Announcing the New Service Cord for GPPH!

Public Health Service Cord AnnouncementService – it’s a word that means different things to different people. As public health professionals, we think of service opportunities as activities done outside of our regular work or program of study that allow us to use our passion and expertise to help make our professions, communities, and ultimately, our world a better place. If you embrace community service opportunities during your public health studies, you could be recognized with a service cord at graduation.

Service is giving back to our profession and to our community, not for financial gain, but with the only expectation being improvements in health outcomes in our communities. Whether you are an established public health professional gaining your advanced degree, or new to the field of public health, you should be mindful of the many benefits of performing service.

Why is service important?

Performing service provides opportunities for you to meet and learn about people and organizations with similar interest. It provides opportunities for you to expand your network; opportunities to put your knowledge into practice by allowing you to gain an understanding of the contexts in which public health work is performed outside of an academic setting, and allows you to continue to learn new skills and contribute to the advancement of your field.

Are you committed to giving back to your community?

Have you dedicated time to serving your community while being a public health student? The Graduate Programs in Public Health (GPPH) would like to recognize your contribution to your community and your profession by presenting you with a Service cord to be worn at graduation.


Introducing the GPPH Service Cord

Beginning with the graduation ceremony in May 2019, all GPPH students who have completed a minimum of 100 hours of service while enrolled in their program can earn a Service cord! Are you close to completing your program? You can still earn the ‘Service’ cord! You have the duration of your course of study to earn the Service cord. Just provide documentation of the hours of service completed while being in your program.


How to earn your Service cord – the official process

  • Student is informed of the option to earn a Service cord during onboarding and by academic advisors
  • Student pledges to become involved in service and to work toward earning the ‘Service’ cord
  • Student maintains a Service Activity log containing the following information:
    • Date of service activity
    • Name of organization
    • Primary contact at the organization
    • Contact information for primary contact
    • Location of organization (city and state or country)
    • A brief summary of work done
  • Program sends a follow-up survey to students to gather information on their service activities
  • Student uses information in Service Activity log to complete survey
  • Student submits a copy of the entire Service Activity log in February of the year of graduation
  • Program uses survey information and Service Activity log to determine eligibility for Service cord
  • Program reviews eligible students, including verification of activities
  • Program sends the decision to qualifying students in April
  • Service cord given on graduation day

How do you find service opportunities near you?

Need help finding service or volunteer opportunities in your area? Click here for opportunities listed in the Student Success Portal!

Have questions? Contact Carol Ewan Whyte, Assistant Director for Research & Service;

The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” – Mahatma Gandhi

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