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Alumni Profile: Renmart Buhay, Spring 2018

May 10, 2018

This profile is part of a series exploring the impact of SFU Semester in Dialogue alumni on our local and global communities.

What semester/theme did you participate in?
Spring 2018 Health and Wellness: Complex, Not Just Complicated.

Tell us about one of your projects in the Semester and why it mattered to you? In what way did the project have a positive impact on the community?
A group project I worked on was creating a “mental health navigator” poster for students. It provides questions to students looking for mental health services and matches the services to organizations on campus. At the start my group had difficulty finding a project that we could meaningfully connect with. When the project began to emerge we started to really see the need and potential help to students it could have.

I think the project left a positive impact because we received a lot of good feedback from students and participants in our final public dialogue. The poster is now displayed at Burnaby campus and shared by many organizations on campus. There is also a plan to share it with first year students during Week of Welcome.

What was one highlight from the semester?
A highlight from the semester was our personal reflection presentations. It was great seeing a different side of the cohort through our own creative expressions of our learning. For my personal reflection, I created a blog series and performed slam poetry of my most intimate health experiences and learnings.

Although it was emotionally draining writing these poems as I was going through a family health issue at the time, I found the act of letting it out healing and empowering. I’m usually a quiet and soft-spoken speaker but in that moment of sharing my poetry I was able to hold the attention of the room and emotionally connect with the class. I never thought I could have a moment like that, so I am thankful for Semester In Dialogue in helping me learn to speak with power and courage.

How do you plan to use what you learned in the Semester in Dialogue in your future career?
The collaborative and holistic nature of the course has shaped my view of what it means to be a good healthcare provider. What I will take away is the importance of shared decision making. This is crucial in healthcare as sometimes a patient has a different priority than just being healthy or living longer. In pursuing a career in healthcare, I will work to listen better, ask first about the patient’s priorities and use dialogue to reach those priorities.

What are you doing now/planning to do that you want to tell the world about?  
I will be a research assistant in the summer and going back to my BPK classes. I am also excited to do more experiential learning and will be participating in the Fall 2018 Health Change Lab.

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