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Idaho State University

Jacqueline Baergen, Academic Advisor for Pre-Health Professions, is 2019 Student Organization Advisor of the Year

April 30, 2019 - POCATELLO, ID 

Congratulations to Jacque Baergen on being named the 2019 Student Organization Advisor of the year!

Jacque is the advisor for the Pre-Health Professions Association (PHPA) group, which is designed to support students who are planning to apply to graduate medical education programs (medical school, dental school, physician assistant programs, etc). This is Jacque's third year advising this group and there has been more participation this year than ever before, in Jacque's words, "extraordinarily more participation!"

It's no wonder Jacque was honored with this prestigious award when you look at the group's recent activities. Membership has grown from approximately 10 members to over 50 members with a high percentage of regular participation in meetings and activities. Social events have created an atmosphere of inclusion for students of many backgrounds. Students are learning networking skills while enjoying and giving of themselves. Many of the community service projects (Trick-or-Treat for the Idaho Food Bank, organizing the food pantry at Aid for Friends, blankets for the homeless) have been productive and skill building. Students focus on community service, but are also learning organizational skills and the value of teamwork while building confidence in themselves and others. This is not accidental - the officers select projects based on service to community and service to each other.

Inclusion and diversity has been another focus of the PHPA. They have collaborated with the Counseling Center for at least two events – Sidewalk chalking for mental health and Unicorns for Wellness. The members of the PHPA have hosted pharmacy and physician assistant students to begin the interprofessional aspects of the health professions that will follow them through their professional careers. They welcome working with other student organizations (SACNAS, NSCS) to build collaboration and to better have an impact on the community.

In addition, the PHPA has two projects in which they are working collaboratively with students at other universities in other states. The PHPA is most notably working with the University Of Texas, El Paso on a humanitarian mission to Puerto Rico during Spring Break 2019. Students from both universities will meet in Puerto Rico to help with reconstruction on the island after the devastation from Hurricane Maria in September of 2017.

The club's social media presence has allowed them to reach a large number of people quickly so that if they have a last minute request for help, the word will spread and produce results; in fact they have been able to help other organizations who have needed help with community service projects at the last minute. Using Facebook's chat feature allows members to ask and answer questions quickly – quick response time creates an environment of inclusion – no one is left out of the loop.  Jacque says, "They use other social media platforms that are beyond me – this helps them reach a wider audience. I have great respect for the leaders and members of the Pre-Health Professions Association. They are great leaders who seek to help their peers and others in the community. They have come a long way this year!"

Congratulations Jacque!