Degree opens doors to world travel
By Diane Luckow
Medical imaging technologist Lauren Shandley loves to travel. That’s why she pursued a BA in health sciences with a focus on global health. She figured combining the degree with her technical expertise would lead to jobs that would pay her to travel.
She was right.
She convocates in June, and is just completing training as a new member of the Red Cross’ Emergency Response Unit, which deploys highly trained professionals within 48 hours of a disaster.
“I’ll be taking x-rays in a field hospital in a disaster zone,” she says.
Doctors Without Borders has also hired her, and will send her on four-to-six-week missions in Africa and the Middle East, where she’ll work alongside local medical staff to deliver training in medical imaging.
And while a career in the humanitarian sector doesn’t pay well, that’s not an issue for Shandley, whose previous travels took her to many disadvantaged countries.
“I have a strong passion for social justice and breaking down barriers to access,” she says. “Basic healthcare is a need; it’s a human rights issue.”
Acceptance into international aid organizations isn’t easy. Shandley credits some of her success to a four-month SFU international co-op term in India, where she helped deliver English literacy and numeracy classes to human- and sex-trafficking victims at Destiny Foundation.
“It definitely helped me gain the experience of living and working abroad in a difficult situation.”
She also credits her SFU education with developing her critical thinking and improving her writing skills.
“I was a terrible writer and I hated it. I spent my first two years developing and honing my writing skills in the Learning Commons, and now I’d say one of my biggest strengths is my writing.”
In October, she will head to Arusha, Tanzania on a paid, two-month fellowship with RAD-AID and the Canadian Association of Medical Radiation Technologists to train local technologists to use a new CT scanner.
After that? A four-month trip across the continent on her own, and with friends—unless she’s mobilized by the Red Cross or Doctors Without Borders.
“There aren’t a lot of x-ray technicians who have a globalpublic health degree,” she says. “I’ve found a good platform and feel I’ve been able to position myself quite well. Hopefully, one day I’ll be full-time dedicated in the field.”
- Big data degree reaps big rewards
- PhD grad chews on global food issues
- Disability no deterrent to completing degree
- Shedding new light on sex offenders' crimes reveals surprises
- PhD research startles world scientists
- Spring 2016 Honorary Degree Recipients
- Student Convocation Speakers
- Degree opens doors to world travel
- Promising undergrad researcher fast tracks to PhD program
- Stand-out student seeks to help others walk again
- Engagement, scholastics and school spirit earn Shrum medal
- Undergrad takes on the full university experience
- Grad immersed herself in global indigenous cultures
- Grad faces tough choice: Olympics vs medical school
- Love for mathematics trounces adversity
- Saving lives by connecting the 'docs'
- Enterprising mechatronics student is flying high
- Eye for design attracts awards for SIAT grad
- From senior to señora: Margaret Torgerson’s journey in gerontology
- Naqib Azad leaves legacy of social entrepreneurship
- Zebang Wei first in Canada to graduate with a bachelor of environment degree
- Mid-career move pays off
- White Rock politician seeks to improve public policies
- It’s no kidding matter: marriage, two kids and a PhD
- Vivian Abboud’s remarkable journey from Canadian immigrant to doctor of education graduate
- Undergraduate convocation medalists
- Graduate convocation medalists