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

Kristy Allen

Program: Social Inequities and Health, Master of Public Health 


Hi, I'm Kristy! I received my BA (Honours) from the University of Guelph in Psychology and Family and Child Studies. I was lucky enough to have an introduction to mental health program planning and evaluation during my undergraduate degree and knew that I wanted to pursue this from an equity lens, making the MPH program a perfect fit. I moved to Burnaby to pursue my MPH last summer and quickly felt at home at SFU. This summer, I will be completing a program planning and evaluation-based practicum with CMHA-BC, working on evaluating a youth mental health program.

I have always loved the outdoors and have taken full advantage of the chance to be outdoors, frequently walking or hiking along the Seawall and the trails throughout Burnaby Mountain. I was nervous about moving across the country and not knowing very many people, but our program quickly became tight-knit and we found our way around our new city and school together. My advice for new students would be to attend social events, support one another and to not be afraid to reach out for help or advice - thanks to the diversity of this program, your fellow students are a great resource!

Bethel Lulie

Program: Global Health, Master of Public Health


I was born in Ethiopia and immigrated to Canada 15 years ago. My family ended up in Vancouver Island where I graduated from University of Victoria with a BSc in Biochemistry and Statistics. During my undergrad, I worked as a care aid for youth and adults with disabilities and soon discovered my interests in public health. Now, I am interested in supporting people with disabilities, HIV/AIDS, and mental health issues in the global scale. My practicum took me to Durban, South Africa, one of the global epicenters of the HIV/AIDS pandemic, where I was able to be involved in cutting edge research on reproductive health among youth.

Being in the MPH program has opened my eyes to the possibilities within Global health as SFU has been an excellent place to connect with global health leaders. For example, through FHS’ connections, a group of us students were able to join researchers from diverse backgrounds in South Africa for an enlightening course on HIV and youth. This experience demonstrated how multidisciplinary backgrounds can effectively discuss public health issues with the community members who are experiencing the HIV burden first-hand. I believe there is something for everyone in this faculty and I encourage everyone to seize opportunities that come your way. Please feel free to connect with me for anything!

Cassandra Violet Parsons

Program: Global Health, Master of Public Health


Born in Newfoundland and raised in New Brunswick, I'm an East Coaster who moved to BC for the MPH program at SFU. I completed my BSc (Honours) in Biology-Chemistry at the University of New Brunswick, where I spent a semester in Malawi learning about health systems and reproductive rights.  After my undergrad, I worked for a year running a Needle Exchange Program in New Brunswick where I discovered my interest for public health. Still figuring out which direction I want to go in the future, my current research interests include women's reproductive rights; HIV/AIDS; global health; preventative health; and primary healthcare. 

The MPH program at SFU is full of opportunity, and I would highly recommend stepping out of your comfort zone to take advantage of what is offered. This program offers a diverse learning opportunity and the ability to work with leaders in the public health field. Vancouver is a beautiful city with a unique mix of big city and nature, with something fun for everyone. The ability to get involved both on and off campus has lead to many friends and adventures over the past year in this program, and I'm looking forward to what the next one has in store! If you have any questions about my experience, Vancouver, SFU, or the MPH program- please reach out!  

Angelica Yee

Program: Environmental and Occupational Health, Master of Public Health


I was born in Winnipeg and attended international school in Hong Kong before moving to Vancouver. I completed my BSc in Health Sciences at SFU and enjoyed my experience so much I returned for my Masters. Living through SARS in Asia made a lasting impact on me, so I grew up interested in public health long before I realized it was a field of study. Occupational health developed as my main passion, partly due to the historical influence of Chinese railway workers in North America. For my practicum, I am conducting research for WorkSafeBC, the provincial regulator for workplace health and safety. Over the years, I volunteered and worked in various fields like behavioural intervention, health care settings, workers’ compensation, marketing, and human resources. I think taking advantage of your curiosity to learn about different opportunities within and beyond school will broaden your perspective of potential careers and passions. It will also help with building supportive professional or social connections.

I personally recommend exploring Vancouver’s countless trails, restaurant options, and cultural events. Looking back, I wish I reached out to ask about graduate student life so I could be better prepared, so please do not hesitate to reach out!

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.