Program: Honours Specialization in Health Sciences
HSSA Role: Photographer
Fun Fact: I am obsessed with Taylor Swift (some may say to an unhealthy level, but I disagree).
Why did you want to be on HSSA?
I really enjoyed being a part of student government first year when I was on FHSSC. I loved being able to connect with other students and be involved in enhancing their education outside the classroom and assist in a variety of events. I wanted to continue my involvement, but at a smaller scale where I could build closer connections with fellow students in the School of Health Studies. This led me to joining HSSA where I feel right at home with fellow students who share the same passions as me. I love being part of student government and being able to collaborate with other students and provide events and opportunities to meet the needs of health studies students.
What did you do this summer?
In the summer I stayed in London and worked at Robarts Clinical Trials and took a summer course to get ahead. At Robarts Clinical Trials I worked in document management and processed documents. I learned a lot about clinical trials during my time there which was really interesting and the knowledge came in great use for a few courses in second year. The summer course I took was Foods & Nutrition at Brescia and I enjoyed it a lot. There were a lot of themes which tied into health studies nicely and I really enjoyed the course. If you get the chance, I recommend it!
What kinds of extracurricular activities are you involved with?
Over the past two years at Western I have been involved in Learning it Together (LiT) and Dance Force. Learning it Together is a great opportunity to apply health promotion skills which have been learned in the classroom and give back to the London community. The program promotes literacy, numeracy, and the establishment of a healthy lifestyle in kids who are from a lower socio-economic status. It is an eight week program in which we worked one on one with students grade 1 – 3 doing activities which promote health. It was a very rewarding experience and I will never forget the last week where my buddy asked if I was coming back next year because he was going to be in Grade 2. Dance Force is a club at Western which runs weekly classes for dancers of all levels. You are assigned a group based on skill level which is your team for the year. Teams start working in October on routines which are showcased at the end of the year in the annual recital. I have enjoyed growing closer to the wonderful ladies on my team and amazing teacher. If you like dance, feel free to join us as we Face the Elements this Friday and Saturday with proceeds going to the IBD Foundation.
What or whom inspires you?
I am inspired by the outdoors and nature. I grew up in a small town which is surrounded by a large amount of farmland and beautiful forests. I enjoy every chance I get to be in the outdoors, whether it is horseback riding with my friends or kayaking with my family, I feel rejuvenated and inspired to conquer my dreams after enjoying fresh air and the beauty of the earth.
What is your fav HS course or prof and why?
My favourite professor is Anita Woods who teaches the renal and digestive units in Physiology 2130. I have enjoyed getting up for 8:30 classes and hearing her speak because her passion leaps through the whole lecture hall. I never realized how interesting kidneys were! She is also extremely approachable and even offers to help us learn how to study effectively because she wants us all to succeed and enjoy physiology as much as she does.
What are your future career plans? Where do you see yourself in five/ten/twenty years
I would really like to work with health at a global level and my dream is to one day work for WHO. Health and wellness are very important to all aspects of life and you cannot live without them. There are many places in the world which do not have access to basic healthcare and people are dying from diseases which have been eradicated decades ago in North America. There are even places within Canada which do not have access to clean water. This seems crazy to be a reality in 2016. I would like to be part of the solution and provide people with what I believe to be their fundamental human rights to healthcare through health policy and public health. I also see myself travelling a lot in the next five to twenty years. I participated in an exchange in high school and lived in France for three months. I would love to return and explore further into their rich culture and history (there are still many castles to be toured and I plan to tour them all), as well as increase my fluency of the language.
How do you define health? What do you do in your everyday life to stay healthy?
I define health as a combination of the WHO definition (need I define it? I figure it is already ingrained in your mind after first year) and one’s ability to enjoy life. I think it is important to look at health from all aspects, including: physical, mental, and social. I try my best to balance these aspects and designate time for each one daily. I maintain physical health by walking as much as I can and trying to accumulate a minimum of 10, 000 steps daily. I also dance and maximize the healthy food in which I purchase. I believe in the philosophy that if I maximize the amount of healthy food I bring into my house it will be the food I become accustomed to and crave. I maintain mental health by colouring between doing homework and going to bed at night. I find it is a good barrier which allows me to relax and ensure that I am not thinking about assignments and to do lists as I am trying to fall asleep. Socially, I enjoy participating in the clubs I am involved in as well as taking frequent tea breaks with my roommate.
Do you have any advice for other Health Students? My advice for other health students is to explore all of the careers available in the health field. There are many opportunities which I believed are over looked because of the large shadow in which medical school casts. I myself came into university wanting to become a physician, though have been introduced to many other possible careers which I never knew existed and find myself extremely interested in. You do not have to become a physician to make a positive impact on health. Explore your field in its entirety.
Anything else you want to end with? “No matter what happens in life, be good to people. Being good to people is a wonderful legacy to leave behind.” – My girl TSwizzle