MPH in Health Sciences
Full-time MPH student and Olympic athlete, Lindsey Butterworth showcases how dedication and hard-work fuels success.
Lindsey Butterworth has an interest in health promotion, especially around food security, mental health and active living among youth. Completing her Bachelor of Arts in Health Sciences, along with a Kinesiology Minor, she combined her skills and interests to provide a foundation for further learning and experience in the Public Health field.
“I really enjoy exploring the social determinants of health, and how these factors and inequities directly and indirectly impact the health of individuals and populations at multiple levels,” she explains. “As an athlete, I am interested in promoting an active and healthy lifestyle to improve all aspects of health. My Kinesiology minor allowed me to explore different topics related to active living and nutrition, which added to the more social, political, and economical aspects related to health gained from my Health Sciences major.”
While focusing on her academic success, Butterworth was working towards completing a lifelong dream: competing in the Olympic games. As a former NCAA champion middle-distance runner on the SFU track and field team, she had to manage her time between training for the Olympics and her academics. Butterworth qualified for the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics, and represented Canada in the 800 metre.
“I wasn’t exactly sure how I was going to manage training for the Olympics, working part-time, and working on full-time academics, but I’ve managed to make it work and have a good system now,” she explains. “I have been extremely fortunate to be able to work at SFU in the Student Engagement and Retention team as an NCAA academic advisor while training with the SFU track and field coach since I graduated in 2015.” Through her work as an NCAA academic advisor, she has worked with student athletes experiencing mental health challenges. This experience has furthered her interest in health promotion, and developing programs to increase mental health among youth.
After seeing many different pathways and opportunities in the public health field, Butterworth advises students to keep an open mind when it comes to academic and career interests and goals.
“I think it is important to gain any knowledge and experience you can, because there are many careers and opportunities that you might not be aware of yet. I know for myself, I’ve already been exposed to opportunities I didn’t know existed in the field and it’s super exciting!”