London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine student wins volunteering award
Anna Goodman, a PhD Student at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) has been awarded a Higher Education Student Volunteering Award in recognition of her role in leading LSHTM' s Engaging Young People in Science program for the past three years. These awards are designed recognise outstanding contributions to community volunteering made by students in higher education across the UK, and one was awarded to Anna on the grounds that "Anna is clearly a dedicated volunteer who took on the organisation of a programme that would have folded without her intervention. She has strong commitment and drive in her volunteering work and should be commended for this... [The program also] has exceptional sustainability and succession planning." The award was one of six Student Volunteering Awards made this year, and was announced on 22nd June 2010 at the Higher Education Academy annual conference.
This award is the latest among many previous awards which LSHTM has received for its science engagement work with young people from disadvantaged schools. LSHTM has worked with schools in Barking and Dagenham for almost a decade, and LSHTM remains the only higher education institution offering academic work experience to schools in those areas. In the past three years, the program has also expanded to include students from schools in Westminster, Southwark, Lambeth, Islington and Camden. The main focus of the program is two-week work experience placements, during which students conduct a piece of original research. They then present findings in an open lunchtime seminar, and prepare research posters and reports which are loaded onto the LSHTM volunteering website (http://www.lshtm.ac.uk/aboutus/volunteering/).
Work experience at LSHTM combines both a taste of working as health scientists and also some insight into what it is like to work and study in an institute of Higher Education. Although ultimately the work is the students' own, they receive support and input from LSHTM academic staff, administrative staff, PhD students and MSc students - who all do so on an entirely voluntary basis.
The next programme will be with eight BTEC Science students aged 16-17 from Barking Abbey School, who will be doing work experience in November 2010.
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