My First-Year Challenge

By: Amber Moore – Epidemiology

At Orientation, one of the Epidemiology Associate Directors of Academic Programs (ADAPs) and resident superhero, Jena Black, gave some advice to us first years. She told us that although we would want to focus on school work, one of the best and most important parts of Rollins was getting involved outside of the classroom. She challenged us to participate in at least one event a week – so I did!

January 21 – January 25unnamed (8)

I started this blog by doing something I do every week, which is serving as an Arts in Health Volunteer for the Winship Cancer Institute (technically outside of Rollins but I included it anyway). This particular week I got the change to do a “Pop-Up Popcorn Shop” where I gave out free popcorn to patients, family members and staff!

January 28 – February 1unnamed (14)

As a welcome back to classes, the Rollins Student Government Association (RSGA) gave away free coffee, hot chocolate & tea on the bridge! It was a fun way to catch up with your representatives and meet new people. RSGA does a lot of these events so you can easily get involved!

unnamed (15)February 4 – February 8

One of my favorite events this year has been the Emory Graduate Formal which was held at the College Hall of Fame and hosted by the Graduate Student Government Association (GSGA). It was so much fun to get dressed up and meet graduate students outside of Rollins. Plus, as an Ohio State alum, it was really cool to have free admission to the museum!


February 11 – February 15unnamed (16)

Valentine’s Day was filled with lots of very cool events by various student organizations, including the Emory Reproductive Health Association (ERHA)! ERHA held a “Sex Trivia” event, which involved answering questions about sexual health to receive a prize.

unnamed (9)February 18 – February 22

General Body Meetings are also a great way to get involved at Rollins (and receive free lunch – super important)! This meeting by the Emory Mental Health Alliance (EMHA) featured Dr. Liz Walker of the BSHE department. She spoke about her non-linear path to public health and how to get involved in mental health research.

unnamed (10)February 25 – March 1

This week was a little different, primarily because I had three papers and two exams that were due. Instead of participating on campus, I signed up for a mock phone interview through the Office of Career Development. The Rollins alum not only gave me great advice on how to interview better, but also on life after Rollins and the job search. Would definitely recommend!

unnamed (11)March 4 – March 8

Another very interesting GBM was held by the Rollins Environmental Health Action Coalition (REHAC) on the benefits of herbs and included a DIY herbal tea station. I really enjoyed learning about different medicinal and therapeutic options and had a lot of fun making my own sleepy time tea!

unnamed (12)March 18 – March 22

This week I wanted to showcase another organization that I’m involved in called Emory Pipeline. Graduate and undergraduate students team up as mentors to high school students in Atlanta. I teach a mental health course once a week which will culminate in a music video and a presentation. It’s a great organization!

unnamed (13)March 25 – March 29

I encourage going outside of your academic comfort zone and attending GBMs in topics you may not have a direct affiliation with so you can gain an appreciation for those topics. RACPAC’s meeting was really interesting and exposed me to a topic of epidemiological research that I’ve never really explored before!

image6 (1)April 1 – April 5

My final week of this challenge fell on the best week yet – Public Health week!! So many Rollins organizations participated, and it was a really great way to get to know a lot about them. There was a spa day with RSGA (who provided an event during lunch every day that week), a free picnic on the courtyard, and some really interesting GBMs and panel discussions! The one I went to this week was by the Emory Chapter of the Georgia Public Health Association on violence prevention. Awesome speakers and a wonderful discussion!

image10Final Thoughts

I had so much fun this semester getting involved on and around campus. I challenge each and every one of you to try this – I think you’ll really like what you find. Rollins is an incredible place to be, to grow, and to learn.

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