Sarah Hibbert receives an INBRE Graduate Assistantship
Congratulations to Sarah Hibbert Johnson, who is pursuing a Master of Public Health degree at ISU. Sarah will graduate in May of 2022 and was selected to receive an INBRE Graduate Summer Teaching Assistantship in 2021.
INBRE, or IDeA Networks of Biomedical Research Excellence, works to foster the development, coordination and sharing of research resources, and expertise that will expand research opportunities and increase the number of competitive investigators in eligible states. Sarah's award included funding for research, in addition to fringe benefits.
As part of the graduate teaching assistantship, Sarah had the opportunity to conduct research and to teach other students from biology, neurology and pharmacy. Undergraduates from these areas typically work as fellows with principal investigators, but this is the first time a student from the Department of Community and Public Health was involved. Sarah provided weekly seminars on a variety of personal and professional development topics to undergraduate, and fellow graduate students. Sarah focused the workshops on training to enhance the ability of researchers to present their work to any audience so it can make a difference in policy making, implementation and in public health.
Sarah says the highlight of the five week program was a statewide conference in Moscow, ID at the end of July where the ISU group of students met with other INBRE students from across the state. There, they heard poster presentations on a variety of projects and Sarah participated in a fast pitch science competition.
Sarah earned a bachelor's degree from BYU-I in Communications, with specific emphasis on advocacy, strategic communication and public relations. She chose to pursue a career in public health after performing an internship with Senator Mike Crapo in Washington, D.C. She was struck by the passion of individuals advocating for various causes at the national level, and their ability to influence the senator to become involved. She also believes public health is a bridge between the other sciences for interdisciplinary research and collaboration.
Working with Dr. Irene Van Woerden, assistant professor in the Department of Community and Public Health, Sarah is currently working to conclude her master's thesis project on food security and college students.For other public health students, Sarah has this advice: "Figure out what you're passionate about early on, and go for it! Utilize faculty in the department because they are an amazing resource."
Recent graduate, Lindsey Morris, plays an integral role in ISU's Covid Health efforts
Lindsey Morris, Class of 2020 has been working with the ISU COVID Health Team as a COVID investigator since October 2020. Prior to joining the ISU team, she worked for Southeastern Idaho Public Health as an intern during her senior year while she worked to obtain a bachelors degree in community and public health.
At SIPH, she coordinated self care seminars and other activities for young mothers and parents, including a Mother's Day Fun Run. She taught fall prevention classes for older adults in addition to helping plan a health fair.
In the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, Lindsey played an integral role in establishing the COVID hotline at SIPH, along with providing critical support as COVID testing and screening sites were established there. These roles provided her with the experience needed to become a COVID investigator at ISU.
There, she and the ISU Health Team are credited with developing and standing up a massive COVID screening program for all employees and students. She also helped to create the contact tracing processes, self-reporting procedures and now fields dozens of phone calls and emails per day related to contact tracing.
Lindsey and her husband have three children and she is a die-hard Bengal. She says "ISU has been a huge part of my life since I was a very early teen. I did the Upward Bound program in high school. I started going to college, taking classes and just fell in love with learning so college was a new found obsession with needing more and more information. Mainly it's my hometown, but since I've always been connected somehow with ISU since I was 14 years old, there never was anywhere else. So it was very suiting when the time came to look for a job that this would be the first place I looked."
Lindsey plans to stay here in the Pocatello area and hopes to utilize her education, wealth of knowledge and experience to help grow public health programs and public health education for her community