Celebrities: Aimy Tien and Artis Lewis (Co-Presidents of SNMA-MAPS)
Tell us a little bit about yourselves (Name, Hometown, Major, etc.)
Artis Lewis: Chicago, IL; Major: Public Policy with specialization in Public Health
Aimy Tien: Denver, CO; Major: History, Philosophy, and the Social Studies of Science and Medicine (HIPS) with a concentration in bioethics
What does SNMA-MAPS stand for? Why did you originally get involved with this particular organization? What makes it different than any other RSO on campus?
Aimy: SNMA-MAPS stands for Student National Medical Association- Minority Association of Premedical Students. The RSO allows pre-medical and pre-health students to connect with medical school students, doctors, and other health professionals through mixers, panels, and other events. The emphasis on creating connections while also educating others and giving pre-medical students tools to use during their undergraduate career drew me to the organization. The board and members have wide and varied goals, so the different perspectives offer insight into all the paths you can take to get where you want to be. It is great to work with a group of people who share similar goals and still want to have fun.
Artis– In October, I attended the Registered Student Organization fair and met a few of the board members. They seemed like cool and friendly people. The stories that they told about their opportunities to pursue research and national and global health-related community service programs were so inspiring. They offered words of encouragement and academic advice. I knew that when I joined SNMA-MAPS, I would be joining a family of students that wanted each member to become a successful physician.
Tell us about your journey with SNMA-MAPS and how you became the co-presidents of this organization.
Artis– I have always been passionate about SNMA-MAPS and I knew since my first year that I would always want to be apart of this organization. I had been on the board for two years and a member for three, so I felt obligated to apply for an executive position. I never thought that I’d be elected Co-President, but I truly felt honored and really excited. I am definitely glad that I accepted the role and it truly has been a blessing to work with everyone. I devote all of my time to this organization, because SNMA-MAPS has always been my family.
Aimy– During my freshman year, I attended a few SNMA-MAPS events and was inspired to apply for a board position. Once I started on the board, I knew I would definitely want to continue on my third year. I was honored to be offered the Co-President position and felt lucky to have the chance to work again with some of the most dedicated and interesting people on campus.
What is it like being the co-presidents of the UChicago chapter of SNMA-MAPS? Any benefits? Any drawbacks?
Artis: There are only benefits. I enjoy working with each of our fellow board members and answering any questions of the first year students that I meet at our panels. Further, members of our board are always bringing innovative online ways to better organize our meeting times and events, which is awesome. I especially enjoy working with my fellow Co-President, Aimy Tien. She is organized and an excellent communicator, so as a whole, we are always able to work efficiently!
Aimy: Of course, working in an executive position means more work—administratively and otherwise—which would be a drawback. But I am lucky to have Artis Lewis, my Co-President, and Bianca Tobar, Treasurer, by my side. Our skills definitely complement each other and round out the executive board. Combining those two with the entirety of the SNMA-MAPS board basically negates any drawbacks.
Can you give us a brief synopsis on what a particular day in the life of a SNMA-MAPS Co-president is like?
Artis: I share the responsibility of approving new students to become apart of our list host. My day involves answering a lot of emails and text-messages from our fellow board members regarding events we are planning. Since many of us are in the same classes we often have impromptu meetings at dining halls and in between classes about various events we are planning. I try to stay accessible as much as possible, except during classes of course and the middle of the night!
Aimy: I wake up and start filtering through the emails, texts, phone calls, smoke signals etc. that have accumulated since I last checked my phone or computer. Since we have so many projects and events that are in different stages of planning throughout the quarter, I need to be available to talk to the board members and make sure everyone is on track. Whenever we are hosting an event or a fundraiser, I usually am working in some capacity on that as well, whether I am setting up in the BSLC or tabling in Reynolds Club.
What are your individual major responsibilities? Could you give advice to students on how you manage your time with juggling classes, other RSOs, plus president responsibilities?
Artis: My major responsibilities are to assist in the organizing and leading of board meetings and to communicate important events to the Chicago Careers and Health advisers. I also specifically oversee the events planned by our academic chair and community service co-chairs, and answer any general questions.
Aimy: I work closely with the CCIHP office and coordinate events between Pritzker and the undergraduates alongside our academic liaison, Jade Avery. SNMA-MAPS offers undergraduates an opportunity to have a medical school mentor from Pritzker Medical School. The program is only a few years old, but definitely going strong! Juggling classes, work, research, and other RSOs just requires awareness. Know when things are due and do what it takes to plan your day around that.
Briefly could you tell us about your future endeavors and how SNMA-MAPS will contribute towards them/ help you meet future goals?
Artis: I believe that leadership and organizational development is an on-going process, and SNMA-MAPS has given me the opportunity to develop in these areas. It teaches me the importance of collaboration and having the courage to reach out to others when a challenge presents itself. I know that I will need each of these tools to become a future successful medical student and physician. SNMA-MAPS has also allowed me to connect with medical students and physicians on our campus. I hope to practice as a physician as well as pursue research in the field in which I eventually choose to practice.
Aimy: Working with SNMA-MAPS has given me so much. The collaboration and organization that is required when one works with busy students has helped me improve in multitasking and managing details. Communication skills and the connections that I have created while with SNMA-MAPS are invaluable. I plan on practicing as a physician, most likely in a surgical field, and also working in health care policy. I also hope to continue medical mission work internationally as well.
Any special events that SNMA-MAPS will be holding this year?
Artis: We are working now with SNMA students at the Pritzker School of Medicine to plan our annual Premedical and Medical Student Mentoring Mixer, which will take place early winter quarter.
Aimy: Our final event for this quarter will be our annual Summer Opportunities Panel. It’s happening Monday, November 21st, more details coming soon. Come for information about different summer opportunities from NIH research to pre-med focused programs, as well as learn some helpful tips on how to get accepted into these programs, and not to mention- free food!