Dr. Surita Parashar receives Dean's Convocation Medal

June 09, 2014

Dr. Surita Parashar is one of the first PhD students to graduate from our Faculty of Health Sciences, and her doctoral dissertation exemplifies SFU’s goal of engaging the community.

Her dissertation highlights the moving stories of people living with HIV in Vancouver and investigates the impact of housing on their health and quality of life. While working on her PhD, Surita arranged photo exhibitions where participants shared their photos and stories with politicians, health care providers and members of their own communities.

Dr. Robert Hogg, her supervisor, says, "Surita works tirelessly to facilitate the meaningful engagement of community in her research. She brings a sincere dedication to participatory, community-based approaches to HIV/AIDS research and empowering affected communities, and I am sure she will carry these core values into all of her future endeavours.”

Surita’s PhD research was supported by a Canadian Institutes
of Health Research (CIHR) Doctoral Research Award in Health Services and Population Health. As a PhD student working at the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS (BC-CfE), Surita facilitated the submission of seven successful CIHR grants in competitive funding pools. As an investigator on these projects, she has authored and co-authored numerous peer-reviewed articles in the scientific literature and abstracts that she has presented at national and international conferences. After Dr. Parashar was selected to present her PhD research at the 21st Annual conference on Canadian HIV Research, she was awarded the prestigious CAHR New Investigator Award in 2012.

Of her research Dr. Parashar says, “this project would not have been possible without the support and commitment of my supervisory committee, colleagues at the BC-CfE and our many community partners. I am especially indebted to the team of Community Researchers who shared their stories in hopes of making a difference in their communities.”

Dr. Parashar continues to work at the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS where she is leading a prospective cohort study investigating the impact of a supportive housing complex on the health of individuals and families affected by HIV.

On behalf of SFU, we congratulate Dr. Surita Parashar on her outstanding achievements, which are being recognized with the award of the Dean of Graduate Studies Convocation Medal as one of SFU's most outstanding graduate students from the Faculty of Health Sciences.

See also: All 2014 Convocation Award Winners

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