Student Life

Do you have questions about becoming a graduate student in the Faculty of Health Sciences?  Email one of our current students if you'd like more information about student life in our programs!  Questions regarding admission requirements, application procedures, tuition/fees, and funding can be answered by visiting our webpages or directed towards fhsgrads@sfu.ca for prospective MPH students and fhs_programs@sfu.ca for prospective MSc/PhD students.

Name: Adrienne Yeung

Program: Social Inequities and Health, Master of Public Health

Email: azyeung@sfu.ca

Hi, I’m Adrienne. I was fortunate to move to Vancouver from Winnipeg, Manitoba to attend my first choice in graduate schools. The Social Inequities & Health program has been a perfect match for my interests. In my five years of undergraduate studies, I studied in Montreal as an exchange student, developed a strong interest in medical anthropology and gender studies, and finished with a degree in Biopsychology. During this time, I spent three years working and volunteering at the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority, the Women’s Health Clinic, the Victoria General Hospital, trying out different career paths, and running a small business. 

Vancouver has also proven to be everything I could have dreamed of in a city. It’s walkable; I’ve found cultural communities; the skytrain is fast and reliable; the food is amazing; I feel safe. After a year here, I’m still astonished at how unbelievably gorgeous the mountains and the forests are. Summers make nine months’ of grey skies worth it.

Advice for an incoming FHS grad student? Know what you want to get out of the program (and the city) before you go in. Do your best to plan all your classes and extracurriculars for the two years before you start, because you don’t want to miss out on classes that are only offered in one semester. But if you need to move things around, the program is more flexible than you think. Two years is a really short period of time, and you won’t learn everything you need to be a public health expert, but you can get a good start if you’re selective. 

Name: Chenoa Cassidy-Matthews

Program: Global Health Concentration, Master of Public Health

Email: chenoac@sfu.ca

I graduated from the University of Ottawa in 2016 with a Bachelor’s degree in Health Sciences, and moved straight to Vancouver to start my Master of Public Health. I chose the Global Health stream of the MPH program at SFU because I have a strong interest in global Indigenous health. I pursued my practicum at the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute in Adelaide, looking at heart health disparities between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal populations in South Australia, and developing cultural determinants of health for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. I am Nishnawbe (Oji-Cree) from a large northern Ontario family via Sachigo Lake and Big Trout Lake First Nations, and I grew up in Kemptville, a small town south of Ottawa. Outside of school I am an avid outdoorswoman, with a love for multi-day trekking, white water paddling, canoeing, and climbing. When I moved from Ottawa to Vancouver, I spent 40 days exploring Canada’s awesome backcountry living out of my car and canoe. The highlight of my MPH degree is without a doubt the lifelong friends I’ve made in my cohort; many of us being new to the city, we explored its neighbourhoods, bars, mountains, and culture together in one of the most fun years of my life.

Name: Justine Uy

Program: Population Health Concentration, Master of Public Health

Email: justineu@sfu.ca

I am originally from California, but I can honestly say that I consider Canada another home. Toronto and Vancouver are cities that are close to my heart, and my time at SFU has only added more reasons to love staying here (mountains, beaches, sushi, need I say more?). When I was first applying to universities, I didn't imagine myself going very far and yet, I found myself at the University of Toronto, where I completed my BSc in Health Studies and International Development Studies. My background in biological and social sciences led me to work in healthcare communications. And I thought that was it--but then my interests in health promotion and knowledge translation eventually led me here. I am currently pursuing an MPH within the Population Health concentration. It was important for me to choose an accredited program that not only provided strong foundational knowledge but also gave me practical skills and allowed me the flexibility to explore the multi-faceted nature of population health. To those of you not quite sure about what's next, take it from me, it's ok--take your time to explore what interests you, both in and outside of school. And if you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask.  

Name: Lauryn Garrett

Program: Global Health Concentration, Master of Public Health

Email: lgarrett@sfu.ca

Lauryn received her Bachelors of Nursing from the University of Manitoba. She has three years’ experience working in the front lines of a tertiary Emergency Department as a Registered Nurse, before pursuing graduate studies at Simon Fraser University. She has experience working in public health for various organizations across Canada, South Africa, and Cambodia. Lauryn also recently completed an internship with the World Health Organization in Sierra Leone working with the Health Systems Strengthening Cluster. Lauryn is currently enrolled in her last semester of graduate coursework within the Global Health Stream of her Master’s of Public Health. One of the highlights of her graduate program has been the bright, beautiful minds she has had the opportunity to meet, along with her rewarding practicum experience in Sierra Leone. She enjoys daisies, and long walks on the beach.

Name: Sreelalitha Gopala Rao Sarojini

Program: Population Health Concentration, Master of Public Health 

Email: sgopalar@sfu.ca

I have completed my undergraduate degree in Pharmacy at Osmania University, India. The training I received in India, while working within hospital settings, made me realize the importance of upstream approaches, prevention and health promotion after observing the suffering of critically ill patients on a daily basis. For this very reason, I was firmly determined to go for a Master’s in Public Health. I choose SFU because, it is a highly reputed university, has a well-structured MPH curriculum and of course CEPH accreditation. Since I moved to Canada, I really enjoyed living in Burnaby and SFU has always been and will continue to be my home away from home. I appreciate the diverse curriculum designed for MPH, which gives the students an opportunity to learn and develop various new skills, both qualitative and quantitative. My areas of interest are infectious diseases and strategies to reduce or prevent antimicrobial resistance. My advice to prospective students would be to enjoy learning new skills, involve with various organizations and start admiring and acknowledging the value when you start to live outside of comfort zones. Finally, I enjoy exploring Vancouver, going on hikes and trying out different cuisines, in my past-time.

Name: Erica Kilius

Program: Population Health Concentration, Master of Public Health 

Email: ekilius@sfu.ca

I completed my undergraduate degree at the University of Toronto, where I received a B.Sc. in Biological Anthropology and Archaeology. From my love of human evolution stemmed an interest in health and disease not only across human history, but our own life course. I am currently very interested in maternal-child research, where I plan to pursue a thesis for my final project. I chose to attend the SFU MPH program because of its incredible faculty, the opportunity for interdisciplinary research, and in general, how the SFU program prepares you for so many different career paths. Graduate school has been an exciting journey, the highlight of which is getting to know my fellow students and their own academic interests!

My advice to incoming students would be to push your comfort level. Take advantage of the wide variety of courses to challenge yourself, learn about as many avenues as public health as you can, and follow any thread of interest, just to see where it will lead! Please don't hesitate to contact me with any questions about pursuing an MPH degree here at SFU!

Name: Ezinne Okpara

Program: Global Health Concentration, Master of Public Health 

Email: eokpara@sfu.ca

I obtained an MBChB (Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery) degree from the University of Ghana School of Medicine and Dentistry. I worked for about 4 years in General practice in both Ghana and Nigeria (my home country), mostly in low resources settings and a background of poor health care service delivery. It was during this time that my passion for public health was born, with an emphasis on global health, because I felt the need to gain knowledge that would help me work on a much larger scale to reduce health inequalities and improve access to better healthcare services in developing countries like mine and the world at large. I chose to attend SFU because of its vibrant and diverse population of students and faculty members and the opportunity to live in a beautiful city such as Vancouver. While in the MPH program, I have learned so much from the wide range of courses that I have been exposed to, and I have been able to narrow my interests to the area of Maternal and child health. The highlight of the program has been the practicum experience where I had the opportunity to work in my area of interest. My advice to incoming students is to get engaged earlier on, with other students and faculty, because those connections would help and possibly last a lifetime.

Name: Natalie Kinloch

Program: Master of Science (MSc)

Email: nkinloch@sfu.ca

Born and raised in the Vancouver area, I completed my B.Sc. (Honours) in Health Sciences at SFU. In my final years of undergrad, and after stints in various labs at SFU and at BC Cancer Research Centre as part of co-op, I started working in the lab I’m currently doing my M.Sc. in as a Honours student. Our lab focuses on HIV pathogenesis and evolution. I quickly realized how much I loved research and how meaningful it can be to be a part of a wider community of people all putting their heads together to try to help others around the world. Three years later I haven’t left! Outside of the lab, I can be found reading about difference places around the world or out on the pitch playing field hockey.

I deeply value the interdisciplinary nature of the FHS curriculum and feel it has greatly enhanced my learning and understanding of the world and other people in ways that would not have been possible if I exclusively focused on my research work. Learning from my peers during graduate school has been such an enriching experience. I have also been so fortunate to receive incredible mentorship/supervision throughout my research/graduate career and cannot underscore enough the importance and value of this as well. Grad school is an extraordinary time for learning and growth. Follow your interests, listen, take chances, push yourself, have fun!

 

Name: Milad Parpouchi

Program: Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Email: spa16@sfu.ca

I completed both my B.A. in Health Sciences and M.P.H. in Population Health at SFU.  During my time in the FHS, I worked, and continue to work, as a member of the Somers Research Group. I have also held various teaching appointments in the FHS. Interdisciplinary research is needed to tackle the complex health problems our world faces. In addition to having phenomenal mentors, the FHS at SFU is comprised of an interdisciplinary curriculum, faculty and culture, which is the reason I chose their PhD program. The interdisciplinary orientation and social determinants of health focus of the PhD curriculum serves as both a highlight of the program and a worthwhile challenge for students to engage in. I am interested in the prevention and control of infectious disease among vulnerable populations, using structural interventions. Outside of campus (and sometimes on campus) I like to play the drums and piano.