"I was attracted to the MSc in Health Sciences because of its strong emphasis on interdisciplinary and community-based research and the excellence in Knowledge Mobilization that SFU has."

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Student Profile: Erik Mohns

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

I'm an Indigenous graduate student from the Hupačasath First Nation. I joined the Faculty of Health Sciences to work with the Indigenous Healthy Life Trajectories Initiative (I-HeLTI) team.
I moved here from Treaty 3,6, 7 regions where I got an M.A in sociology and a B.A. in psychology.

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO COME TO SFU?

I was attracted to the MSc in Health Sciences because of its strong emphasis on interdisciplinary and community-based research and the excellence in Knowledge Mobilization that SFU has. In addition, the Health science faculty builds on my experience working for non-profits in harm reduction and housing first, and my previous research focused on relationships and supervised consumption sites. The opportunity to work with the I-HeLTI team allows me to use my skills to give back to the community that has supported my academic pursuits.
I also appreciate the focus on social justice that the faculty of health science has and the opportunities SFU has for students to grow as researchers.

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

My research with the I-HeLTI team focuses on how food security and housing environments relate to mental health using a two-eyed seeing approach. Built environments are the background and settings of our day-to-day lives and play an important role in our health. While my research is just starting, I am excited to work with and learn from the I-HeLTI team, Nuu-Chah-Nulth tribal council and the many community partners to optimize Indigenous child development and health.

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

I am grateful to learn and work with my peers and the faculty on the unceded territory of Coast Salish people. The health science faculty has a great community that academically, socially, and mentally supports each other. There is always so much to learn, and I am grateful to feel supported in all my pursuits. I also appreciate the focus on community, social justice, and knowledge translation the health science faculty has.

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.

The graduate fellowship award allows me to learn and participate in different academic opportunities without worrying about finances, which gives me more time and capacity to focus on research and personal growth.

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

If you are interested in social justice or interdisciplinary health research this is the place for you!

IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE YOU'D LIKE TO SHARE?

I hope to continue advocating and working with people and communities to support their wellness and growth. I also hope to inspire and support future generations of indigenous scholars and encourage them to pursue their passions.

 

Contact : erik_mohns@sfu.ca