Ask a student

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 requirementsapplication procedures, tuition/fees, and funding can be answered by visiting our website or directed to for prospective MPH students and for prospective MSc/PhD students.

Master of Public Health

Joy Abasta 


Hello, my name is Joy. I was born and raised in Manila, Philippines, and moved to Vancouver, Canada in 2014. I received my Bachelor of Science in Nursing, as well as Master’s degrees in Nursing and Education in my home country. My work as an RN back home included reproductive health, leadership, emergency response and disaster risk management. Currently, my public health interests include Indigenous health and immigrant health.

The MPH program at SFU offers an extensive pedagogy on health inequities and social justice. While the learning experience at FHS is comprehensive, it is important to develop a school/work-life balance and a routine that works for you. As a student, it is essential to plan ahead and include scheduled breaks regularly. That said, when I’m not in school, I love exploring the hike trails in Lower Mainland, do yoga, planning for my next trip, learn about history, as well as reading books!

If you have any questions, especially if you are from another country like me, please reach out and I’d love to chat with you!

Julia Hwang


Hello! My name is Julia. I was born and raised in the United States. I come from a small town in Washington called Yakima. In 2019, I received my Bachelor of Arts degree in Public Health-Global Health at the University of Washington. I also have experience conducting research in both English and Spanish languages. I started my public health journey because I did not like how people were treated differently when receiving health care because of their race, gender, ethnicity, and language. My journey led me to Canada to continue to fight for justice and equitable health care within the health care sector. Outside of classes, I currently work for a non-profit in Seattle called the Afghan Health Initiative as a Field Expert to ensure that we promote public health interventions that target the social determinants of health. My public health interests include immigrant health, Latinx health, and health care delivery.

The MPH program at SFU is diverse and exciting because people who attend our program come from all walks of life, which also creates lively discussions. SFU is a beautiful campus on top of Burnaby Mountain which allows you to see all of nature’s beauty right from your window. FHS also has a wide range of very knowledgeable instructors who help mentor students to achieve their professional and academic goals. As an international student, I have been extremely grateful for all the people I have met while attending SFU and cannot wait to see what the future holds for me.

If you are an international student like me, please reach out.  I would love to chat with you!

Daksha Jadhav


Born in India, growing up in Dubai and then Mississauga, Ontario, I moved to Vancouver for the MPH program at SFU. I completed my BSc in Kinesiology from the University of Waterloo and found my interest in quality of life and chronic disease. I was fortunate to have formative experiences working in clinical research in post-stroke care and concurrent disorders, and discovered my interest in public health. While I am still figuring out my future path, my current interests include infectious disease epidemiology and primary care access.

The MPH program at SFU is dynamic in the people you will meet and diverse in opportunities you can have! Your time here is what you make of it so I would encourage students to step out of their comfort zone and take the chance to enrich their graduate student experience. Vancouver is beautiful all year round, with many adventures to be had by the mountains or the ocean. The program is definitely a close-knit community and I hope you bring your curiosity and open yourself to the variety of professional and social connections.

If you have questions about student life at SFU, my experience, the MPH program or Vancouver, please do not hesitate to reach out!

Amy McIntyre


Hi there! I grew up in a small town called Forest, Ontario and I am now living in Vancouver, British Columbia. I received my Honours Bachelor of Public Health degree from Brock University with a minor in Environmental Sustainability. Only 2 weeks into my undergraduate degree I discovered that I was passionate about epidemiology and infectious disease prevention. My fourth and final year was when I discovered I have a knack for biostatistics and that I loved what I was able to do with it. When I realized biostatistics, in health sciences, was just a fancy word for epidemiology, that is when I began researching what it would take to become an epidemiologist; a Master of Public Health!

I met my current roommate on the SFU Graduate Students Facebook page, moved to Vancouver in August and quickly fell in love with SFU. During my first year of my MPH, I was able to make friends, become proficient in BC public transit and balance a life of outdoor activities and the demands of the program. My colleagues, professors and I were able to create a safe classroom environment where you are encouraged to debate your favourite public health issues.  This summer I am working with BC Women’s Hospital & Health Centre in alignment with the Women’s Health Research Institute creating a database for their Early Pregnancy Assessment Clinical data.

Based on the variety of backgrounds my colleagues and I offer I truly believe there is a space for you on the MPH team. If you have any questions about my background, the MPH program, my experiences in Vancouver or at SFU do not hesitate to contact me!

Master of Science

Emily Carpenter

Program: Master of Science


I received my BASc (Honours) from the University of Lethbridge in Biology and Philosophy. In my undergrad, I was able to do a lot of travelling for co-ops and independent studies, and I spent time living in both West Africa and Central America. I chose to come to SFU because of the opportunity I had here to do really interesting and important interdisciplinary research. I am now looking at ethical questions about mental health outcomes of natural disasters and the impacts of policy, which is exciting for me. Outside of school, I really love hiking and exploring the natural areas in beautiful Metro Vancouver! I also love music and go see live performances whenever I can.

One of the things I found most helpful (and hardest!) in this program was staying organized! Writing out my deadlines and staying on top of things well in advance (whenever I’m able to) gives me the leeway to better accommodate the unexpected. All of my professors here have been really kind and helpful; it’s always been beneficial to pop into their office hours if I’m unclear about something. And, of course, making time to have fun! For me, nothing works to beat the stress of school like getting off the mountain and having some good laughs with friends, then coming back to work refreshed and reengaged. If you need someone to show you where the prettiest places are around campus, feel free to shoot me an email!

Doctor of Philosophy

Natalie Kinloch

Program: Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Born and raised in the Vancouver area, I completed my BSc (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 PhD. 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!

Stefanie Machado

Program: Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


I am Indian by origin and was born and raised in Abu Dhabi, UAE. I moved to Canada in 2013 and graduated from Dalhousie University with a BSc Health Promotion, a unique program during which I conducted my honours thesis on international university students’ access to sexual health services. I moved to Vancouver in 2017 to pursue the MPH degree at SFU, where I continued to pursue my interests in immigrant health. During my MPH practicum with the Centre for Gender & Sexual Health Equity (CGSHE), I supported qualitative research with im/migrant women in Vancouver, learning about their sexual and reproductive health access and needs. I am currently continuing my work in this area as a PhD student at CGSHE and within the Faculty of Health Sciences, which I’m very excited about! 

I’ve always wanted to find a place to call home in Canada, and I think I may have found it in Vancouver! I love the balance of city and nature here, and living on the coast is where I feel most at home. I grew up constantly traveling and love meeting and learning from people from different countries and cultures, making this diverse city so great. Like most experiences, including my time at Dalhousie and SFU, I believe that your academic experience is what you make of it. I encourage everyone to step outside your comfort zone and embrace the opportunities that come your way. Whether you have a clear passion or goal, or have no idea where you want to be, take the time to explore, learn from others, question everything, take chances, and aim high!

Milad Parpouchi

Program: Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


I completed both my BA in Health Sciences and MPH 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.