"I chose SFU because of its renowned Master of Public Health program; I was drawn to the social justice lens that the program takes towards population health. I also chose SFU because of its fantastic track and field program."

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Student Profile: Alison Andrews-Paul

March 11, 2022
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master's student in the Faculty of Health Sciences

My name is Alison Andrews-Paul and I am a Master of Public Health student with the Faculty of Health Sciences. My research interests include multimorbidity resilience among older adults, an area I think is important considering our aging population. I am also a passionate member of SFU's track and field team and run the 800m and 1500m.

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO COME TO SFU?

I chose SFU because of its renowned Master of Public Health program; I was drawn to the social justice lens that the program takes towards population health. I also chose SFU because of its fantastic track and field program. I felt like it was a place that would help me achieve both academically and athletically.

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

Researching multimorbidity resilience involves asking 'Why do some people do better in the face of multiple chronic conditions than others?' Managing multiple chronic conditions on a daily basis involves social support, physical strategies, and psychological strength. My specific interest lies in how resilient responses to multimorbidity translate into protection from other adversities, such as fall injuries. I am asking 'are older adults who are able to do well in the face of chronic disease also more likely to avoid acute health challenges like falls?' Through this work, I hope to refine the definition of multimorbidity resilience and learn how we can promote it in community-dwelling older adults.

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

The SFU Master of Public Health program provides so much flexibility in regards to which specific skills you want to develop and areas you want to focus on - I get to choose my own adventure! This flexibility is also balanced with specific requirements that allow me to develop competency in the field of public health. I enjoy my studies because of this balance and because I am very passionate about my area of research.

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 am an SFU Graduate Fellowship recipient. This award has been instrumental to my pursuit of a thesis in a program that is predominantly course-based: I felt like I did not have many opportunities to apply for financial support because the program is not oriented towards those who are also interested in pursuing research. As such, I was incredibly grateful to receive the Graduate Fellowship and it has allowed me to better focus on my research rather than trying to work a bunch of additional hours outside of program requirements.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR PROGRAM/POSTDOC POSITION TO SOMEONE STILL SEARCHING FOR A PROGRAM OR POSTDOC POSITION?

I would highly recommend the Master of Public Health program at SFU. It is the only Master of Public Health program in Canada that is Council on Education for Public Health accredited: meaning that it is recognized globally. This accreditation is demonstrated in the way the program is structured; it has a great balance of quantitative and qualitative skill development as well as content that is equally focused on social determinants and health system approaches to population health. It also has a practicum requirement that allows students to choose specific organizations with which they would like to develop their skills in a real-world setting.

IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE YOU'D LIKE TO SHARE?

Here are some of the things outside of my academic program that I have enjoyed about SFU:

- The Faculty of Health Sciences has a variety of interesting and impactful research areas.
- SFU is located in a really cool corner of the globe.
- SFU is an institution with events and opportunities beyond academics.

 

Contact : alisona@sfu.ca

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