The Outreach and Communication committee is devoted to expanding the impact of the Coalition’s work by increasing the Coalition membership and building bridges with scientific, engineering, and health professionals as well as the human rights community.
David J. Proctor, Affiliated Individual
Jeffrey H. Toney, Sigma Xi
Progress Since Last Meeting
- Student engagement plan has been developed.
- Essay contest for engineering students has been proposed.
- Student delegate roles have been proposed.
Goals for Next Six Months: Key Next Steps and Decisions Made
Of the three agenda items for the meeting (see above), only the student delegate proposal was discussed. It was favorably received, and we will now pursue this idea.
Establish a Student Delegate role for each member association with specific responsibilities for each delegate and rewards for participation
We would like to invite each Coalition member association to appoint a Student Delegate. Responsibilities would include participation in one of the working groups, attending the Coalition meetings, and writing articles about the Coalition’s activities for their associations’ member communications. Each association could recruit this student in the manner that makes most sense within its own structure. For example, students from the association’s student chapter could be invited to apply, the responsibility could be assigned to an existing student leadership position within the association, or the role could be assigned to an intern or fellow in the association’s Washington, DC office. That process would be left up to each organization.
One of the benefits that we anticipate from student involvement is that they will bring their energy, vitality, and curiosity to the Coalition. In addition to involvement with their professional association, students will be supported in pursuing their own ideas. This will allow them the freedom to be creative in their engagement with the Coalition.
After these student delegates become actively involved in the Coalition, we can include a side meeting or event specifically for the students during the Coalition meetings.
The advantages of this approach are that the student engagement reinforces the purpose and structure of the Coalition as a network of associations. It provides a clear path of engagement for each member association to invite its student members to participate in the Coalition’s activities, and it provides the associations with another person to help them with their overall involvement. Furthermore, it provides the students with a professional development opportunity. Coalition members could further support this initiative with rewards, such as certificates for participation or course credit.
Increased student engagement in Coalition activities, increased student engagement in member association activities, and increased student engagement in Coalition meetings
There was an extensive discussion of the connection between science and human rights and the role of the Coalition during the business meeting. The discussion highlighted the need to address such questions in advance of the meeting for new participants, or perhaps to host a separate discussion earlier in the meeting as an introduction or orientation for new participants. The Coalition has experimented with this sort of activity around the meeting; it may help to have the Human Rights 101 discussion alongside the morning members-only working group meetings so that “old hands” can have a regular working group meeting while participants who are new to the Coalition can learn about human rights, the role of the Coalition, and ask questions.
Request(s) for Intern Assistance
It would be helpful to have an intern do the legwork to get the student delegate activity off the ground. This activity likely needs close coordination with the Secretariat, so it is a task well-suited for an intern.
Next Meeting Date
11 July 2013; additional ad hoc meetings will take place as well.