, like oral and reproductive health in marginalized, indigenous communities through the Association for Health and Development Guatemala (ASSADE).

What inspired you to take on a leadership role within GlobeMed?

Autumn Tucker and co-president Michael Li at the Public Health Art Show and Exhibition (PHASE) hosted by GlobeMed last fall.

As a member, I had numerous opportunities to help organize and participate in several fundraising and awareness events to support local and global initiatives, including broad healthcare access, sexual and reproductive health, and health education equity. These experiences in my first year as a member were impactful and helped me make lasting connections with other members and chapter leaders, which inspired me to apply to be the Campaigns Co-Chair.

After leading the Campaigns committee for several months and hosting a couple of successful fundraisers, I got an unexpected opportunity to apply to be Co-President during my junior year. As much as I loved fundraising for public health initiatives, acting as Co-President has given me the opportunity to be more involved in the overarching goals and advancement of the chapter. I’ve gotten more in touch with public health initiatives on a broader level, while getting to connect with and mentor members more directly.

What challenges have you faced as president?

As president, one of the biggest challenges has been navigating the space as a student leader throughout the pandemic—especially considering we have over 200 members, many of whom are underclassmen looking for guidance and community. Adjusting to virtual involvement, then re-adjusting back to in-person involvement, and navigating a space in between has been tricky overall, but I have learned a lot about being an effective yet adaptable leader. We’ve had to get very creative with how to reach our goals as service leaders while staying safe and often physically separated. However, we’ve been able to learn from those challenges to become more resilient and innovative, while still managing to raise several thousands of dollars for our global partner ASSADE throughout my time as president.

What have been your favorite or most meaningful experiences with GlobeMed?

My favorite experiences with GlobeMed have been at our community events and fundraisers, especially our annual art show, benefit for HIV/AIDS research, and pit fundraisers. Getting both the community engagement and the satisfaction of hosting events to directly advocate for and support our partners is especially meaningful to me. The first event that I helped plan and volunteered for really stands out. It was a mini-pumpkin painting event that we hosted on the quad near Halloween. This event was fairly successful and gave me the opportunity to connect with both other GlobeMed members and many students around campus who stopped by to chat and participate.

How can students fully take advantage of being involved in campus organizations?

To get the most out of organizations like GlobeMed, students should try to identify and get involved with projects that they are genuinely passionate about. Any level of involvement in GlobeMed and organizations with similar structure provides the opportunity to act as a community leader. With that position, students can have the opportunity to explore, advocate for, and take action towards topics and goals that serve others and effect positive change.

Photo by Megan May, UNC Research

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