Zooming in on a wide field

New club aims to help Health and Human Services majors find their place

The Spectrum

What do guidance counselors, behavioral scientists, health insurance specialists, sociologists and consumer safety officers have in common?

Health and Human Services.

There are currently 500 students enrolled in the Health and Human Services major, according to Susan Pearles, assistant director of the program. Within the major, there are three departments: community mental health, early childhood and social gerontology. Students with a health and human services degree enter a broad field of career options, according to nationalhumanservices.org - and some students want more than just classes and advisers to aid them in finding their niche in the subject.

Jenny Rizzo, a sophomore health and human services major, reached UB and realized SA didn't offer a club relevant to interests in health and human services. She decided to take action and be the first to start the club so future students didn't find themselves stuck in her position.

She emailed the listserv of students in her classes and posted in the "UB Everything" Facebook group. She said she received a multitude of "great responses," which encouraged her to pursue founding the club.

She filled out the 14-page application and prepared to start a club she felt would help many students at UB.

"The biggest thing any student can do to help them get a job in the future someday is network," Rizzo said.

One intention of the club is to get health and human services majors in touch with one another outside of a classroom setting. Getting to know each other on a more personal basis will help in the future when members go their separate ways to job hunt, Rizzo said.

The club will also help students build their skillsets. Working as a team and learning from each other will ultimately help boost their experience and r?(c)sum?(c)s, according to Rizzo.

Guest speakers, already in the field of health and human services, will come to lecture and meet with club members. Rizzo believes this will aid in networking and will give students a chance to ask questions and discover whether the field is actually for them.

They will also participate in local community service projects and volunteer at health and human service events.

Allie Falkenberg, a senior health and human services major, said the scope of the major is so vast, it's almost impossible to know what you want to do with the degree. Joining a club to help her figure it out would have been ideal during her freshman year, she said. She wishes someone created the club four years ago.

"Having this club will introduce students to careers they may have never even heard of or learned about in their classes," Falkenberg said. "It would have been beneficial to me in college."

The club held its e-board elections during its first meeting on March 6. The club's third meeting is Thursday at 7:15 p.m. in Jacobs Hall, room 206A. The group has approximately 11 members.

"Honestly, I don't have an exact answer as to what this club is yet," Rizzo said. "I want all the members and myself to work together and make the club something we all want it to be."

Rizzo hopes to see the club continue to grow and believes many of the 500 students in the major will benefit from what it has to offer.

email: features@ubspectrum.com