Development of an Inclusion Student Advocate Programme in the Faculty of Medical Sciences

The team
Lead: Dr Nephtali Marina-Gonzalez
Support Students: Moon Cheng, Tala Al Ajmi, Emma Last.
Division of Medicine
What happened?
At the beginning of the year, we gathered together to develop a program that promotes equality, diversity and inclusion within the Faculty of Medical Sciences. In hopes that by collecting the opinions of the cohort, we can identify the areas of improvement and come up with solutions that could allow a better sense of belonging in the faculty. As a faculty with many students from different backgrounds, race and gender, we believe that it is essential for us to keep EDI awareness high in order to help everyone reach their greatest potential in their academics whilst feeling supported as a unique individual. We planned 3 sections to the project, the survey, Interviews and Alumni Talks. In which the survey and interviews were constructed to collect data from the student body and the Alumni Talks are planned to invite previous students from different career fields to share their experiences with current experiences. We have finished collecting responses form the survey and are currently in the middle of organising interviews with students who self identify as having disabilities and understanding what we could do in order to help them have a more smooth learning journey. The alumni talks will be held next academic year. Since the student advocates are also student representatives from different courses in IMS, we are able to attend SSCC meetings and report to leads and other student representatives about our project. This is for the purpose of letting staff in the faculty of medical sciences to be aware of students opinions and concerns. This project is still ongoing and we hope our efforts put in this project will be able to benefit current students and most importantly prospective students as well.
What advice or encouragement would you give to someone thinking of doing a ChangeMakers project?
Make sure you could keep a good balance between your degree coursework and the Changemakers project at the same time. It would need good time management and also be self-motivated to progress the project throughout the year because you would have to set deadlines yourself and try to achieve them. Always communicate with your lead and other team members when you are confused with parts of the project since more ideas and opinions come up in discussions.

Fiona A Wilkie

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