Get Connected, Get Active, Get Involved!

When asking successful alumni what educational opportunities they found most valuable from their experience as an undergraduate student, they often say it was the connections they made with their peers or professors outside of the traditional classroom setting.  

Getting involved and building relationships are the best ways to make the most of your college experience!

Here are just a few ways to become engaged in student life within the School of Public Health!

S.T.E.P. Program: Students Transforming into Effective Professionals

Students Transforming into Effective Professionals

Empowering the next generation of Public Health leaders

The primary goal of the STEP program is to bring together students who wish to explore different aspects of Public Health while also preparing for professional life after college.  By joining one of the various interest groups students will gain insight into a specific topic area and explore different career options while also strategically preparing for today’s job market. 

The interest groups are designed to introduce and expose SPH students to current trends in the field of Public Health and facilitate an active learning environment. Each interest group allows students to engage with faculty, alumni and current students in an innovative out-of-the-classroom experience, which may include research projects, service projects, discussion groups, professional training workshops and so much more!
Through participation in the STEP Program, you will:
Connect with faculty, staff, alumni, and current students to help you Transition as a new SPH major
Engage in Critical Thinking and begin to build a strong academic foundation
Experience a small Community within a large University
Explore Professional Pathways
If you have questions or would like more information, please contact Tia Tanksley at
**Please note: students must be a current School of Public Health major in order to participate.**

UTEAM: Undergraduate Teaching & Education Assistants and Mentors

What is the UTEAM Program?

The Undergraduate Teaching & Education Assistants and Mentors (UTEAM) Program facilitates peer educational support in the School of Public Health through coursework and hands-on experiences. Working closely with faculty and graduate assistants, UTEAM members are an asset to the SPH learning community. This program is open to undergraduate students in the School of Public Health at the College Park Campus.

UTEAM Program Requirements

The UTEAM Program is a combination of experiences designed to provide:

1) Foundational knowledge to successfully support peer education

SPHL-333 is a one-credit course designed to teach foundational skills for guided peer learning. This is closed course and requires UTEAM Program approval to enroll.  

The course has three essential objectives:

  • Understanding the learning process
  • Applying knowledge to support peer education   
  • Developing personal and professional skills 

2) In-class, hands-on experiences within your major

SPHL-389 is a self-study course facilitated by SPH faculty.  This course is a closed course and requires approval to enroll. 

UTEAM members will have varying roles and responsibilities based on the needs of the courses they support including: 

  • Facilitating in-class discussions 
  • Facilitating discussion and review sessions 
  • Holding office hours

UTEAM Application Process

   1. Discuss course support options with a course faculty member. UTEAM members are required to have completed the course they wish to support with a passing grade and strong understanding of the subject matter.

   2. Submit online application using the link below. 

   3. Complete the contract template including both UTEAM member and faculty member signatures. All requirements must be detailed including tasks, time requirements, and assessment scale. 

 Applicants will receive an email with further information within 7 days of application.

Links and Resources for UTEAM Applications

Contract Instructions and Template (PDF)

Link to Application

List of SPH Courses Currently Offered (PDF)

Student Interest Groups

Bringing Poetry Down to Earth (BPDE)

The BPDE mission is to provide a hybridized (both creating and presenting) poetry group to students within the School of Public Health. Our down to earth atmosphere allows students to share their passions and interests in an educational environment that embraces diverse poetry styles. 

We aspire to collaborate and educate our fellow students to become better Public Health Professionals through understanding alternative styles of self-expression and communication.  Through this vision, we strive towards the betterment of ourselves and our local community through education, skill development, and service.

Want to start your own SPH Interest Group?

An interest group is a vehicle to allow the exchange of ideas, interest, and passions. To be an official SPH Interest Group, each cohort much poses the following criteria. To start one is as easy as 1,2,3:
     1. IGs must have regularly scheduled meetings through the semester
     2. All activities and content must be correlated to a topic in the field of Public Health

Departmental Student Groups  

Family Science Undergraduate Honors Program 

The Department's Honors Program offers academically talented students a more advanced and challenging educational experience related to the study of families. The program provides opportunities for involvement in a scholarly independent study, intensive interaction with faculty, and examination of a range of family topics in greater depth than is possible in the normal program of study.

Family Science Student Advisory Committee

The Department Chair in Family Science meets several times a semester with numerous undergraduate Family Science majors who serve on this committee. Student committee members provide the Chair with feedback about their personal experiences in the department, addressing such topics as advising, courses, internships, research opportunities, department seminars, preparation for graduate school, and career assistance.

Global Public Health Scholars

Global Public Health crosses physical and academic boundaries to explore the connections between health, culture, economic development, and environmental sustainability around the world while advocating for the wellbeing of all communities. Global Public Health offers students interested in allied medical fields, public and community health, and the social sciences opportunities to explore the linkages between their primary field of study and global health.



The UMD School of Public Health is the only public health school with its own sports team, Gymkana! Gymkana currently serves as an outreach program with the aim to promote healthy, drug-free living through its gymnastic and acrobatic performances and programs. 


Healthy Futures Program 

The mission of the Healthy Futures program is to reduce childhood obesity, particularly among low-income young children and their families in Prince George's County. HFP aims to increase the receipt of prenatal and postpartum healthcare, as well as social services, among low-income women and their young children through partnerships and collaborations with public and private entities.


Kinesiology Honors Program 

The Department of Kinesiology Honors Program provides an opportunity for students to engage in challenging educational experiences related to the study of human movement, sport, and exercise. Students with strong intellectual interests and the ability to pursue those interests at a high level are eligible for this program. It is the goal of the Honors Program to nurture these students and encourage them to pursue their interests in a range of intellectual topics. The Honors Program in the Department of Kinesiology is primarily designed for junior and senior level students to encourage them to engage in scholarly independent study and discussions.


Kinesiology Student Organization (KSO) 

The Kinesiology Student Organization's goal is to help kinesiology students succeed in school and beyond, and to enhance the sense of community within the Department of Kinesiology. Members will both help plan and attend Knes-related social events, community service events, and career development events (e.g. speakers, workshops) to learn more about their field and build stronger relationships with each other, faculty, and alumni. New members are always welcome!


Maryland Council on Family Relations 

MCFR, the University of Maryland affiliate of the National Council on Family Relations, focuses on issues that are relevant to families. MCFR provides a forum for students and professionals in the fields of family research, therapy, education, health, and policy to share in the development and dissemination of knowledge about families and family relationships. MCFR establishes professional standards and works to promote family well-being. MCFR is dedicated to improving the quality of family while embracing the cultural diversity at the University of Maryland and in a wider context.


Phi Alpha Epsilon (PAE) 

PAE is a local honorary society committed to the mission of public health.  We aim to connect like-minded, high achieving students, and to provide members with stimulating speakers, discussions, and other group events to better prepare them to enter the professional world of public health.


Phi Upsilon Omicron (Phi U) 

Phi U is a national honor society in the family and consumer science field known for traditions of promoting academic excellence, leadership skills, service opportunities, and ethical and scholastic excellence. Members are committed to lifelong learning and the advancement of family science. With over 95,000 members throughout the nation students and alumni benefit from professional networking, leadership development opportunities, and scholarships and awards. 


Pre-Physical Therapy Association

The Pre-Physical Therapy Association is designed to prepare students for entrance into a professional curriculum for Physical Therapy at institutions that offer professional advanced degrees, such as masters or doctoral degrees. Our goal is to be an effective organization that guides its members to become competitive candidates for PT school. We prepare our members by organizing meetings regarding GREs, PT school applications, resumes, community service, different paths in the PT field, plus much more.


Public Health Without Borders (PHWB)

The overall mission of the organization is to reduce health disparities around the world and increase awareness about good health practices while exposing undergraduate and graduate students to opportunities for responsible global development work through faculty-mentored international trips.


Students Engaged in Public Health (SEIPH) 

Are you looking for a way to connect with your fellow public health-minded students? Do want to serve the community? Volunteer? Be the change? Then Students Engaged in Public Health (SEIPH) is for you! SEIPH is the student organization of the Public Health Science program. Our mission is to “connect, lead, serve and network.” If you have a passion to make some noise about a public health issue, SEIPH is the place to do it. We have chapters at both the Shady Grove and College Park campus.

Student Engagement Team


Tia Tanksley

Cynthia Kershaw

Program Manager, Alumni and Community Engagement
Program Coordinator, Undergraduate Teaching Assistant Programs
Email: | Phone: 301-405-4397
Email: | Phone: 301-405-9503