Student Advisory Council

Beginning in January of 2019, the IIGH Student Advisory Council—comprising student voices from across the university—are serving as valued advisors to the Institute with unique access and impact on Institute programming and opportunities for students, now and in the future.

The USC Institute on Inequalities in Global Health (USC IIGH) has brought together a multidisciplinary group of student leaders to serve as the Institute’s Student Advisory Council (SAC). SAC members are responsible for actively informing, shaping and improving student engagement and programming, and will gain valuable experience as well as access to a network of researchers, policymakers and advocates addressing inequalities in global health worldwide.

Current Council Members:

Gaea Morales is a Ph.D. student in Political Science and International Relations (POIR) at the University of Southern California. Born and raised in Manila, Philippines, her research interests revolve around the nexus of global environmental governance, security, and human rights. She is also engaged in the discourse on the Global North-Global South divide, urban-global relationships, and policy conceptualizations of “vulnerability” and “diversity.” Beyond academia, she also served as the Program Coordinator for the John Parke Young Initiative on the Global Political Economy, working as a liaison to the L.A. Mayor’s Office for the local adoption of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. She has previously worked with the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (New York) and the United Nations Development Programme (Philippines). She received a B.A. in Diplomacy and World Affairs and French Studies with a minor in Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies from Occidental College.

Jessica Santos is a fourth-year undergraduate Chemical Engineering student in the Viterbi School of Engineering and a first-year Master in Public Health student in the Keck School of Medicine’s Department of Preventive Medicine, University of Southern California (USC). She is from Dallas, Texas. She is a recipient of the USC Mork Family Scholarship and the Viterbi Undergraduate Fellowship, as well as a candidate for the National Academy of Engineering’s Grand Challenges Scholars Program. She is currently in her second year of an environmental justice internship through USC Environmental Health Centers.

Membership Details

Members of the Student Advisory Council are responsible for:

  • acting as advisors to IIGH with respect to future student engagement, programming, and events.
  • attending IIGH events with opportunities for exclusive networking access to faculty and visiting speakers.
  • serving as a voice for their respective schools and the broader student body in helping IIGH to better provide opportunities for students from a variety of disciplines, levels of education, both on campus and online.
  • helping IIGH build a multidisciplinary network of student global health leaders across USC.
  • convening each semester on USC’s University Park Campus for a formal advisory meeting with IIGH faculty and staff with additional periodic engagement as needed.

Member appointments are for one academic year and are renewable.

Eligibility & Selection Process

Currently enrolled full-time USC students from any school, on-campus or online, at any stage in their academic career are eligible for nomination. Preference will be given to students with an established academic commitment to global health and addressing inequalities, and students from USC schools that are not yet represented in our council.

The selection process is as follows:

  1. Nominations can be made via the form at the link below. Self-nominations will be accepted, but nominations from faculty are preferred. 
  2. IIGH will select and announce new council members at the end of the Spring semester. If positions are not filled, selections will be made at the beginning of the Fall semester. 
  3. Students from different schools across USC who are not already represented will be prioritized in the selection process. The goal is to have representation from multiple disciplines and perspectives.


I’m a medical student/doctoral candidate. Am I still eligible?


I’m expecting to do a semester abroad or a long trip during the membership period—can I still apply?

You may apply when you come back from your trip/study abroad.

I’m an online student and can’t attend meetings in person. Can I still apply?

Yes! If you are an online student or are unable to attend meetings in person, arrangements will be made so that you are able to attend remotely.

Nomination Form

Note: You will need to sign in to your USC account (or other Gmail account) to submit this nomination form. Access it here:


Have questions about the Student Advisory Council? Please email

Former Council Members: