The Global Health Symposium is an annual lecture-based symposium hosted by M-HEAL and Timmy Global Health to promote active learning and engagement in global health efforts in the university community. With generous grants from BLI and other organizations, we were able to successfully carry out our event. This year, 124 students from various majors were able to listen to three keynote speakers: one from the School of Public Health, one from the University of Michigan Health System, and one from NSF International. Between the second and third speaker we had a lunch break where we provided refreshments and lunch from Cottage Inn Pizza. Afterward, attendees were encouraged to further discuss and network with the speakers and their colleagues to gain greater knowledge and insight into their talks.
After our event, we administered an online survey to help us evaluate our success. Some of the responses we received related to having preparation from the speakers and having more speaker – audience activities. Many of the attendees enjoyed the diversity of the speakers. These responses were very helpful and we hope to use them for future references.
Although our event ran relatively smoothly, we faced the same challenges we seem to run into each year. One of the major setbacks of our event will always be getting a lot of attendance. Although 124 is not bad, we were hoping we could get 200 attendees. Another setback was not having enough members attend from our respective organizations. We learned that as leaders of our organizations, we must be more authoritative and encourage more committed members to come to our events. If we cannot assure our own members to attend, we cannot assure others to do the same. We hope as leaders to continue to communicate with our members and possibly get them more involved and engaged with planning the event.
The event is open to all students and faculty at University of Michigan, and we hope to expand our audience. For next year, we hope to focus more on marketing/advertising and finding new ways to reach out to a wider audience.
Overall, the attendees enjoyed our speakers, food, and learned something new, so the event was a success! On behalf of Timmy Global Health and MHEAL, we thank you for awarding us this grant and making it possible to educate and further spread awareness for global health.