Student Advisory Council

Beginning in January 2019, IIGH Student Advisory Council members have served as valued advisers to the Institute with unique access and impact on Institute programming and opportunities for students, now and in the future.

The IIGH Student Advisory Council (SAC) comprises a multidisciplinary group of undergraduate and graduate students from across the university who serve as valued advisers to the Institute. Serving on the IIGH Student Advisory Council offers a unique community- and skills-building experience for students across all disciplines at USC engaged in and pursuing careers at the intersections of health and inequality.

Over the course of the academic year, SAC members actively inform, shape and improve student engagement and programming at IIGH, gaining valuable experience and access to a distinguished, worldwide network of researchers, policymakers and advocates addressing inequalities in global health.


Throughout the academic year, SAC members receive:

  • Engaging opportunities to shape IIGH student programming.
  • Tailored professional development workshops to foster competence and leadership skills relevant to global health careers.
  • Exclusive invitations to meet with IIGH faculty, global health researchers and practitioners, and others.
  • Access to the IIGH network and advising from IIGH faculty and staff.
  • Membership in a cohort of students who share similar values and enjoy learning from and with each other.


SAC appointments are for one academic year beginning in the fall and are renewable for continuing students. SAC members are expected to:

  • Attend a virtual orientation on Sunday, Sept. 18, 10–11:30 a.m. PT.
  • Engage fully in monthly cohort meetings and IIGH events (approximately 5–6 hours per month).
  • Serve as ambassadors of USC IIGH within and outside the USC community. (This means identifying publicly as an IIGH SAC member, prioritizing attendance at IIGH events, promoting IIGH events and opportunities with your respective networks, and helping to build a multidisciplinary network of student global health leaders at USC.)


Students enrolled in any degree program at USC (including online programs) are encouraged to apply. Students applying for the AY23 SAC cohort must be enrolled at USC for the fall 2022 and spring 2023 semesters.

We seek students who:

  • Are committed to addressing the broad determinants of global health that impact our world.
  • Engage with their communities, both within and outside of USC, in meaningful ways.
  • Actively pursue opportunities for personal and professional growth.
  • Enjoy learning from others, especially those who have different backgrounds and experiences.

Note: As this is a highly experiential program, students must commit to prioritizing attendance at all cohort meetings, which will be held virtually or in-person approximately once a month. (Scheduled to be finalized in September.)

Application Process

Applications for the 2022–2023 academic year are open!

The online application is due Monday, Aug. 29, 2022, by 11:59 p.m. PT. Applicants for the 2022–2023 SAC cohort will be notified of decisions by Friday, Sept. 9, 2022.


Please note: All AY23 SAC members are required to attend a virtual orientation on Sunday, Sept. 18, 10–11:30 a.m. PT. Please hold this date and time on your calendar; details will be emailed to the cohort in early September.


Please direct any questions to IIGH Program Manager Michelle Chow at

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.


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


I’m expecting to do a semester abroad or take a leave of absence during the academic year — can I still apply?

No, SAC members must be enrolled for the full academic year and able to attend all cohort meetings.

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.

Former Council Members: