Student Committees and Course Representatives
IHN MS students participate in a variety of activities held by student committees, to enhance their training in Nutrition Science. To facilitate communication between students and faculty and to provide leadership experience, student representatives are used to relay student comments and concerns to the faculty and the MS Program Director and to organize the class for group activities and functions.
IHN JOURNAL CLUB
This year the students in Columbia University’s one-year masters program in Nutrition Science in the Institute of Human Nutrition formed a Journal Club, where members meet monthly to discuss medical publications on Nutrition.
The guest speaker for the inaugural meeting was Dr. Drew Ramsey (seen above at left), who is a psychiatrist at New York-Presbyterian Hospital and Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Columbia University Medical Center. The group reviewed several papers including “The Best Diet for Your Brain” from the March 2016 issue of Scientific American MIND.
The discussion ranged from critiquing the methodology of the papers to reviewing various dietary patterns that influence neurotoxic metabolites linked to neurological diseases like, depression, schizophrenia and Alzheimer's. Dr Ramsey’s clinical experiences shed light on the need for 'brain food' research and its potential as an effective treatment.
Journal Club member Leland Richardson reviewed the first session, explaining that “Here at Columbia, much of the latest nutritional science research is done by our own faculty and thesis mentors. Our journal club allows us the unique opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the intertwined relationship between nutrition and disease, and most importantly, perspective. As future health care professionals, it is essential for us to stay current and constantly question the dogma.”
ACADEMIC and PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT COMMITTEE
A point of contact for reporting possible breaches of the Honor Code of Academic and Professional Integrity. The Committee works with students and staff to deal with such issues, assisting in the resolution of identified problems.
CAREER DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE
Intended to help students learn about career options after the MS degree. The representatives provide information about possible future careers and/or professional schools, and assist in arranging career skills workshops on topics such as resumé essentials, interview skills, and time management.
COMMUNITY SERVICE COMMITTEE
Aims to provide opportunities for groups of students to engage in community service. The specific activities are decided by the interested students and may include serving at food service agencies or participating in NYC health fairs. Students also plan class-wide activities and volunteer opportunities in the area.
Representatives listen to student concerns and suggestions and convey them to the course directors, meet with the Program Director to discuss issues specific to the course, and communicate the outcome of these meetings to the class. The goal of this system is to encourage students to provide constructive feedback to the faculty and administration.
MS students can represent the IHN at organizations across Columbia University and the Medical Center. These organizations include, and are not limited to the P&S Club, Food for Thought, Global Health Organization, Student Health Advisory Committee, and Women in Science.
Shares the current students’ experience at the IHN with prospective students during scheduled Open House sessions or via email/phone, mostly during the Spring semester. The Committee also works to create links between the Institute and the IHN students’ undergraduate institutions.
Organizes formal and informal opportunities to have fun and “blow off steam” that might accumulate during key times in the semester. The Committee is open to suggestions for class-wide activities.
SUSTAINABILITY TASK FORCE
This group learns about Columbia University and New York City’s efforts and progress towards a more sustainable and equitable food system. In turn, the Task Force will seek to educate the IHN and the Columbia community about the challenges and opportunities in affecting this change.
Helps students with the difficulties they may encounter over the course of the program, whether physical, emotional or academic. The representatives offer help and support by identifying appropriate support services, assisting students who are ill, and arranging for classmates to provide notes for missed sessions. One committee member can sit on the CUMC Wellness Committee, which is composed of representatives from all CUMC schools.