Students were asked to describe their most significant learning experience and how the learning experience would be applicable to their public health career.
- "The most important thing I have learned about my skills/abilities during my time at [the partner organization] is that I need to have more confidence in myself and take charge when I need to. I definitely lack some confidence and can convince myself that I don’t know enough or don’t have enough experience to do something or make important decisions. This experience has been very beneficial for me to be put into a real-world job situation and get more comfortable with what it’s like to work in a professional public health environment. I have been able to apply skills/knowledge I’ve learned in class to tasks presented to me during the APEx."
- “I now better understand inter-professional collaboration and how it is key to starting and moving forward with any major public health program. This understanding will help me provide better collaborative communication and planning in future projects.”
- “I’m learning that I have a lot of room to grow in the areas of communication and advocacy. It sounds much easier in theory than it actually is in practice, because it involves a high level of comfort with the message being communicated, and a high level of comfort with people. For people like me, who are naturally more analytical and introverted, it can be a little more difficult – especially when still in the learning stages of the topic being discussed.”
- “One experience from this APEx that stands out to me is the opportunity I had to research the HPV Cancer Free campaign. This "deep-dive" included interviews and meetings. I then had the opportunity to help present what I had learned at the local health center to the nurses and nurses' aides. This was a really special moment for me because I felt like an "expert" and was able to explain the details of what [the partner organization] does in terms of HPV cancers. Spreading accurate health information is so important, and in today's world, can sometimes be hard to find.”
- "After listening to other student’s experience in the outbrief this morning, it sounds like COVID-19 gave all of us the runaround on trying to stay up-to-date on major policies and developments. That experience is a solid reminder that we can’t lose hope or motivation in our personal lives just because a project that we are passionate about faces delays or unexpected challenges."
Advice From Current APEx students:
- “Begin searching for a partner organization early and get the contacts you need so you can begin building relationships.”
- "Think intentionally about the type of partner organization you want to work with. Spend more time planning with a partner and ensure good communication before the APEx begins."
- "Revisit the APEx Learning Contract at least every two weeks to keep the specific goals and scope of experience in mind."
- "Schedule a standing meeting with your preceptor and set structured work hours to help with your accountability."
APEx Ignite Presentations
Student Name: Ashleigh Galles
Partner Organization: CityMatCH
Title: Communication is Key
Description: My APEx experience with CityMatCH was unique in providing me with the lesson on communicating effectively in MCH. There are endless amounts of data, resources, information, deliverable updates, and trainings that all need to be communicated to the members of CityMatCH and it must be done well. That itself is a challenge and COVID-19 added a new level of challenges in communicating virtually through newsletters, Zoom, online platforms, and other online formats. This challenged my current skills in communication and helped them grow and flourish throughout this experience.
Student Name: Sean Jackson
Partner Organization: Great Plains Tribal Chairmen's Health Board, Emergency Operations Center
Title: We Are Warriors: The Emergency Operations Center (EOC) for Great Plains Area Tribes
Description: This APEx project was conducted with the Great Plains Tribal Chairmen's Health Board Emergency Operations Center (EOC). The EOC was established in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The video provides a broad overview of the EOC, its activities, and, the student's activities and experience.
Student Name: Sophia Yelkin
Partner Organization: Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department
Title: COVID-19 PPE Inventory Response
Description: Working with the COVID-19 PPE Inventory Response Team at Lincoln-Lancaster County proved a learning experience different than anything else in my public health background. I was able to observe and contribute to community needs in response to the coronavirus pandemic, being the primary source for user requests through the electronic PPE Request System. My abilities to develop engaging materials for the public was quickly noticed and utilized throughout my time working on the COVID-19 PPE Inventory Response team. I appreciate the experience and a once in a lifetime opportunity to be a part of responding to a global pandemic.
Student Name: Jessica Hicks
Partner Organization: North Central District Health Department
Title: Creating a Mental Health Campaign for the NCDHD Community
Description: For my APEx project, I worked with NCDHD in O'Neill Nebraska. I helped create social media campaign materials that will bring awareness and education about mental health to their community. A survey was then created to get community feedback on the materials. This project will help NCDHD meet accreditation requirements.
Student Name: Korine (Korie) Nelson
Partner Organization: Garrett County Health Department, MD
Title: A Summer of Experience (and how we got prison names)
Description: I worked in the Health Education and Outreach division of the Garrett County Health Department. I was on-site for one day a week for 2 months and did the rest virtually. I produced 3 products and was able to help in 2 community testing events for COVID-19. I did various tasks, learned a lot, sharpened my public health skills, and experienced a wonderful work environment.
Student Name: Thomas Bainter
Partner Organization: Alzheimer's Association, Nebraska Chapter
Title: Advocating for Individuals Living with Dementia Through Public Health
Description: I partnered with the Alzheimer's Association Nebraska Chapter with Terry Streetman, Director of Public Policy and Advocacy. I learned quite a bit about policy, advocacy, and the legislative process, as well as how to use health and epidemiological data to communicate with policymakers and stakeholders. I also gained firsthand experience with how these organizations respond in the face of a crisis, and was able to adapt the project somewhat to be able to help provide information to their constituents due to changing needs. I had a great experience and would recommend partnering with the Nebraska Chapter to anyone planning their APEx project.