"Collaborating with an interdisciplinary network of mentors and peers who are committed to equity and engaged scholarship is a major highlight of being part of SFU and the Cities, Health, and Active Transportation Research (CHATR) Lab within FHS."

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Student Profile: Meridith Sones

October 18, 2021
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doctoral student in the Faculty of Health Sciences

I'm a PhD candidate in the Faculty of Health Sciences (FHS) and the Knowledge Mobilization Manager for the Interventions, Research, and Action in Cities Team (INTERACT). My research interests span healthy built environments, population health intervention research, equity, community-engaged research, and knowledge translation. I received my master's degree in public health from the University of Waterloo and previously worked as a public health practitioner and consultant, leading knowledge translation and evaluation strategies for public sector organizations in Canada and internationally. Outside of work, you can find me exploring the mountains by foot, bike, or skis from my home in North Vancouver on the unceded territory of the Skwxwú7mesh and Tsleil-Waututh Nations.

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO COME TO SFU?

I was drawn to SFU because of its commitment to equity and community-engaged scholarship and the opportunity to work with Dr. Meghan Winters, who is a leader in healthy cities research. At the time, Dr. Winters was in the process of launching INTERACT (www.teaminteract.ca), a pan-Canadian collaboration of scientists, urban planners, and citizens uncovering the impact of urban changes on health and equity. It was an exciting opportunity to be involved in team science while leveraging my background in research strategy and knowledge mobilization to help establish INTERACT's research program.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR RESEARCH OR YOUR PROGRAM TO A FAMILY MEMBER?

My research explores the design of sociable, healthy, and equitable cities. Social connectedness is vital to our health and well-being and has become an urgent planning priority of cities worldwide, particularly in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. I'm currently evaluating the role of parks and other public open spaces in promoting social connectedness during the pandemic. I also just launched the Youth.hood study with my supervisor Dr. Meghan Winters (FHS), Dr. Meg Holden (Urban Studies), and the South Vancouver Neighbourhood House. This project will empower youth living in under-resourced areas to discover how their local environments help or hinder social connectedness and identify solutions for neighbourhood improvement.

WHAT ARE YOU PARTICULARLY ENJOYING ABOUT YOUR STUDIES/RESEARCH AT SFU?

Collaborating with an interdisciplinary network of mentors and peers who are committed to equity and engaged scholarship is a major highlight of being part of SFU and the Cities, Health, and Active Transportation Research (CHATR) Lab within FHS.

HAVE YOU BEEN THE RECIPIENT OF ANY MAJOR OR DONOR-FUNDED AWARDS? IF SO, PLEASE TELL US WHICH ONES AND A LITTLE ABOUT HOW THE AWARDS HAVE IMPACTED YOUR STUDIES AND/OR RESEARCH.

I'm grateful to be the recipient of a SSHRC Doctoral Fellowship and a SFU Graduate Dean's Entrance Scholarship.

 

Contact : msones@sfu.ca

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