"True to the values of SFU, she is committed to social justice, and to the responsibility of scientists to reduce inequities."

Dr. Julian Somers, Professor in the Faculty of Health Sciences

Dr. Stefanie Rezansoff receives Dean of Graduate Studies Convocation Medal

As one of SFU's most outstanding graduate students from the Faculty of Health Sciences, Dr. Stefanie Rezansoff is being recognized with the Dean of Graduate Studies Convocation Medal. On behalf of SFU, we congratulate Dr. Stefanie Rezansoff as well as all Convocation Medal recipients on their outstanding achievements.

June 02, 2017

In 2012, Dr. Stefanie Rezansoff received a Dean's Convocation Medal for her Master’s degree. This year, she will receive a second Dean's Convocation Medal for her Doctoral research. She also sets a record: Dr. Rezansoff is the first student in SFU history to win two Dean of Graduate Studies Convocation Medals.   

Her pioneering research bridges the gap between public health and public safety, and investigates the effectiveness of initatives aimed at diverting patients with schizophrenia from homelessness and the justice system. Her work to date includes 17 peer-reviewed publications (six as first author) while she was a PhD student, and numerous presentations at international conferences in North America, Europe, and Asia.

Dr. Rezansoff's dissertation, Epidemiological and Experimental Evidence to Improve Antipsychotic Medication Adherence Among Patients with Schizophrenia Who Are Homeless and Involved with the Criminal Justice System, addresses adherence to prescribed antipsychotic medication in homeless and justice-involved patients—an area in which there has been little research to date. Her work demonstrates very low levels of antipsychotic adherence in these highly vulnerable patient groups and examines the link between poor adherence, homelessness, and the risk of repeated offending.

Dr. Rezansoff has received numerous scholarships and fellowships for her work, including the Imperial Order of Daughters of the Empire (IODE) War Memorial Doctoral Scholarship, the Canadian Federation of University Women – 1989 École Polytechnique Commemorative PhD Fellowship, and multiple scholarships and fellowships from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR).

Dr. Julian Somers, her supervisor, calls her “an extremely rare talent.” He says, “True to the values of SFU, she is committed to social justice, and to the responsibility of scientists to reduce inequities.”

Dr. Rezansoff is now a CIHR-funded Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of California, Berkeley in the School of Social Welfare, where she continues her work to promote the wellbeing of mentally ill offenders, while improving the public health and safety of communities in general. She will maintain her connections to Canada—part of her research is funded by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Dr. Rezansoff is also a Research Associate at the Somers Research Group at SFU.

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