Positive affirmations, scavenger hunt & goal setting part of virtual social

Written by Mahija Ginjupalli, neuroscience and anthropology student at University of Texas at Austin; and the Amelia Brown Johnson Memorial Scholar at the 2021 Institute for Public Health Summer Research Program

This summer, Washington University in St. Louis brought together a variety of students from across disciplines and the world. Representatives from the Institute for Public Health Summer Research Program – Public & Global Health Track and Aging & Neurological Diseases Track; the  International Center for Child Health and Development (ICHAD), Brown School; Siteman Cancer Center training programs; and the Biomedical Informatics & Data Science at the Institute for Informatics at the School of Medicine, joined together to plan or attend a virtual social.

In addition to engaging in affirmations and “SMART C” goal setting, research interns participated in an online social to get to know their peers through icebreakers and a fun virtual scavenger hunt. The first activity placed us into breakout rooms, where we were tasked with finding similarities between each other. This was a great way to connect with peers who we might not have gotten a chance to meet otherwise, and it was interesting to discover the unlikely similarities and differences among us. Social coordinators later assigned people to peer groups, ensuring that those who were not able to attend the social would be able to engage with the larger group.

Along with group activities, the SMART C goal-setting was particularly relevant given the interns’ respective engagement in their novel research projects. SMART C goals stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Time-bound, and Challenging. These criteria ensure that users of SMART C goal setting are achieving their short-term aims while concurrently pursuing their long-term objectives.

The great combination of hosting fun activities and providing useful tools we can use daily made the social a wonderful experience, and the interns agree that they cannot wait for the next one on July 8!