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2021 AAHB Election Results

President Elect - Dr. Annie Nguyen

 Statement from President-Elect Candidate:  Annie Lu Nguyen, PhD, MPH

  • I am excited and humbled by this opportunity to run for President of the American Academy of Health Behavior. This is an organization that is near and dear to my heart.  

    I am a faculty member at the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California. My research focuses on the intersection of HIV and aging, specifically on mental health and health behaviors, and my research is funded by the NIH/National Institute on Aging. I strive to bring authentic community-engaged approaches to my work. This means that I try to be responsive to what I am hearing and seeing and I am reflective in my thinking. I often ask myself and my team, what is our motivation for asking a research question? What will we do with the answer? I have asked myself these questions in regards to running for President.

    My motivation for running

    I attended my first AAHB conference in 2011. I remember being in awe of the renowned researchers I met and being pleasantly surprised that they took the time to engage me in conversation (I am sure it had nothing to do with my task of handing out drink tickets). Even as a student I knew AAHB would be unlike any other professional organization I would join. I immediately sought involvement through reviewing abstracts and subsequently serving as the Research Review Chair, becoming a member on the Diversity and Equity Council, and presently serving as Secretary. I am fortunate to be on the Board with a group of people who care deeply about the future of this organization. I want to continue to be a part of building on our rich past through bold initiatives that will ensure a successful future. Consequently, I have some ideas about how we can challenge ourselves as an organization in the next few years. 

    My vision for AAHB

    To quote Lisako McKyer, we are an organization that has “one foot firmly planted in the past with eyes gazing toward the future.” As stewards of our disciplines, this tug and pull between the past and the future is something we do every day as scientists. We advance science while acknowledging the fact that we stand on the shoulders of giants. In the same way, I consider the Board to be the stewards of AAHB. We have a charge to engage and listen to our members, honor our origins, while at the same time, evolve with new ideas.

    I think often about what AAHB means to me. Some of our colleagues call it their professional home. I call it a part of my professional identity. As it has with many others, AAHB has given me the space to grow as a leader, a scholar, and a health behavior researcher. Of the various organizational “hats” that I wear, I am most proud of the one that bears the name of this organization. AAHB offers not only tangible benefits like our dynamic scientific conference, but also many priceless intangibles - a welcoming community that respects different perspectives, where inspiring conversations turn into research aspirations and foster grant applications, and where you find encouragement to take on new professional challenges. These are the things that sustain my spirit as a researcher. This camaraderie is part of the AAHB heritage, a secret weapon – if you will- and an aspect for which we should encourage every member to define as their own “AAHB identity.” So how do we translate this vision into action? I offer these ideas: 

  •        We have a council of Past-Presidents that is not currently incorporated into the governing structure of the Board. I would invite a representative to serve as a “resident historian” on the Board. 
  •        There have long been discussions about student representation and I support avenues for student voices to be heard. While acknowledging the value of meritocracy in our organization, we also need to be mindful of membership growth and building the leadership pipeline. I would create an Assembly of Student Scholars to serve in an advisory role to the Board which would also be responsible for planning and leading a student-centered activity at the scientific conference.
  •        I will commit to having at least 3 AAHB members in our speaker pool for the 2022 conference to showcase the diverse talents of our members. Let’s also offer more oral presentation options by selecting the top scoring abstracts for a distinguished symposium session.
  •        First-time attendees are more likely to stay engaged if they leave the conference feeling welcomed. In addition to our current activities, I would implement a “welcome” program where first-time attendees are paired with a seasoned member or board member as their conference host. This program also could be a way to foster informal mentoring relationships outside of our Research Scholars Mentorship Program.   
  •        Our financial viability is crucial to a sustainable future. I would work with the Resource Development Committee to explore ideas like offering pre-conference workshops or mid-year seminars, writing conference grants, creative fundraising with a silent auction, or developing and publishing a textbook. 

It would be a great honor to serve as the President of AAHB. If entrusted with this role, I promise to lead with equanimity, with active listening, with honest and transparent communication, and with commitment to the growth, success, enhanced visibility, and long-term sustainability of this organization. Thank you for your consideration and support.

Secretary: Dr. Idethia (Shevon) Harvey

Statement from Secretary: Idethia Shevon Harvey, DrPH, FGSA

My name is Idethia Shevon Harvey, DrPH, FGSA. I am an Associate Professor in the Division of Health Education in the Department of Health and Kinesiology and Director of the Transdisciplinary Center for Health Equity Research at Texas A&M University.  I am honored to be nominated for the Secretary position for AAHB.

I first attended AAHB as part of the inaugural Research Scholars Mentorship Scholar Program in March 2009. While attending AAHB, I immediately became involved and became engaged in the Professional Development Council and Diversity and Equity Council.

I am seeking to fill the secretary's open board position because I feel like I have the necessary experience and skills to serve in this role. Specifically, I have served in leadership positions within other professional organizations: American Public Health Association (Program Planner Chair, Community-based Public Health Caucus, and Aging and Public Health) and Gerontological Society of America (Secretary, Task Force on Interest Groups). Currently, I am the Associate Editor for the Journal of Ethnicity and Health and an Editorial Board Member for the Women, Gender, and Families of Color. 

I have also served as a principal investigator, co-principal investigator, and co-investigator on federal and state grants research and national foundations totaling over 2 million dollars and have authored more than 40 peer-reviewed research articles and 100 international and national research presentations. Because of these combined research and service experiences, I feel that I am well qualified to serve as an AAHB board member in the role of secretary.

Member Delegate Dr. Philip Massey

Candidate Statement:  Philip Massey, PhD, MPH

My name is Philip Massey and I am running to be your member-delegate. From my first experiences with AAHB in 2014 when I attended the annual conference in Charleston, SC, to my most recent service as Research Review Chair for the 2020 conference, I have been delighted to be part of a scientific community that values scholarship, progress, and collegiality.

As an associate professor at the Drexel Dornsife School of Public Health, I greatly value an organization that is open and willing to include members and their ideas and I found this to be the case with AAHB. I had the opportunity early in my AAHB involvement to help shape conference programming – in 2015 I was a member of the conference planning committee that focused on Digital Media and Behavior Change. As my research focuses on the application of online data and social media strategies to strengthen public health surveillance, intervention, and evaluation, I was thrilled to be a part of the 2015 conference planning, and more recently the 2020 conference planning.

In addition to helping shape conference programming, I have served on the Member Development Council since 2018 and as the Research Review Chair for the 2020 annual conference that was scheduled to take place in Napa, CA (thanks, 2020!). Those whom I have not yet met face-to-face may recognize my name from the many emails related to the 2020 abstract submissions and reviews – thank you to everyone who contributed to our collective scholarship and I look forward to the next time we can share this in person.

My experiences with AAHB, from attending to planning conferences and related Academy activities, will allow me to serve effectively as your member-delegate. I have both benefited from and contributed to the Academy, including being exposed to top-notch scholarship as well as developing collaborations with new colleagues and friends. Thank you for your consideration to elect me as member-delegate.                                                                                                                                           

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