Health Change Lab is a once-in-a-degree immersive experiential learning course. Undergraduate students from a variety of academic disciplines – including Interactive Arts and Technology, Health Sciences, International Studies, Kinesiology, Behavioural Neuroscience, Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, and Business – come together to form interdisciplinary teams. Together, they investigate a local social problem, build a business model to creatively respond to it, and pitch their ideas to community influencers – all in just 13 weeks.
Hosted by RADIUS SFU, the Beedie School of Business, and SFU Health Sciences, Health Change Lab students collaborate with program partners such as Fraser Health and the City of Surrey on issues that are pertinent to Surrey. Students learn about social entrepreneurship, systems thinking, determinants of health, personal development, and effective team dynamics (to name just a few topics covered). Experienced instructors Shawn Smith (BUS), Tamara Connell (BUS), and Paola Ardiles (HSCI) leverage their networks to bring in mentors and partners who specialize in chronic disease prevention, food security, active transportation, design thinking, prototyping, storytelling and presentation skills. Health Change Lab is one in a series of Change Lab courses, including Change Lab Ecuador and an upcoming Civic Innovation Change Lab in Spring 2018. Change Lab programs are generously supported by Scott Shaw.
Without further ado, meet the Fall 2017 Health Change Lab Cohort! We are so excited to work with these emerging changemakers.
Demetra is a fourth-year student obtaining a Bachelor of Arts in Health Sciences, an intended minor in Legal Studies, and a certificate in Health Ethics. She loves helping others, which has driven her to pursue a career in healthcare. She hopes to work within health policy, coming up with innovative health solutions to pressing challenges. Demetra is excited to learn about social entrepreneurship and how the power of new ideas can tackle current health issues; she believes that the young minds of today contain so many ideas that can create a social impact. In her downtime, Demetra likes to hike, tap dance, and occasionally binge-watch a good show on Netflix.
An avid enthusiast of ideas, people, and sunny days, Benta is looking forward to unearthing thoughtful and enriching conversations with her Health Change Lab peers this fall. She is currently pursuing a BSc in Health Sciences with a concentration in Population and Quantitative health. Benta’s academic interests lie within (but are certainly not limited to) the global burden of HIV/AIDS on youth, and GIS and its application in epidemiology and access to health services.
TK is a business student with a passion for social entrepreneurship. He enjoys collaborating with students with diverse experiences to tackle problems that are evident in today’s world. TK looks forward to bettering his understanding of the issues affecting the health sector in British Columbia and furthering his knowledge on social entrepreneurship. He also looks forward to working with students and faculty to create innovative and sustainable solutions that will be efficient and effective.
Nazanin Boroumandzad is a 2nd Bachelor Degree student at the school of Interactive Art and Technology at SFU. As a computer engineer with a passion for design, she is enthusiastic to learn about and work within intersecting fields such as health care and business during Change Lab. Nazanin is excited to explore and ideate creative solutions to promote community health in the city of Surrey with her peers.
Dion is a fourth-year International Conflict & Security major with a Development & Sustainability minor. He’s had the opportunity to work in the healthcare sector and in health promotion across Canada, as well as in youth livelihood promotion in Francophone West Africa. With a passion for challenging social inequality, particularly for minority and marginalized populations, Dion is looking forward to the exchange of ideas and perspectives with the diverse group of students in this fall’s Health Change Lab cohort.
Katie is a fourth year Health Sciences student with a particular interest in social justice within public health. She was introduced to the idea of business as a way to intervene in health issues after interning at a small social enterprise in Kolkata, India that used a business model to support survivors of human trafficking. Katie is excited to work closely with a diverse group of students and professionals to build healthier communities.
Katrina is a fourth-year Health Science major and hopeful Kinesiology minor who loves to explore the intricacies of health and environment. After several years studying health sciences, including a year working abroad in the township of Mangun, her interests have gravitated towards: immersing herself in different cultures and perspectives; improving health accessibility in marginalized communities; and deciphering how diseases spread. She is excited to take away a business lens from Change Lab that she can apply to everyday life and health, as well as work with her peers and within the community.
Cody de Leijer
Cody is currently the President of Enactus SFU: a student-run non-profit organization that sees local challenges as opportunities to innovate and implement creative solutions. He has a passion for environmental and social sustainability throughout business. Cody is most excited to learn about the challenges facing our local community, collaborating with his peers on potential solutions, and implementing that those solutions to create a positive impact in the community.
Helen is a Business and Interactive Arts & Technology student with a concentration in Media Arts. Her involvement with the 2016 Oxford Global Challenge (now renamed ‘Map the Systems Challenge’) paired with her interest in mental health and public health persuaded her to apply to Health Change Lab with hopes of learning more about health care barriers in the community. She is excited about the new learning environment that the program will provide and hopes to work with her peers to build tangible interventions that could serve the city of Surrey.
Kirsten is a Business Administration student, and is also completing a minor in Biomedical Physiology. She is most excited to learn about how she can combine her two interests in response to community health challenges and is also very excited to be working with like-minded individuals the Health Change Lab. Normally, people find her hanging out in her favourite room of any home – the kitchen! Kirsten loves spending time with her family and friends, preferably surrounded by some delicious food and fresh air.
Jesika Kula is a second-year SIAT student who volunteers her time serving as the Creative Director of the MetamorepHIIT Fitness Society: a non-profit organization that provides free fitness to the community. When she’s not volunteering, she enjoys travelling, hiking and working part-time as a lifeguard. Jesika is looking forward to participating in this years SFU Health Change Lab cohort, as she’s interested in learning hands-on approaches to addressing health issues within the city of Surrey.
Stephanie Lam is entering her 4th year in the Faculty of Health Sciences in September. As the President of UNICEF SFU and Project Pulse Vancouver, she has a passion for humanitarian efforts that foster education among young people. In her free time, Stephanie likes to get involved with medical research and staying active. Stephanie is most excited to learn about the different ways business and entrepreneurship could be used to create positive change within health care.
A creative, driven, and people-oriented individual, Sophia is most in her groove when collaborating with others who also intend to build healthier and more environmentally sustainable communities. Four years into her degree in Health Sciences, Sophia’s studies have been complemented by recent project development and management in clinical and academic research, outdoor, and classroom settings. Sophia looks forward to developing practical strategies in Health Change Lab that work towards one of her guiding beliefs: that the most effective and meaningful change is led by those directly affected. When Sophia is recharging, you’ll most likely find her holed up with her sewing machine or running one of her favourite mountainside trails.
Zeen has been an undergraduate student at Simon Fraser University since 2012. He is studying Kinesiology as his major. Throughout his degree, he has been helping people achieve their health and fitness goals in a variety of settings, including: rehabilitation, occupational support, performance, and general population. He currently works for the SFU Recreation Centre as a weight room supervisor and personal trainer. Zeen is looking forward to taking his kinesiology knowledge into to Health Change Lab to further his ambition of improving the physical and mental health of individuals on a community level.
Emma is entering her fifth-year of undergraduate studies at SFU. Beginning her post-secondary education at Western University, she has woven her way through various areas of study, creating a unique collection of interests and skills. Now a declared Health Science and Business Administration student, Emma is excited to work with the diverse backgrounds of other students and their communities to explore social change in Health Change Lab. She hopes to one day play an influential role in developing public health projects and sees this opportunity as an incredible starting point. Born and raised on Vancouver’s North Shore, Emma loves to enjoy all her beautiful backyard has to offer and works hard to take any opportunity possible to see more of the world.
Josh is a UX (User Experience) designer who has a passion for human-centered design: a process that starts with a specific group of people and ends with new solutions that are tailored to suit their needs. Josh enjoys discovering pain points through research, empathy, and countless different approaches and frameworks. He looks forward to Health Change Lab being multi-disciplinary. With this, he will get to see how students from different academic backgrounds tackle similar problems. He believes this will push him to develop new skill sets that he can later apply to future projects.
Henry is in his fourth-year at SFU studying towards a major in Behavioural Neuroscience and a minor in English. This summer, he is doing an Undergraduate Student Research Award with Dr. Chris Kennedy from the Biology department. Outside of school, he works with the BC Cancer Agency and Royal Columbian Hospital supporting two projects: one for the Hereditary Cancer Program, and another for the Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) Quality Improvement Project. Aside from all of that hustle and bustle, Henry is looking forward to learning about social entrepreneurship – and hopefully, be able to develop and implement a project with his peers that could create social change in the city of Surrey.
Wendy is a fourth-year student at SFU studying Molecular Biology and Biochemistry. She is interested in biotechnology and pharmacy, and she hopes to bring a technical laboratory perspective to Health Change Lab. She is excited to learn about ways that students with interdisciplinary ideas and perspectives can come together to address challenging, systemic problems in the community.
Monique Sekhon is pursuing her undergraduate studies in Population & Quantitative Health Sciences at SFU. Throughout her degree so far, Monique has gained many skills and has had the opportunity to conduct research and other work in interdisciplinary teams. Monique hopes to bring to her ideas, her experience in social enterprise, and her recognition of intersectional socioeconomic factors to the Health Change Lab. She is keen to work alongside current and future leaders in the health care field!
Nathan Lam is a fourth-year student at SFU’s School of Interactive Arts & Technology finishing his degree in design. He has worked in the industry as a User Experience Designer and understands the importance of looking beyond solely technological design to address real human needs and problems. He is passionate and driven by the interdisciplinary path he has taken, and he aspires to be a mentor to others inside and outside of his industry. He looks forward to sharing his knowledge, his unique perspectives, and his expertise with his peers in Health Change Lab this fall.
Nancy is a fifth-year Health Science student interested in health policy, community engagement, and working with marginalized communities to improve health and well-being. She is most excited to work collaboratively with other students and stakeholders to implement ideas that could address real-world challenges in the Surrey community.