Sarah Chae

Reflecting on my 2023, I learned how rewarding it is to set goals that require me to step outside my comfort zone and embrace failure as a necessary means to achieve success. Over the year, I contributed to the implementation of quality improvement strategies at Fraser Health, defended an Honours thesis in collaboration with BC Cancer and embarked on a new role developing a planetary health case study for medical school curriculum. Along the way, I benefited from several  interdisciplinary courses spanning multiple faculties. Through these opportunities, I never lost sight of the mentorship, tutelage, and guidance of professors, peers, and staff at FHS who provided me with an opportunity to challenge myself and learn outside my comfort zone. As I conclude my undergraduate journey, I feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude for all SFU has given me, including lasting relationships, a professional identity, and invaluable insight into how I can contribute to positive social change. Looking ahead to 2024, I hope to continue supporting an innovative research agenda at BC Cancer, contribute to sustainable solutions to address the climate crisis and pursue a Master of Science degree.

Sarah completed her Bachelor of Science degree in December 2023.

Justin Fernandes

2023 was a year marked by engagement and every moment brought an important lesson along with it. My practicum granted an opportunity to lead an air quality project for VCH, while advocating for marginalized communities within Metro Vancouver – this experience reinforced my passion for environmental health and climate change. I served as the FHS Graduate Caucus financial coordinator and was privileged to work with organizations such as the Canucks and Whitecaps FC to deliver affordable events and promote social cohesion among graduate students. To wrap up the year, I rallied a group of graduate students together to raise awareness around men’s health and raise funds in support of Movember Canada. Collectively, we raised $3,160 over our month-long campaign and $6,710 over the course of the past two years. Through all of these experiences, I learned how capable I am as a leader and advocate, and am truly grateful for the opportunities I was given.

I look forward to presenting my practicum findings at the 2024 Cascadia Symposium on Environmental, Occupational, and Population Health. Upon graduation, I hope to continue to have a positive impact within this field.

Justin will complete his Master of Public Health degree in spring 2024.