Tara Blalock Hughes, D.O.’15, Au.D., has served as president of her class and of the College of Osteopathic Medicine Student Government Association (COM SGA), vice president of the Student Osteopathic Surgery Association and chair of the political action committee of Student Osteopathic Medical Association. Mali Schneiter, D.O.’15, has been secretary and president of her class, SGA vice president, an active member of the Pediatrics Club and Homeless Camp Outreach, and the student representative on the board of trustees of DOCARE International, a medical outreach organization that serves indigent and isolated people around the world.
Both students are pursuing master’s degrees in public health in addition to their osteopathic medical degrees. And both continue to add to the hats they wear: In April, Hughes was elected national chair of the executive board of the Council of Osteopathic Student Government Presidents (COSGP), and Schneiter was elected COSGP national global health representative.
COSGP is a council of the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM) that serves as the official voting voice of medical students of all colleges of osteopathic medicine. It assembles SGA presidents and vice presidents to discuss and collaborate on issues, ideas and information regarding osteopathic medical education and osteopathic medicine.
As national chair, Hughes will organize COSGP’s four meetings in the coming year, set the goals for the council, serve as a member of the American Osteopathic Association (AOA) Student Selection Committee and represent COSGP and all osteopathic students to the AOA board of trustees and all affiliates of AACOM.
“I’m really excited about the opportunity,” says Hughes, a native of Norwood, NC, who was a pediatric audiologist in Alabama before enrolling at DMU. “More than anything, I want to represent our students and make this a productive year.”
As COSGP’s national global health representative, Schneiter, who is from Waupaca, WI, will represent students’ global health interests to national and international organizations and share global health educational and career opportunities with osteopathic medical students nationwide. A past participant in community and health service in Mexico and Honduras, she also will set the goals of the COSGP Global Health Committee and work to centralize information for students about the global health field and its opportunities.
“Additionally, I would like to lead the council in learning about and discussing concepts in the global health public arena such as structural violence, social determinants of health, health disparities and global poverty, and cultural competency, among others,” she notes.
Hughes’ and Schneiter’s voluminous resumés, seemingly boundless energy and personal friendship forecast an exciting year for COSGP.
“Mali and Tara formed a really dynamic duo that worked well together and with the rest of the SGA to provide effective and thoughtful leadership as well as effective and needed interaction with both college and University administration,” says Tom Mueller, Ph.D., COM associate dean for admissions and student affairs, professor of biochemistry and a COM SGA adviser. “In my opinion, they are the very best student leaders we have had during my 13 years as assistant/associate dean.”