Recent student accolades:
After Health Studies student Mihojana Jhumi immigrated to Canada as a child, she felt fortunate to experience some of the things the country is known for: diversity, inclusion, and access to free health care and education, among others. As she got older, though, she was horrified to learn about unjust and discriminatory practices in Canada and the resulting disparity in living conditions, particularly for Indigenous people. While taking HLTA03 with Professor Fazli, Ms. Jhumi had the opportunity to explore the roots of this inequality.
A paper she wrote for that class has now been published in the Journal Health Perspectives, published by the Health Studies Student Union at the U of T St. George Campus. The article, titled "The Role of Colonization and Discrimination in Shaping the Inequitable Health Experiences of First Nations, Métis and Inuit Peoples of Canada” explains how the disproportionate rates of chronic diseases, mental illnesses, crimes and pervasiveness of poverty among the Indigenous populations can be traced back to the systematic and intrusive policies of European imperialism/genocide that continue to generate inequitable living conditions even today.
Ms. Jhumi wants more people to know about the roots of health inequality: “With encouragement from Professor Fazli, I decided to submit my paper […] in hopes that more people would get to understand the impact and importance of social determinants in shaping the health experiences of all Canadian citizens.” Her article is available here.
Recent DHS grad Jenny Gong has had an article published in the Journal of Health Promotion and Pedagogy. The article, co-authored with ICHS faculty Prof. Obidi Ezezika, is titled "Experiential Learning in the Classroom: The Impact of Entrepreneurial Pitches for Global Health Pedagogy." The article investigates the use of innovative, applied approaches for maximizing
Check out the podcasts created by ICHS student in the course HLTC02: Women and Health. Each podcast explores an issue related to the gendered construction of disease and the politics of women's health. Click here to listen to the podcasts.
Several DHS students have been honored with UTSC Letter Awards. Congratulations to Carmina Santos, Maryam Fatima, Nadifa Mohamed, and James Rasalingam! The UTSC Letter Awards recognize graduating students for their significant contributions to campus life.
Former DHS student Mehdia Hassan has published an article in Imaginations: Journal of Cross-Cultural Image Studies. The article, co-authored by DHS Professor Laura Bisaillon, is titled ‘Being from a bad neighbourhood: Confronting bad decision discourses in the impoverished inner city.' Mehdia received her MA at Lakehead University and will begin her doctoral studies at OISE in the fall.
Congratulations to DHS student Yousef Safar! Yousef been selected as one of the 2020 University of Toronto Student Leadership Award recipients. Yousef is the president of Best Buddies UTSC, a Senior Editor of Health Perspectives (University of Toronto's Undergraduate Health Studies Journal), and an organizer of the International Health Film Series and Expo. He is grateful to Prof. Obidi Ezezika for nominating him for the award and for his mentorship throughout his studies. Yousef will be persuing his Master's in Medical Anthropology next year with Prof. Cassandra Hartblay as his project supervisor.
Congratulations to DHS students Danica Bui, Fatema Motiwala, Fatima Haque, Nawrose Khan and Sarah Syed for the publication of their work in "Becoming Migration Researchers: Disquieting Borders with Auto-Ethnography," a fall 2019 special issue of the journal ALiGN with an introduction by DHS Assistant Professor Laura Bisaillon! Check out their writing here.
Congratulations to undergraduate student Emily Chan on the publication of her article, "Exploring how volunteer work shapes occupational potential among youths with and without disabilities: A qualitative comparison", in Journal of Occupational Science! (Fall 2018).
Diane Hill wins Queen Elizabeth II (QESII) Diamond Jubilee Scholarship – Congratulations!!
Diane Hill came up with the idea to apply for the QESII after seeing the advertisement in the First Nations House listserv. The QES opportunity is open to Indigenous students at the university, she thought that it would be a great way for her to explore opportunities for her to learn more about advancing Indigenous relations globally and locally in Canada.
Diane’s internship will be at Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga and it is New Zealand's Māori Centre of Research Excellence, at the University of Auckland. This is part of the UofT "Trinity Program: Establishing Right Relations for Indigenous and Settler Populations in the Commonwealth”. At the University of Auckland, her role and partnership will be created with someone at the Maori Research Centre.According to Diane, she hopes to gain an understanding of how Indigenous research is conducted in New Zealand particularly because the country is a champion for advancing Indigenous resurgence and cultures, She also wants to learn how Indigeneity is conceptualized, and more specifically how Indigenous health and wellbeing is valued, studied, pursued and utilized amongst the Maori.
Diane has always been interested in Indigeneity and the advancement of Indigenous rights and New Zealand is a champion in exhibiting various aspects of progression when it comes to Indigenous-settler relations. She believes that there is a lot that she can learn as an Indigenous person in Canada. She had the support from First Nations House in terms of information on the award and application process. As well, information from her peer Jaime Kearns specifically on the interview process and application component. As an alum of the program Jaime was able to provide helpful insight into the interview. In addition, Professor Sicchia was extremely helpful in her application process as she provided her letter to the awards committee and was able to speak to both her academic and leadership accomplishments within the university space.
Upon return to Canada, it is also required for all QES scholars to present their findings to the department and we look forward to hearing all about her experience when she is back in Canada in the fall.
DHS wishes her the very best in her research expedition!
Congratulations to Melissa Perri for winning a UTSC Letter award!
Accoding to Melissa, her four years at the University of Toronto Scarborough Campus (UTSC) have been rewarding in many ways. First of all was having the opportunity to find a program for which I developed an immense passion for. Throughout her scholastic life he has always attempted to be an active participant in the community. Her active participation at the University of Toronto not only assisted in her own growth as a person but also gave her the opportunity to meet many individuals, impact multiple lives and foster a sense of community. Winning the Letter Award provides her with a great sense of accomplishment and her hope is that future students will the see the personal and communal rewards of participating in campus life and feel the motivation to also participate. Through various roles during her time here at UTSC, he has encountered and built relationships with several individuals that have fostered an environment which proved nurturing. She is grateful to Betty Liu and Dr. Maureen Murney personally for all their support during the process of gaining the Letter Award.
She will be attending the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto pursuing a Master of Public Health specializing in Social and Behavioural Health Sciences (Health Promotion) next year. She plans on taking the knowledge and experience she was fortunate enough to have obtained at UTSC in order make a positive contribution to society.
DHS student Anna-Marie Baradi featured on "Uncommon Combinations: Playing bass and planning health policies" (March 2018)
Award-winning ICHS alumnus Mehdia Hassan interviewed on Asian Vibes television for her research at the intersection of visual arts and health. Click here to watch - congratulations Mehdia! (Winter 2018)
DHS student Diane Hill awarded the Marilyn Van Normal Aboriginal Student Leadership Award (Winter 2018). Congratulations Diane!
- Diane is a member of the Oneida Nation of the Thames, First Nations. Her service to the UTSC and UofT community more broadly has been tremendous. Briefly, she served as the President of the Indigenous Student's Association during which time she worked alongside President Gertler, Principal Kidd, Dean Gough and our Elders circle and senior faculty on the Tri-Campus and UTSC-specific Truth & Reconciliation Committees. As if this weren't enough, Diane also worked with Student Life as an Indigenous Program Developer.
DHS students Roshion Sabeeha Ishaque, Nikita Roy, Amina Patel, Lamia Akbar, and Nivetha Chandran received 2nd place (the top UofT Team) at this year’s TO Thinks Global Health Case Competition! (They're now off to Emory University's International Video Case Competition in March 2018). Congratulations!
Their idea combined a technological, revenue-generating solution (the moss walls) with a social solution (investment in urban farming). The urban farming component of their proposed social enterprise is a sustainable, profit-based initiative that directly and indirectly reduces air pollution while also addressing important equity issues related to food accessibility
Roshion, Nikita, Amina, Lamia and Nivetha wanted to construct a plan that would not only be technologically innovative but also incorporate elements that would make Toronto stand out as a Green City. They looked to Germany, a leader in green-tech solutions, and adopted the idea of a “moss wall” that is capable of filtering a wide variety of pollutants. Their plan is based on modifications to the existing technology that would suit the Toronto context better. For example, they are looking to install these on certain areas along the 401, and have proposed a ventilation system that would direct pollutants towards the walls more efficiently as these walls were initially designed to filter standing/still air and not fast-moving air. After hours of brainstorming within the team, they decided that the “live wall” combined innovation, environmental responsibility, and had revenue-generating potential that connected towards their longer-term solution: investment in urban farming. Working on the idea project has been very rewarding for the team. “I truly feel that this competition reaffirmed my belief that I am taking away so many interdisciplinary and life long skills that I gained from my health studies courses” said Lamia.
According to Nivetha, “One of the best parts of Toronto Thinks 2018 was how we had the opportunity to create an innovative idea to deal with a real-life situation in Toronto and many cities across the globe. From the day the case was released to the morning our presentation was due, we had been on our toes thinking of creative and sustainable methods to not only reduce air pollution but also invest in sustainable long-term goals”.The team was supported by Dr.Suzanne Sicchia from the Interdisciplinary Center for Health & Society at UTSC and Dr.Kiruba Krishnaswamy, thier case advisor.
The team’s training through the Interdisciplinary Cnetre for Health and Society has been instrumental in laying an effective platform on approaching their project. According, to Amina, “Our Health Studies majors have trained us to analyze any health issue from multiple perspectives and different levels of causation. This competition was an opportunity to apply these skills and develop a solution that was inclusive of business, public health, engineering, and other sectors” Similar sentiments were reiterated by Nikita who found it interesting to see how the team was able to draw upon the foundations from their health studies courses to find an interdisciplinary solution and seeing everything come together in their presentation.
The next steps for the team is to refine their budget using a more robust cost-benefit analysis. Furthermore, they would expand on the ‘live wall’ idea and integrate it not only along highways, but in spaces downtown where it could serve as a direct way to reduce the high rates of ambient air pollution. On the urban farming front, they would look to mediate partnerships between key stakeholders like Toronto Public Health, Toronto Parks and Recreation and the communities affected by Traffic-Related Air Pollution (which are often low socioeconomic neighborhoods). Their social enterprise to address Traffic-Related Air Pollution is potentially applicable to any metropolis in the world because the technology is portable and the concept of urban farming lends itself well to most cities in the world. According to Roshion, TO Thinks Case Competition was definitely one of the highlights of her final year at UTSC and she is looking forward to representing UofT at the Emory Global Health Case Competition in March.
Past student accolades:
Samir Parmar: How to have a "phenomenal" Co-op experience
Muhanad Ali: #UofTGrad 17: Muhanad Ali
Manhoor Leghari: #UofTGrad 17: Mahnoor Leghari shares a vision of UTSC