Paola Ardiles Gamboa

Senior Lecturer and Special Projects Advisor to the Vice President, People, Equity and Inclusion

Health Sciences

Paola Ardiles Gamboa

Senior Lecturer, and Special Projects Advisor to the Vice President, People, Equity and Inclusion

Health Sciences

Areas of interest

Community-Engaged Education and Research; Mental Health Promotion; Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship; Experiential Learning and Teaching; Health Promoting Universities; Organizational Development; Justice, Equity and Inclusion.


  • BSc (Honours), Psychology, University of Toronto
  • MHSc, Health Promotion, University of Toronto
  • Diploma, Investment for Health: Integrating Health in All Policies, University of Padova & WHO European Office for Investment in Health & Development
  • Diploma, Global Health Diplomacy, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva
  • MBA, Beedie School of Business, Simon Fraser University
  • PhD, Faculty of Health, Torrens University


Paola Ardiles Gamboa (she/her) is a Latinx practitioner scholar focusing on building innovative, collaborative, and inter-sectoral approaches in health promotion policy, practice, research and education. Her passion is to co-create decolonial futures, develop partnerships and facilitate dialogue to foster sustainable and creative upstream solutions to tackle complex public health challenges. She is the co-founder of Bridge for Heath co-operative focusing on equity centered approaches in youth engagement and wellbeing in the workplace.


Since 2015, Paola has been developing and teaching participatory and community-based experiential courses at SFU, including the co-design of the Health Change Lab, in collaboration with SFU RADIUS and the Beedie School of Business, City of Surrey, Fraser Health and many community-based organizations. The Health Change Lab is an experiential program to help students identify community health challenges and co-design innovative and entrepreneurial solutions. In 2021, she co-designed the new Capstone course of the Master of Public Health; where interdisciplinary student teams work with community partners to address complex and pressing public health challenges.

Research & Knowledge Mobilization

Paola has led and collaborated on various knowledge mobilization and research initiatives related to health promotion, education, policy and social innovation. She is co-principal investigator of an arts-based community-based research project Art on the Go to promote newcomer youth engagement in policy making related to improving road safety in Surrey. Paola is also the co-principal investigator of a community-based study understanding experiences of exclusion for foreign trained health professionals.

Paola’s educational research spans from studies aimed to strengthen democratic practices in teaching and learning at SFU, by understanding systems level policies and practices impacting student learning; to peer reviewed studies assessing student experiences of educational innovations she has co-designed such as the Health Change Lab and the Surrey CityLab, working alongside diverse community partners in Surrey.

Honours & Awards

Aug 2023 - Canadian Immigrant
Top Canadian Immigrant Award

Feb 2023 - Simon Fraser University 
Warren Gill Community Impact Award

Apr 2022 - BC Teaching and Learning Council
Inaugural West Coast Teaching Excellence Award

Mar 2021 – Simon Fraser University
SFU Healthy Campus Community Champion Award, Faculty of Health Sciences 

Sep 2019 – Simon Fraser University
Excellence in Undergraduate Studies Teaching Award, Faculty of Health Sciences 

Feb 2018 – Simon Fraser University
SFU’s Inaugural Award-President’s Social Media Newsmaker of the Year

Dec 2017 – Health Promotion Canada
Inaugural National Health Promotion Mid-Career Award

Nov 2017 – TD Bank Latinos in Leadership and the Canadian Hispanic Business Alliance
TD’s 10 Most Influential Hispanic Canadians for 2017

Mar 2017 – Surrey Board of Trade
Women in Business-Social Trailblazer Award

Sep 2012 – Canadian Mental Health Association, BC Division
Dr. Nancy Hall Public Policy Leadership Award of Distinction                          


View Paola Ardiles' publications here.