After participating in the Health Change Lab program in 2018, and working with the City of Surrey as a Community Services Assistant, Manvir Aujla is excited to return to FHS for the MPH program.

Health Change Lab alumnus returns to FHS for MPH program

September 14, 2020

After completing his Faculty of Health Sciences (FHS) BSc in the Population and Quantitative Studies Stream in 2018, Manvir Aujla took the skills he learned from his undergraduate experience to engage his community. He has always been interested in the factors outside of the traditional view of the health system, including demographic patterns, political and economic changes, and their effects on the health of communities and individuals.

2018 Health Change Lab Cohort

Being a part of the Health Change Lab program in 2018, he had the opportunity to work with Paola Ardiles and mentors from the City of Surrey to engage organizations, stakeholders, and members of Surrey’s community. Studying social innovation within the Health Change Lab helped him broaden his scope and view on current health strategies, enabling him to better support continuously changing communities.

“The Health Change Lab program prepared me for my work with the City of Surrey by providing me with the skills to work collaboratively with stakeholders in our health system that span multiple levels and disciplines,” he explains. “This has included project work with diverse community groups, municipal, regional and provincial governments in the delivery of healthy living strategies, and programs and initiatives. I was able to utilize my knowledge and background in community development and engagement to coordinate and support community health initiatives in Surrey.”

Upon completing his undergraduate degree, he continued to work with the City of Surrey as a Community Services Assistant, and with Ardiles as a mentor for her Surrey CityLab classes.

Aujla is motivated to continue his public health education and be a part of the fall 2020 MPH cohort. With his desire to become an epidemiologist in tandem with his professional skill set, he is excited to utilize the group focused learning that FHS has to offer to bolster his learning.

“The Master of Public Health program at SFU stood out to me because I valued the emphasis on focused group learning and integrated interdisciplinary courses, while also having the flexibility to focus on learning around my own interests,” he explains. “From talking to current students, faculty, and staff, I know the MPH program really aims at developing leaders who will make significant contributions when faced with public health challenges, and direct initiatives in the field.”

For those looking to study health in greater depth, Aujla recommends looking towards postgraduate studies.

“With the opportunity to try several areas of your specialty in a short amount of time, you may gain a greater understanding of how to narrow down the path you want to pursue in your career through further education,” he says. “If you’re like myself, you get to scratch that itch of being a lifelong learner and continuing your personal and professional development!”