Program: Honours Specialization in Health Sciences
HSSA Role: VP Promotions
Fun Fact: I have a black belt in Taekwondo
Why did you want to be on HSSA?
The various activities and events held by HSSA are to ultimately enhance the university experience of fellow Health Studies students. I wanted to be more involved within my faculty and give back to the student body so I applied for the position of VP Promo. I’ve always enjoyed designing posters and using Photoshop; putting these skills to use to help promote HSSA events and seeing a great turnout has been rewarding.
What did you do this summer?
I worked in Sri Lanka this summer doing a health promotion related internship with AIESEC. The other interns and I planned and facilitated workshops in various Sri Lankan high schools and universities on the topic of preventing NCDs and STIs. It was such an eye opening experience, especially living with 12 other girls from all over the world under one roof. The culture in Sri Lanka is vastly different from the one in Canada and living there has taught me a lot about the impact that one’s culture has on health outcomes.
What kinds of extracurricular activities are you involved with?
I’m a Senior Advisor for TAW and the Social Media Coordinator for Western Heads East. TAW has become like a second family to me since I first joined in my second year, and Western Heads East has incredible opportunities for Western students that I wanted to help spread the word about.
What or whom inspires you?
My parents. They left behind their family, friends and careers back in Korea to start a new life here in Canada for my siblings and I. They didn’t know English and we had no relatives here – it was a huge sacrifice on their part and I will always be grateful for what they did. They’re incredibly hard working, loving and supportive of everything I do. I want make them proud each step of the way.
What is your fav HS course or prof and why?
Gerontology in Practice is my favorite HS course so far. The fact that the course includes a Community Service Learning component was what attracted me to it, and I couldn’t have been happier with my decision. My group’s community partner is the Thames Valley Family Health Team in London and we’re in the process of creating three modules for their Healthy Aging and You program, which will be implemented next year. The course has been a lot of work, but also one of the most educating and rewarding experiences of my undergrad.
What are your future career plans? Where do you see yourself in five/ten/twenty years?
I’m applying to Masters of Public Health and Global Health programs in Canada this upcoming winter. In ten years… I hope to be working for the federal government or an international organization! But for now I’m just focusing on getting through the semester while balancing work and fun.
How do you define health? What do you do in your everyday life to stay healthy?
I go by WHO’s definition of health: a state of mental, social and physical well-being. It’s definitely more than just the absence of disease or illness, as we’ve all learned in first year of health studies. To stay healthy, I watch what I eat (I keep a food diary) and try to exercise at least 2-3 times a week at the rec center. Meal Prep Sundays is definitely something I would recommend – saves money and so much time!
Do you have any advice for other Health Studies Students?
Take advantage of the wide range of extra-curriculars that Western has to offer. Join a club, be part of an organization, volunteer in London - become involved in something outside of the classroom. And if you can, travel. Make a friend on the other side of the world, try a dish you can’t pronounce, and discover a new culture!