SEIS

What We Do

Latest and Greatest

The SEIS provides volunteer, surge-capacity public health support to health departments and other public health entities during infectious disease outbreaks, natural disasters, and other public health emergencies. Membership in the organization brings to your attention unique events and educational opportunities to prepare you to be part of the public health response workforce. As a participant, you will be invited to attend trainings and engage in service opportunities within the Houston community and beyond. In addition, you will receive occasional emails for opportunities (employment, volunteer, and internships) available only to SEIS members!

Respond to volunteer calls to be involved in supervised public health response with local health departments and other agencies! Participate in the Public Health Preparedness Training Program (PHPTP) to gain hands-on experience in the field of applied epidemiology! Attend lectures by practicing public health professionals!

Join the SEIS today by clicking on the link to the right! Complete the form and submit it by email to be added to the membership roster. Students in all disciplines are welcome to join.

Who We Are

SEIS Leadership

The 2013-2014 SEIS Executive Board welcomes you to the new semester!

Congratulations to the new 2013-2014 officers of the SEIS Executive Board. Please take a few minutes to see who your new student leaders are. Make sure to look for them around campus, say hello, get to know them, and then ask them how you can be more involved!

Eva Thomas – President

Nishtha Joshi – Vice President of Membership

Vancheswaran Gopalakrishnan (Deepak) – Vice President of Outbreak Response

Heather Wilbourn - Assistant Vice President of Outbreak Response

Kelly Colclasure – Secretary

Tehseen Iqbal – Treasurer

Mark Biscone – Harris County Health Department Liaison

Ahlam Mohammed – City of Houston Health Department Liaison

2012-2013 Activities

Click here for a list of SEIS activities during the 2012-2013 academic year Рupdated only each semester.

2010-2011 Activities

Click here for a list of SEIS activities during the 2010-2011 academic year – updated only each semester.

2009-2010 Activities

Click here for a list of SEIS activities during the 2009-2010 academic year.

2008-2009 Activities

Click here for a list of SEIS activities during the 2008-2009 academic year.

2007-2008 Activities

Click here for a list of SEIS activities during the 2007-2008 academic year.

2006-2007 Activities

Click here for a list of SEIS activities during the 2006-2007 academic year.

2005-2006 Activities

Click here for a list of SEIS activities during the 2005-2006 academic year.

2004-2005 Activities

Click here for a list of SEIS activities during the 2004-2005 academic year.

2003-2004 Activities

Click here for a list of SEIS activities during the 2003-2004 academic year.

Regional Response Teams

San Antonio

Please make plans to attend the Public Health Preparedness Training Program!

Modules of the PHPTP have been developed by faculty and student organizers to meet the needs and interests of SEIS members. Trainings are available for students at all regional campuses – primarily via ITV. Please RSVP to any PHPTP event you would like to attend so we can connect with you and provide you with training materials! Your local ITV technician can facilitate the interactive meeting.

Check back soon for more information on our San Antonio Regional Response Team, which began in 2009!

Austin

Please make plans to attend the Public Health Preparedness Training Program!

Modules of the PHPTP have been developed by faculty and student organizers to meet the needs and interests of SEIS members. Trainings are available for students at all regional campuses – primarily via ITV. Please RSVP to any PHPTP event you would like to attend so we can connect with you and provide you with training materials! Your local ITV technician can facilitate the interactive meeting.

The Fine Print

Background and History

The Student Epidemic Intelligence Society (SEIS) at The University of Texas School of Public Health was founded in 2003 by Dr. Kristy Murray, who continues to serve as the organization’s faculty advisor. Since its inception, the SEIS has become one of the most prominent graduate student organizations at the UTSPH. The program is organized in collaboration with the CDC-supported Center for Emergency Preparedness, which serves as the mentoring organization.

Mission

Our mission is to provide service to the UT School of Public Health and local health departments in response to emerging infectious diseases and bioterrorism.

Objectives

The SEIS seeks to:

  • Train public health graduate students to respond in support of state and local health departments during emergencies
  • Enhance students’ graduate school education experience by providing training and hands-on field experience in outbreak and disaster preparedness and response
  • Develop knowledge of unified command, incident command systems, emergency operations center management, the National Incident Management System (NIMS), and the National Response Plan (NRP)

Membership

All registered students in good standing at the UT School of Public Health are able to be members of the SEIS. Members are encouraged to participate in the Public Health Preparedness Training Program (PHPTP) and complete at least three of the following activities:

  • Complete the Basic Disaster Life Support (BDLS) training course
  • Attend lectures offered monthly by Guest Speakers of the SEIS
  • Volunteer in a community preparedness or training activities as announced by SEIS
  • Complete the online introductory NIMS training course (email SEIS a copy of the PDF certificate you will receive upon completion of the course – SEIS@uth.tmc.edu)

Benefits of Membership

SEIS members have access to resources and opportunities, such as:

  • Opportunities to provide faculty-supervised outbreak investigation and disaster response services to the Texas Department of State Health Services (TDSHS) and to local health departments
  • Weekly outbreak e-mails, announcements with valuable practicum and research opportunities, and job announcements within the UT School of Public Health and the community
  • Training and hands-on experience in the field of epidemiology that is unattainable via classroom and research experience alone
  • Opportunities to explore applied public health careers with public health officials
  • Eligibility to run for SEIS officer positions

To become a member of SEIS, please complete and submit this form.

Bylaws

Approved 03/01/03

These bylaws establish the School of Public Health Student Epidemiologic Intelligence Society and the procedures for the conduct of its business.

Article I Name

The name of this organization shall be the University of Texas School of Public Health Student Epidemiologic Intelligence Society (hereinafter referred to as the “Student Epidemiologic Intelligence Society”).

Article II Purpose

The purpose of the Student Epidemiologic Intelligence Society is four-fold:

To apply Public Health training and skills to public health outbreaks and scientific inquiry

To establish mentorships with public health professionals from the Texas Department of Health and other health agencies

To enrich student life through social activities and informational sessions

To foster opportunity for student involvement in special events and to promote service to the community at large

Article III Membership

Section 1: Student Membership

All registered students in good standing at the School of Public Health (“SPH” or “UTSPH”) at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (“UTHSC-H”) are able to be members of the Student Epidemiologic Intelligence Society organization. The Student Epidemiologic Intelligence Society shall not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, ethnic origin, sex, age, political persuasion, sexual orientation, disability, or marital status. Under no circumstances will such discrimination be tolerated in connection with any activities of the Student Epidemiologic Intelligence Society organization. Therefore, all student members of the Student Epidemiologic Intelligence Society are eligible to vote in general SEIS elections and to hold office.

Section 2: Advisory Membership

One representative from the SPH faculty shall volunteer to serve the Student Epidemiologic Intelligence Society as Faculty Advisor. The Faculty Advisor should be selected from the Faculty Association and functions to facilitate and maintain communication between the faculty, Texas Department of Health and the Student Epidemiologic Intelligence Society.

Article IV Student Epidemiologic Intelligence Society Executive Board

Section 1: Definition

The Student Epidemiologic Intelligence Society Executive Board (“Executive Board”) shall direct the general policy of the SEIS and shall be the governing body of the Student Epidemiologic Intelligence Society with the power to act on all matters for the best interests of the organization consistent with the provisions of these bylaws, including but not limited to calling meetings of the membership, the filling of vacancies in offices, and authorization of expenditures.

Section 2: Composition

The Executive Board shall be an eight member committee composed of the elected officers. No person shall hold more than one voting position on the Executive Board at any given time

Elected Officers The elected positions of the Executive Board are the President, the Vice President of Outbreak Response, the Assistant Vice President of Outbreak Response, the Vice President of Membership, the Treasure, the Secretary, the Harris County Liaison, and the Houston Health Department Liaison. These positions are elected by a general election as outlined in Article VI to be held in April of each year.

Section 3: Responsibilities

All members of the Executive Board should participate in all meetings of the Executive Board and the activities of their respective committees as described here and prepare and present regular reports of their committee’s activities.

The President

The President shall be the voice of the Student Epidemiologic Intelligence Society in matters pertaining to the organization and shall represent the SEIS student members of the School at official SPH or UTHSC-H functions. He/she is also responsible for calling general meetings of the Student Epidemiologic Intelligence Society and meetings of the Executive Board and preparing for such meetings. The President shall also coordinate guest lecturers and informational sessions for SEIS.

The Vice President and the Assistant Vice President of Outbreak Response

There will be two positions acting to coordinate the SEIS response for an identified outbreak. Labor will be shared between these two positions so that the Vice President will coordinate the outbreak field logistics, resources and students within the field while the Assistant Vice President maintains contact with student volunteers to facilitate outbreak response. The Assistant Vice President will also participate in other activities as required. Both positions will be responsible for identifying student labor requests, deciding on their suitability for the SEIS student response and presenting the identified labor request to the Executive Board. The faculty advisor, the Vice President, and the Assistant Vice President of Outbreak Response shall be responsible for making the final decision on labor request approval and each of the three will have an equal vote in the approval process. Presentation of the labor request to the Executive Board shall either be within the agenda of a formal Executive Board meeting or by informal email.

The Vice President of Membership

The Vice President of Membership shall assume the duties of the President in his/her absence. The Vice President of Membership shall be responsible for coordinating membership outreach and induction into the SEIS. She or he shall provide all mass communication between SEIS members and alert members of new and on going projects within the SEIS. Furthermore this position will also be responsible for altering the SEIS members of new developments and general media releases that fall within the context of outbreak response or Epidemiologic Intelligence Service actions.

The Secretary

The Secretary shall prepare and distribute the minutes from all Student Epidemiologic Intelligence Society or Executive Board meetings and is responsible for maintaining records of such meetings and Student Epidemiologic Intelligence Society activities. The Secretary will also be responsible for documenting and compiling a chronicle of the organization’s activity history.

The Treasurer The Treasurer shall prepare a budget for the Student Epidemiologic Intelligence Society based on the planned Student Epidemiologic Intelligence Society activities for the coming year. He/she shall also present a financial report at each meeting of the Executive Board and oversee the expenditure and disbursement of Student Epidemiologic Intelligence Society funds.

The Harris County Liaison

The Harris County Liaison shall serve to represent the Student Epidemiologic Intelligence Society to the Harris County Department of Health and to provide a means of communication between the Student Epidemiologic Intelligence Society and the Harris County Department of Health. The Harris County Liaison shall also submit any student labor requests to the Vice President of Outbreak Response.

The Houston Health Department Liaison

The Houston Health Department Liaison shall serve to represent the Student Epidemiologic Intelligence Society to the Houston Department of Health and to provide a means of communication between the Student Epidemiologic Intelligence Society and the Houston Department of Health. The Houston Health Department Liaison shall also submit any student labor requests to the Vice President of Outbreak Response.

Section 4: Eligibility to Hold Office

All student members of the Student Epidemiologic Intelligence Society are eligible to serve on the Executive Board unless the student has been removed from an Executive Board position in any previous academic year during his/her tenure at the UTSPH. The candidates for President must have been a member of the Student Epidemiologic Intelligence Society for the academic year prior to candidacy.

Section 5: Terms of Office

All members of the Executive Board shall serve for one year beginning on the first day of May and ending on the last day of April of the following year. No member may serve in the same position for more than two consecutive terms.

Section 6: Vacancies

Succession – In the event that the office of President becomes vacant during the term of office, the Vice President of Membership shall become the President for the remainder of the term. When a vacancy occurs in the office of The Harris County Liaison, The Houston Health Department Liaison, Vice President of Membership, Treasurer, or Secretary, the Executive Board shall call a special election to fill the office for the remainder of the respective term. In the event that either the Vice President or Assistant Vice President of Outbreak Response position becomes vacant the Executive Board shall call a special election but the remaining Vice President of Outbreak Response shall approve the candidates before the election.

Resignation – Any member of the Executive Board may resign by submitting a letter to the President and the Faculty Advisor. Should the President choose to resign from his/her office, the letter of resignation should be given to the Vice President of Membership and the Faculty Advisor. Upon receiving such a letter, it shall be read into the minutes at the next meeting by the Secretary and the position declared vacant by the President or Vice President of Membership. Members who graduate or leave school during their term of office are expected to tender their resignation within thirty (30) days.

Grievances and Removal from Office Any member of the Executive Board may be removed from office by an affirmative vote of two-thirds (5 of the 8) of the Executive Board at a regularly scheduled meeting. Grounds for removal from office include, but are not limited to, (1) the failure to adequately fulfill the duties of office for any reason or as demonstrated by the member’s absence at all Executive Board or committee meetings in two consecutive months, (2) knowingly misrepresenting the Student Epidemiologic Intelligence Society, or (3) conducting business on behalf of the Student Epidemiologic Intelligence Society when not so authorized. Grievances against a member of the Executive Board may be presented in written form to the President and the Faculty Advisor by any student member of the Student Epidemiologic Intelligence Society at any time. In the event that the President is named in the grievance issue, it should be presented to the highest-ranking member of the Executive Board not named in the grievance who will also chair that portion of the meeting at which the issue is acted upon. Grievances shall be distributed to all members of the Executive Board at least five days prior to the regularly scheduled meeting at which the issue is to be acted upon. Should a grievance be presented less than five days before the next regular meeting of the Executive Board, the issue will not be acted upon until the first regular meeting following. While Executive Board members named in a grievance issue are encouraged to attend this meeting, their presence is not necessary for action to be taken. The unnamed members of the Executive Board may impose any lesser penalty or take other appropriate action in lieu of removal from office where deemed warranted. In the event of a two-thirds (5 of the 8) affirmative vote for removal from office, the position will immediately be declared vacant and the impeached member shall be barred from participation as a candidate in subsequent Student Epidemiologic Intelligence Society elections during his/her tenure at UTSPH.

Article V Meetings

Section 1: General Assembly

Definition – The Student Epidemiologic Intelligence Society as a whole shall meet in General Assembly once every other month. A General Assembly session may be called at any time by a majority of the Executive Board or at the written request of 10% or more registered student members of the Student Epidemiologic Intelligence Society given to the President or the Vice President of Membership. Upon receipt of such a request, the President and or Vice President of Membership shall schedule the General Assembly within fifteen school days but held on a regular school day and with at least five days advance notice.

Executive Board Participation – All members of the Executive Board are expected to participate in the General Assembly. The President or other member of the Executive Board as designated by the President shall preside over the assembly.

Voting – Any matter requiring the vote of the Student Epidemiologic Intelligence Society that arises during the General Assembly shall be referred to the Executive Board for referendum.

Agenda – A preliminary agenda for the General Assembly shall be prepared by the Executive Board with the help of the President.

Minutes – The minutes of the General Assembly shall be kept by the Secretary and posted within one week of the Assembly. Any corrections to the minutes are to be made at the next regular meeting of the Executive Board. After the next Executive Board meeting, a note shall be added to the minutes regarding the approval of the minutes by the Executive Board.

Section 2: Executive Board Meetings

Regular Meetings – The Executive Board shall meet every other month at a regular meting time established and posted at the beginning of each semester. All regular meetings are open to all Student Epidemiologic Intelligence Society members.

Special Meetings – A special meeting of the Executive Board may be called by the President, by the written request of a majority of the Executive Board membership, or by the written request of ten or more student members of the Student Epidemiologic Intelligence Society. Such written request should be given to the President or the Vice President of Membership. Upon receipt of the request for a special meeting, the President shall schedule the special meeting within ten school days but held on a regular school day and with at least 72 hours advance notice. Special meetings may be open to the membership or held in executive session, subject to the collective discretion of the majority of the Executive Board.

Quorum – A quorum shall be defined as two-thirds or 5 of the 8 Executive Board members. In the event that a committee chairperson cannot attend an Executive Board meeting, that committee’s alternate chairperson should represent the committee at the meeting.

Rules of Order – The most recent revision of Robert’s Rules of Order shall be the parliamentary authority for Executive Board meetings.

Voting – Unless otherwise requested, voting shall be done by a show of hands or viva voce. A written ballot may be requested at any time by any member of the Executive Board. In case of a tie, the President shall cast the deciding vote.

Agenda – The agenda for regular meetings shall include the call to order, introduction of guests, determination of the presence of a quorum, approval of minutes of the previous meeting, unfinished business, new business, invitation for concerns to be voiced from the gallery, announcements, and adjournment. The agenda for special meetings may omit all items except the call to order, introduction of guests, determination of the presence of a quorum, and adjournment so that the primary business of the meeting is the purpose of the special meeting itself. A preliminary agenda for regular or special meetings should be posted 24 hours prior to the meeting and amendments to the agenda may be made at the beginning of the meeting.

Minutes – The minutes of all Executive Board meetings shall be kept by the Secretary and posted within one week of the meeting. Any corrections to the minutes are to be made at the next regular meeting of the Executive Board. After the next meeting, a note shall be added to the minutes regarding the approval of the minutes by the Executive Board.

Visitors – Visitors may attend or make presentations at Executive Board meetings upon invitation of the President.

Article VI Elections

Section 1. General Elections

A Student Epidemiologic Intelligence Society general election shall be held in April to decide the elected members of the Executive Board. Such elections shall be administered by the Vice President of Membership and the Vice President of Outbreak Response. Voting in general elections may be by either written or electronic ballot but not in combination. The election outcome for each position shall be determined by a plurality vote (the candidate receiving the most favorable ballots).

Section 2. Nominations

The nominations period for elected positions shall be two weeks prior to the general election. Nominations for those Executive Board members may be selected from members within the Student Epidemiologic Intelligence Organization. Any Student Epidemiologic Intelligence Society member may nominate a potential candidate, including self-nominations, and all nominations must be confirmed with the nominee.

Section 3. Special Elections

A special election may be held at any time as necessary and shall follow the same procedures as electing the member through a general or committee election.

Article VII Student Referendums

Any Student Epidemiologic Intelligence Society member may request a referendum on issues pertaining to students by presenting such a request in writing to the President at least two days prior to a regularly scheduled meeting of the Executive Board. The issue of a referendum shall be placed on the agenda for the next regular meeting of the Executive Board and a majority of the voting members shall vote to hold the referendum. The referendum will then be held in accordance with the procedures for a general election. The referendum shall be passed if approved by a two-thirds majority of those students voting.

Article VIII Amendments

Section 1. Bylaws

Amendments to these bylaws may be proposed by a written petition of 10% of the student members of the Student Epidemiologic Intelligence Society. Such proposed amendments must be submitted for inclusion on the agenda and for distribution to the Executive Board at least ten days prior to the meeting in which the proposals are to be considered. The issue of amending the bylaws shall be placed on the agenda for the next regular meeting of the Executive Board and a majority of the voting members shall vote to consider the amendment. The proposal for amending the bylaws shall then be posted for all Student Epidemiologic Intelligence Society members to consider and a General Assembly of the Student Epidemiologic Intelligence Society shall be held in two weeks to allow for the open discussion of the proposal. The amendment shall then be put to a vote at the next General Assembly. Amendments to the bylaws shall be adopted by a two-thirds majority vote of the Student Epidemiologic Intelligence Society membership voting.