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Zoya Jiwa

Sínulkhay and Ladders: A board game that teaches decolonizing practices

By | Community, Social Innovation | No Comments

Decolonizing Practices‘ project Sínulkhay and Ladders was recently awarded Social Innovation Seed Funding. Co-hosted by RADIUS and Embark Sustainability, the Social Innovation Seed Fund allocates up to $1,500 towards change endeavours initiated by SFU students. In this article, we interview Michelle Nahanee, Founder of Decolonizing Practices.

“As our Squamish territory became an urban centre now known as the City of Vancouver, our [peoples] ways of knowing were erased. Although this is starting to change through decolonizing practices like territorial acknowledgements, who we are and what we have to offer continues to be seen as past tense. I’m interested in highlighting Indigenous innovation and tools.”

Michelle Nahanee of Decolonizing Practices. Image Courtesy of K. Ho Photography.

As a member of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) Nation, Michelle Nahanee has witnessed the Indigenous reconciliation landscape unfold before her eyes. With deep interests in Indigenous cultural sovereignty, the importance of reclaiming language, and deconstructing neocolonialism, Michelle became determined to combine her work experience as an Indigenous communications designer with her passion for social change in more impactful ways.

Michelle enrolled into the Master of Arts (MA) in Communication at SFU, where she accessed the knowledge she needed to amplify Squamish ways of knowing, communicate invisible power structures, use her language, and leverage her design skills.

“In the last term of my program, I was invited to present an interactive workshop on decolonizing practices at the EMMA Talks event I curated called Squamish Matriarchs” Nahanee explained.

At the feminist speaker series and art festival, Nahanee introduced her research-creation project called Playing Post-Colonial: a Decolonizing Activity Book for the Woke and the Weary. The centre spread features Nahanee’s board game, Sínulkhay and Ladders. Nahanee describes the inspiration for the game coming from a course she co-taught at SFU called Decolonizing Dialogue. She recalled often using the metaphor of ‘snakes and ladders’ to explain how decolonizing can often feel nonlinear, like one step forward and two steps back. From this metaphor and other experiences emerged Sínulkhay and Ladders — a giant 8-ft board game.

Image courtesy of K. Ho Photography

“The [decolonization] process is very up and down. Sínulkhay and Ladders provides a container to acknowledge space, mistakes, and a commitment to do better. The last thing I want is for anyone to stay in the shame of colonialism. We all need to stay in the game.”

The focus of Sínulkhay and Ladders is to strengthen Indigenous to non-Indigenous relations in professional settings, making sure we are holding each other up and not sliding down the double-headed serpent, called ‘Sínulkhay’ by Squamish.

It also promotes the Squamish practice of
Chen chen stway (holding each other up) while calling out neocolonial scenarios of oppression.

“Each person leaves with both a takeaway, something they learned, and a giveaway: their commitment to decolonizing practices,” Nahanee elaborated.

Memorable giveaways include commitments to hiring more Indigenous people, breaking open constructions around identity, and thinking of land ownership and wealth differently.

“This is largely individual healing work,” Nahanee explains.

“It’s never-ending.”

Michelle Nahanee is offering two upcoming summer workshops, including sessions on July 26th and August 23rd. Registration is open via Eventbrite. She is also in the process of expanding her collaborative team of Indigenous and non-Indigenous facilitators, developing a social impact fund from workshop proceeds, and designing an Educator Kit to train teachers on how to present Sínulkhay and Ladders in their classrooms.

Staying true to the notion of “stewardship-over-scale”, Nahanee is eager to explore different audiences who could benefit from workshop trainings, and she also recognizes the importance of approaching each intentionally, building community along the way.

To learn more about Sínulkhay and Ladders, visit Michelle’s website, Decolonizing Practices.

Image courtesy of K. Ho Photography

Five Projects Award Social Innovation Seed Funding

By | Community, RADIUS Edu, Social Innovation | No Comments

The SFU Student Social Innovation Seed Fund is a joint initiative of Embark Sustainability and RADIUS that supports thoughtful change endeavours with social and environmental impact at their core. The Fund allocates sums ranging from $200-$1,500 to SFU undergraduate and graduate student social innovators. Applications for the 2018/2019 year will re-open this fall.

Five remarkable initiatives were awarded funding in the fourth round of the 2017-2018 cycle. Read about them below!


Founded by a team of Health Change Lab students, CARESEL is a toolkit that empowers teachers to incorporate the Social Emotional Learning (SEL) component of the new BC curriculum with pick-up-and-go lessons tied into subjects that they already teach. CARESEL allows teachers to choose the grade that they teach (ie. Grades 4-7) and the subject in which they want to promote SEL (ie. English, Science, Social Studies, or Math). They then receive activities to facilitate with their students that meet the BC curriculum requirements by merging the BC core competencies with some form of the SEL core competencies. This allows teachers to teach familiar activities that meet curricular requirements while integrating SEL, providing them with support and a way to incorporate new requirements during existing class time.

Sinulkhay & Ladders

Developed by Michelle Nahanee during her MA in Communications at SFU, Sinulkhay and Ladders is a giant 8-ft board game that promotes the Squamish practice of Chen chen stway (holding each other up) while calling out neocolonial scenarios of oppression. Its purpose is to provide a framework for developing decolonizing practices for working better together. The focus of the game is bettering Indigenous to non-Indigenous relations in professional settings, making sure we are holding each other up and not sliding down the double-headed serpent, called ‘Sinulkhay’ by Squamish.

Learn more about Michelle’s workshop trainings by visiting the Decolonizing Practices website. Also, check out this Eventbrite page for upcoming Decolonizing Practices workshops in July and August.


Tumblershare is a program that aims to reduce coffee cup waste on SFU campuses through a tumbler membership service. Currently being piloted at Renaissance Coffee at SFU Burnaby, Tumblershare participants pay a $10 deposit fee for a membership card. When they visit Renaissance Coffee for a hot drink, they can exchange their card for a tumbler for their coffee or tea. Once they are finished their drink, they simply return the tumbler to the cafe and receive their membership card back.


When a team of Mechatronics Engineering and Business students collaborated on a project, SonoRail was invented. SonoRail is a robotic device that allows sonographers (medical professionals performing ultrasounds) to remotely control an ultrasound machine. Sonographers commonly experience Work Related Muskuloskeletal Disorders (WRMSD), including carpal tunnel syndrome and shoulder capsulitis, due to repeated application of force and sustained pressure in administering these medical tests.  The SonoRail team seeks to prevent sonographers from having to sacrifice their health in order to support their patients. They are developing a device that will be comprised of two main components: an arm holding an ultrasound probe that will be controlled via a remote, and a remote control that the sonographer can use that simulates their wrist motions with the probe and the physical sensations of moving the probe.


Co-founded by 2018 RADIUS Fellow Larissa Chen and her business partner Delara Tabari, Böues is a personal care brand dedicated to creating natural body care products that work. Böues  challenges existing products on the market that typically involve unnecessary chemicals, single-purpose usage, and excessive packaging. The Böues team didn’t want to use these products for themselves or see their family and friends use them. With health-conscious hygiene practices and sustainability in mind, they discovered a natural alternative: upcycling leftover beeswax and raw honey into bath and body products. Through in-person sales and digital marketing campaigns, Böues also educates people on the importance of being mindful of the impact of daily hygiene products on ourselves, our communities and our ecosystem. Stay up to date with Böues by following them on Instagram: @bouesofficial.

SFU Students in Oxford for the 2018 Map the System Global Finals!

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After rising to the top of the Simon Fraser University and Canadian national rounds of Map the System, a team of SFU undergraduates – comprised of Health Sciences students Stephanie Lam, Janani Ravikularam, Katrina Jang, Hussein Elhagehassan and Benta Cheng – are at the Saïd Business School this weekend competing in the Map the System Global Finals!

An initiative of the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship at the University of Oxford, Map the System (formerly The Oxford Global Challenge) encourages students to think differently about social, environmental, and economic challenges by mapping out the landscape of current problems and solutions while identifying missed opportunities for change.

Our SFU team, known as Bridging the Gap, conducted qualitative research looking into mental health outcomes in second generation Canadian youth, ages 14-24. Specifically, they explore the ways how processes of individual and familial acculturation impact mental health, such as the coping strategies youth use in times of stress.

Team member Benta Cheng provides some background on why the topic is close to the team’s hearts:

“Our team was inspired by our own lived experiences. As we actively researched this topic, we saw ourselves in the problem landscape. Based on the discussions we shared with our peers, we were curious to see whether other second generation Canadian youth outside of our networks shared similar sentiments and struggles. The answer was overwhelmingly “yes”. It was a reminder of just how complex this issue is.”

At the Map the System Global Finals, taking place June 1st – 3rd, the Bridging the Gap team will compete with 14 other finalists from around the world and present their research to a panel of esteemed judges.

The RADIUS community wishes Stephanie, Janani, Katrina, Hussein and Benta the best of luck at the Global Finals this weekend! We look forward to following their remarkable achievements as they continue with their academic and professional journeys.

Pictured left to right: Katrina Jang, Janani Ravikularam, Benta Cheng, Stephanie Lam, and Hussein Elhagehassan.
Photo courtesy of Isabelle Soares.

(Image courtesy of SFU News)

Paola Ardiles: Practitioner-scholar, Social Trailblazer & Health Change Lab Instructor

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Paola Ardiles was recently appointed a Continuing Lecturer, Social Innovation, Health and Community Partnerships with SFU’s Faculty of Health Sciences. RADIUS is thrilled to continue working with Paola, and to welcome her to our team of instructors for the Fall 2018 Health Change Lab!

Paola co-developed the original Health Change Lab curriculum in 2016 and has since been involved as a valued mentor and teacher to our cohort participants.  As a practitioner-scholar, Paola brings an interdisciplinary, collaborative, systems-focused approach to community health into the classroom.

Holding a BSc (hons) in Psychology, a Master of Health Science and a Masters of Business Administration, Paola has dedicated her academic career and community work to exploring the complex systems and structures that impact health and well-being. Paola is the Founder of Bridge for Health, a startup co-operative committed to social innovation for improving well-being. Over the past year, Paola has been recognized as one of TD Bank’s 10 Most Influential Hispanic Canadians and also received a 2017 Surrey Board of Trade Women in Business award in the Social Trailblazer Category.

Paola will be joining experienced Beedie School of Business instructors Shawn Smith and Tamara Connell to co-deliver Health Change Lab from September to December 2018. An experiential,  once-in-a-degree studio program, Health Change Lab invites SFU undergraduate students to investigate a real social, economic, or environmental challenge that impacts community health. Interdisciplinary student teams each build a creative intervention to a particular challenge and present their ideas to community influencers – all in just 13 weeks.

Applications for Health Change Lab are accepted on a rolling basis until the program is full. The Round 2 deadline is April 30th, 2018. Find program details at

SFU Students: Apply now to Join the Health Change Lab Fall 2018 Cohort!

By | Change Lab, RADIUS Edu, Social Innovation | 2 Comments

Applications for Health Change Lab are reviewed and accepted on a rolling basis until the program is full. Please note that the Round 2 deadline has been extended to Tuesday May 22nd, 2018.

What is Change Lab?

Change Lab programs have been running at SFU since 2011. These unique, once-in-a-degree studio programs are intensive opportunities to hone your skills at developing practical solutions to real-world challenges.

The Spring 2018 Civic Innovation Change Lab cohort has just wrapped up, and Fall 2018 Health Change Lab applications are now being accepted.

Health Change Lab Schedule and Logistics

  • Studio days: Tuesdays 11:30am – 5:20pm at SFU Surrey.
  • Project coaching: Thursdays 2:30pm – 5:20pm at the RADIUS Social Innovation Lab (200-308 West Hastings Street, Vancouver).
  • Retreat: There is a day-long offsite retreat on September 11, expenses covered.
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday

ChangeLab Studio Day

(11:30am – 5:20pm)

 @ SFU Surrey


Project Coaching

(2:30pm- 5:20pm)


(downtown Vancouver) 


What will you learn and do?

In Health Change Lab, participants work in interdisciplinary teams to investigate a community health-related challenge. Then, they develop and test an innovative, venture-based response. Teams will present to partner panels for feedback mid term and be given the opportunity to connect with community and City partners and leaders to help build their ideas with the possibility of seeing them proceed in the real world.

Sessions are a mix of hands on workshops, coaching by instructors and experts, limited content lectures, guest speakers, and open work time in your teams to advance your ideas.

Personal learning and leadership:

Ideal Change Lab students come in with keen curiosity and a willingness to explore and deepen their own leadership skills. Individual reflection and journaling are part of the course. Participants will be challenged to both give and receive feedback from peers and instructors. Openness, vulnerability, and the ability to listen deeply are highly valued.

The workload:

Commensurate with 10 credits, you should expect this to be an intensive experience. Many students have described the course as the most transformative of their undergraduate degree – but you have to be interested in and committed to:

  • developing and testing real ideas,
  • getting out of the classroom and talking to people, and
  • taking responsibility for the direction of your learning during the term.

There isn’t a lot of mandatory reading or information to memorize – you work with us to figure out what you need to learn to effectively advance your project.

The content:

Some of the topics you will learn about are social entrepreneurship, systems thinking, public health and community health issues pertinent to Surrey, determinants of health, business model development, personal development, effective teams, and more.

The specific credits that you are awarded are:

  • BUS 453 (Sustainable Innovations) – 3 credits
  • BUS 494 (Design for Innovation) – 3 credits
  • HCSI 495 (Applied Health Sciences Project) – 4 credits

Health Change Lab 2018 Instructors

This course is co-taught by experienced instructors Shawn Smith (BUS), Tamara Connell (BUS), and Paola Ardiles (HSCI). Mentors, speakers, and project partners are sourced through our extensive networks.

The cohort

You do not need any past business or health experience to thrive in this course! Expect your changemaking peers to bring a variety of perspectives from departments and faculties across the university, a breadth of experience from their own lives, and a shared passion for social and environmental issues.

While we value experience in social change, leadership and project creation of all sorts, we also encourage anyone excited about the description here to consider applying.


Note: certain prerequisites may be waived at discretion of instructors in extenuating circumstances:

  • 60 credits
  • 2.67 GPA
  • Some relevant work or volunteer experience

How to apply to Health Change Lab 2018

If the above description motivates you to apply, please email with the following three documents in one PDF file (if possible):

  • A 500-word letter of motivation describing your interest in this program;
  • An unofficial copy of your transcripts; and
  • A copy of your resume/CV to outline your relevant work and volunteer experience.

From Makerspace Prototypes to Mental Health Research: An interview with student changemaker Benta Cheng

By | Change Lab, Community, RADIUS Edu, Social Innovation | No Comments

Recent Health Change Lab alumna, Benta Cheng, sat down with Zoya Jiwa from the RADIUS team to share how her program experiences inspired her to participate in the Map the System Challenge: an international research competition that asks students to think differently about social change. The team registration deadline for Map the System is Monday January 22nd. Find details here!

ZJ: How did you hear about Change Lab, and what inspired you to apply?

BC: When I first heard of Health Change Lab (HCL), it was from a friend and alumnus from the HCL cohort a year prior. From our discussions, I immediately understood that HCL would be a breath of fresh air from my typical undergraduate lectures. In partnership with Fraser Health and the City of Surrey, HCL brings together students from different faculties to define and propose prototypes to address a community problem within the Surrey context. I was drawn to the program since it seemed experiential, challenging, and most importantly, like it would be an opportunity to consolidate my learning into a community based project with an interdisciplinary team of students. After four years as a Health Science student, I was excited to work alongside students from other faculties, all bringing their own perspectives and strengths. The mention of “Change” was also both exciting and humbling—to think that I would be able to work with closely with a community to instill positive change through a capstone project left me eager to apply and begin.

ZJ: What were your expectations going into the program?

BC: As the semester progressed, I uncovered surprising discrepancies from my initial impressions. The ‘Change’  in Health Change Lab was referring to positive change within myself. The professors wanted to see us growing fast and failing fast. Unconventionally, failing and respectful conflict was encouraged and not looked down upon. My peers and professors created such a safe space for me to improve my public speaking, learn to give constructive and respectful criticism, build effective business skills, and so much more. My classmates supported one another through our prototyping and pivots as we navigated our respective problem areas. Overall, I quickly came to understand that the magnitude of my self-improvement and growth would determine my success in the course.

ZJ: Sounds like a transformational realization early on in the program! Who was on your team?

BC: My team consisted of an International Studies student, an IAT student, and two Health Sciences students (including myself). Although our angles were different, we came together with an initial passion for youth mental health.

ZJ: What idea did you start with, and what ended up being your final project?  

BC: After numerous expert and user interviews, coupled with mind maps and root cause analyses galore, we realized there were a number of seemingly indirect but effective approaches to support young people as they grappled with becoming an adult, navigating their life post-secondary school, landing that first job, among other struggles!

Our final prototype was a Maker School for youth adults to engage with one another and with mentors through future-ready skill building. The Maker School idea is a union between a traditional Makerspace and a youth-centered education space. This space wouldn’t just be for hobbyists, but also for young people who wanted to try their hand at making things in a low-commitment space. 

ZJ: Wow, what a journey! What was it like to present your final project and wrap up the program?

BC: During our final presentation, each team proudly presented their final prototypes in front of a panel consisting of business professionals, City of Surrey representatives, and Fraser Health delegates. As nerve-wracking as it was, seeing the final product and how far we had all come in the semester was extremely fulfilling.

During our last class, there was a sense of melancholy as we sat in a circle with our instructors watching Space Kittens on YouTube and feasting on potluck food. One by one, we shared our final thoughts about the course and how we’ve changed and grown. There were tears, laughter, and lots of hugging. It was an honour to how my peers were actively working on and overcoming their deepest struggles. I mean, was this course hard? Definitely. My head was in a cloud the whole semester and I never felt like I was on stable ground. However, I truly believe that every undergraduate student should experience something like this. You won’t regret it.

ZJ: In what ways
did the lessons you learned in Health Change Lab inspire you to register for Map the System?

BC: Besides introducing and instilling the mental tools necessary to understand and navigate a problem area, the interdisciplinary nature of Health Change Lab also introduced new perspectives to understanding the system where the problem lives. Now, when I look at a problem, instead of feeling “stuck” or overwhelmed, I can unpack and dive deep into potential solution areas, and that is extremely exciting.

ZJ: What is your team researching though the Map the System Challenge? 

BC: This is very preliminary, but our team is exploring mental health outcomes (whether this is self-perceived or by clinical diagnosis is still in question) in children of first generation immigrants living in the Greater Vancouver area. This problem space is important to me, firstly, because I am a child of two immigrant parents, but also because of the conversations I’ve had with people in my community about the unique set of struggles they face with respect to family cohesion, cultural displacement, and internalizing the struggles of their parents. My team and I are looking forward to learning more about this population.

ZJ: What advice would you offer other students who are curious about changemaking at SFU?

BC: To any student who wants to engage in changemaking, you’ve already taken the first step through being curious! There are many opportunities to engage in changemaking at SFU if you look for them. In fact, every year (every month, even!), more opportunities become available. Reach out to people you admire – they could be professors, peers, or just someone you define as a changemaker. Most people are very open to coffee or a phone call.  Since you’re here, check out the RADIUS website! Finally, don’t be afraid to seek experiences offered from other faculties as well.

A warm thank-you to Benta for sharing her experiences! We wish her team all the best with participating in the Map the System Challenge.

Welcome to the 2018 Civic Innovation Change Lab Cohort!

By | Change Lab, RADIUS Edu, Uncategorized | No Comments

Civic Innovation Change Lab is a once-in-a-degree immersive experiential learning program. Undergraduate students from a variety of academic disciplines – including Political Science, Health Science, Business, International Studies, Gender Studies, Sociology, and Resource and Environmental Management – come together to form interdisciplinary teams. Together, they investigate social, economic, and environmental challenges within the city of Vancouver, build a sustainable business model to creatively respond to it, and pitch their ideas to community influencers – all in just 13 weeks.

Co-hosted by RADIUS SFU, CityStudio, Semester in Dialogue, and the Beedie School of Business, Civic Innovation Change Lab is the newest addition to the Change Lab portfolio. Civic Innovation refers to a method that improves the lives of citizens, the functions of cities, the practice of citizenship, or the state of community affairs. This course weaves together advanced knowledge in Civic Issues, Social Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship, with the core practices of Dialogue, Design Thinking, and Business Model Development to allow students to become capable of producing impactful social innovations in cities.  Instructors Tara Mahoney and Jeremy Stone will leverage their strong academic and professional backgrounds in civic issues to host this Change Lab cohort. They’ll be joined by many mentors and partners from across Vancouver. Change Lab programs are generously supported by Scott Shaw.

Without further ado, meet the first ever Civic Innovation Change Lab cohort! We are so excited to work with these emerging changemakers.

Eliane Bowden

Passionate about sustainable living and bringing people together, Eliane is most in her element when collaborating with other students or engaging with just about anyone. She is completing her fourth year at Simon Fraser University in Business Administration and is looking forward to expanding her studies to tackle civic challenges in Change Lab this spring. She is most excited to work with the cohort to bring forward new ideas to improve Vancouver’s communities.

Jordan Arnold

Jordan is a 4th year Political Science and International Studies student focusing on international law and human rights. He enjoys spending his free time volunteering as a peer educator and mentor to incoming first year and transfer university students. He is most excited to work with students from a variety of educational backgrounds to see how they can create new and innovative ways to address social problems together.

Alica Felgendreher

Alica is a fourth year student pursuing a Bachelors of Arts in Sociology. She is particularly interested in the production of inequality, gender relations, poverty, welfare, and public policy. Having witnessed first-hand how social inequality and stigmatization prohibits marginalized individuals from accessing basic healthcare and social services within their community, she feels strongly about challenging the individualization of social problems. Alica is excited to collaborate with students from different disciplines who share her interest in improving the lives of vulnerable community members. She also looks forward to learning practical skills and strategies to create impactful change in her community.

Abby Ferris

Abby moved to Vancouver from Northern British Columbia five years ago to pursue nothing in particular. With time and good fortune, she collected experiences and connected with people that inspired and propelled her forward. Abby is passionate and empathetic about the people and world around her. With a keen interest in the subtle but meaningful interactions between people and environment, she hopes to pursue a career in which she can simultaneously promote human wellness and environmental justice in urban centres through design thinking.  Abby is sincerely excited for the opportunity Civic Innovation Change Lab presents: to collaborate and engage with people who share an interest in the world around them.

Sarah McBain

Sarah is committed to sustainability by promoting social equity and business that strives to meet the triple bottom line. Currently, Sarah is a BBA candidate at the Beedie School of Business, studying Sustainable Business and Psychology. Sarah plans to attend graduate school, where she will continue to focus on policy development
 and promotion of cost effective environmental initiatives. 
Having travelled extensively and studied at Lund University in Sweden, she approaches her career and her personal life from a global perspective. Sarah is eager to work in collaboration with committed, diverse, and hard working students who share the same goal of promoting social health and civic innovation.

Melissa Nelson

Melissa is a fourth year student pursuing her undergraduate degree in Communication with an extended minor in Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies.  She is currently working as the Communications Assistant at the Women’s Health Research Institute and enjoys learning new ways to harness the power of social media for change.  Melissa is excited to work with such a diverse group of students, and looks forward to discussing the future of AI!

Jessica Mayne

Jessica is in her third year of studies in the Bachelor of Business Administration program at SFU. She has interests in marketing, entrepreneurship, and supporting local businesses. Jessica is excited to combine her interests in business and community connection for Civic Innovation Change Lab! She hopes to diversify her skill set by learning from the several disciplines of her peers. Outside of SFU, Jessica is passionate about her work as a youth ministry coordinator at her church. In her spare time, Jessica enjoys skiing, salsa dancing and baking.

Tawanda Masawi

Tawanda is a member of the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade’s Company of Young Professionals. He is a versatile global citizen who has lived and worked in Asia, Africa, Europe, North America and the Middle East. He has a passion for emerging trends and technology. Tawanda is currently working towards gaining competency in the application of Blockchain technology to inter-organizational data management for financial firms and supply chain management. He is excited about Civic Innovation lab, as he hopes to bring people and technology together to support and design the next generation of city services.

Maya Schofield

Maya Schofield is beginning her third year of undergraduate studies at SFU. Maya believes that positive innovation is the culmination of a community of effort. For this reason, she is most looking forward to meeting and working with people who have diverse skill sets and forward-thinking attitudes towards tackling social problems in Vancouver. Maya is also excited to learn which issues are most concerning for the communities in which we will be working, and the approaches people within the
community believe should be applied in addressing these.

Sarah Smith

Originally from Victoria, BC,  Sarah Smith is a fourth year student at SFU. Completing a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Criminology and a Legal Studies Certificate, she is looking forward to being challenged in a new focus that is different from her usual field of study. Following her graduation in April 2018, she will be pursuing further education in either a Juris Doctor program or graduate program in Policy Analysis. Her extra-curricular passions include sports and outdoor activities such as hiking and camping. In Civic Innovation Change Lab, she is most excited to build connections with team members of diverse backgrounds while working towards a common goal.

Adam Rossi

Adam is a fourth year Communication student with a particular interest in social freedoms and sustainable development through information technology. He believes that in our age of connectivity, all voices should be heard. A passion for responsible development drove Adam to participate in Civic Innovation Change Lab, where he is excited to be part of a creative environment that is engaging in social entrepreneurship. As a student getting ready to transition to the business world, he hopes to learn how to grow his ideas into vehicles for social change.

Nura Safaie

Nura is a fourth year student at Simon Fraser University studying Political Science with a focus on human rights and policy analysis. Outside of school, Nura is a member of the Surrey Youth Council and is currently working on various projects aiming to better the community and environment. Nura believes that the Civic Innovation Change Lab will allow her to gain more knowledge and hands on experience in community level initiatives. She is excited to meet new people and to begin working towards creative and sustainable solutions to real world problems.

Jocelyn Singh

Jocelyn is in her fourth year at SFU studying Resource and Environmental Management. Sustainable city development is a topic that she would like to focus her degree on, so she is eager to explore topics such as, social housing, community health, and green infrastructure through Civic Innovation Change Lab. She believes that this program will give her the exposure and hands on experience she needs to better understand the complexity of urban landscapes.

Kaiqi Yang

Kaiqi is an exchange student at SFU from Sciences Po in France. She has lived and studied in China, France, and Canada, and she loves to travel. Kaiqi is passionate about communicating with intelligent and inspiring minds from all over the world. She has great interests in political science and law. She is also an enthusiastic learner of languages and photography. She wishes to work as a lawyer in Public International Law in the future and contribute to the international community. She looks forward to meeting and working with the Civic Innovation Change Lab students while contributing to the community.

Queenie Tran

Queenie is your local East Van gal studying Public Health and Gerontology. She has a repository of working in the service sector in which she elevated mundane moments and turned them more than mediocre memories. In her leisure time, she enjoys practicing yoga, running senselessly on the streets, and discovering the affluent food scene in Vancouver. Queenie looks forward to exploring urban economic resilience in the city and how to foster further community engagement.

Rachel Wong

Rachel Wong is a Communication major and an International Studies minor with a keen interest in civic engagement, urban planning, and public space activation. Outside of the classroom, Rachel is also a radio host, writer, foodie, and a musician. She is excited for the hands-on experience that the Civic Innovation Change Lab will bring, as well as learning about how the future of work will impact our cities and urban spaces.

Saba Yassemi

Saba moved to Canada in 2011. After graduating from SFU with a
Bachelor of Sciences degree, she continued her co-op placement as
a Special Education Assistant (SEA) working with children with
special needs. As a long-term goal, she is considering a career in
coaching, with the intention of improving the quality of employment
in organizations who are challenged by business management issues.
She is excited to practice and acquire leadership skills through the
Civic Innovation Change Lab experience and meet mentors and team
members who will accompany her through this journey.

Refresh Project Awarded Social Innovation Seed Funding

By | Funding, Uncategorized | No Comments

The SFU Student Social Innovation Seed Fund is a joint initiative of Embark Sustainability and RADIUS that supports radical change endeavours with social and environmental impact at their core. The Fund allocates sums ranging from $200-$1,500 to SFU undergraduate and graduate student social innovators. Our next application cycle closes Jan. 18th, 2018. Apply now!

“A few years ago, my family took a cruise to Alaska. The whole experience was amazing for me: the views of the glaciers were amazing, the people were so friendly, and I made great use of the on board buffet. What deeply saddened me, though, was the amount of food waste I saw happening on that ship. I would see people would throw away whole plates of food just to go back for more a few hours later. Chefs would throw away perfectly good produce because it was easier to buy new food than to store it. The amount of food waste astonished me, especially when I realized that this is not an outlier situation, but rather a norm in our society.”   -Scott Quon, External Manager, Refresh

While other countries like France force supermarkets to partner with charities to stop edible food from being wasted, Canada still leaves much to be desired when it comes to food wastage. We waste over $31 billion of food per year while having no strong policies to help reduce this quantity.

Refresh is a student-run program that aims to lower that number, fruit by fruit, as well as change a culture that has grown to accept food waste as the norm. We take excess food products that grocery stores believe is unsellable because it’s bruised or misshapen, and we upcycle them into delicious snacks including jams and dried fruits, therefore diverting these unwanted fruits from the landfill. We are also able to reach a broad audience with our #tastenotwaste social media campaign to bring awareness to the problem of food waste, with our posts being viewed by over 1,000 different people.  

Thanks to funding from SI Seed Fund, we were able to purchase the equipment needed to make our products as well as getting our products tested to make sure our jam is safe and enjoyable for everyone to consume.

Over the next year we are enthusiastic to:

  1. Increase the number of jam jars we sell and to keep reducing the amount of food that goes to waste;
  2. Reach even more people with our social media campaign to bring awareness to food waste in our community; and,
  3. Introduce new and delicious products such as smoothies and fruit chips.

Cheers to Refresh for a jam-packed first year! We look forward to seeing their next steps.

Connect with Refresh online:

Humanitarians in Training Awarded SFU Student Social Innovation Seed Funding!

By | Funding, Social Innovation | No Comments

The SFU Student Social Innovation Seed Fund is a joint initiative of Embark Sustainability and RADIUS that supports radical change endeavours with social and environmental impact at their core. The Fund allocates sums ranging from $200-$1,500 to SFU undergraduate and graduate student social innovators.

One remarkable student initiative called Humanitarians in Training, an initiative of the Red Cross Student Movement (RCSM), was awarded funding in the first cycle of the 2017-2018 Seed Fund. Read about them in their own words below:

What is the Red Cross Student Movement, and what is Humanitarians in Training? 

The Red Cross Student Movement (RCSM) is an independent and student-led initiative that strives to support the Canadian Red Cross within the community. We are a coalition of students spanning Simon Fraser University, the University of British Columbia, and various high schools across the lower mainland. Our mission is to engage the public with humanitarian issues and improve the lives of vulnerable members in our community. Humanitarians in Training is a day-long conference aimed to engage, educate, and empower youth interested in humanitarian issues. By providing training, resources, and a peer network, our aim is to prepare motivated youth to make an impact both within and beyond the Greater Vancouver region. Following the Humanitarians in Training conference on November 18th, there will be follow up events planned where participants will have opportunities to network, form collaborations, brainstorm event ideas, and learn about effective club leadership and event planning.

Who is on your team? 

We are a team of motivated university students who come from a diverse variety of backgrounds. Each of us are dedicated to improving the lives of vulnerable members of our community through spreading awareness and taking initiative both locally and globally. Each team member brings valuable leadership and humanitarian engagement experience to the event. Through becoming involved in our communities through educational and volunteer experiences, we have each experienced immense personal growth and development. We wish to provide that same opportunity to many more youth from across Metro Vancouver. We acknowledge that we are not experts on the humanitarian issues that we are discussing and we are committed to constantly learning, growing, and challenging our personal perspectives. You can read more about each of us on our website!

Connect with Humanitarians in Training online:

Map the System Challenge 2017-2018: Register by January 22nd!

By | Community, RADIUS Edu | No Comments

After winning both the national and global competitions last year, SFU is participating in the annual Map the System Challenge (formerly the ‘Oxford Global Challenge’) along with other top schools from around the world! Unlike most business and case competitions, Map the System is focused on deeply understanding social problems before trying to solve them. Register your team now to participate around an issue you care about! 

  1. What is Map the System?

An initiative of the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship at the University of Oxford, Map the System encourages students and educators to think differently about social, environmental, and economic challenges by mapping out the landscape of current problems and solutions while identifying missed opportunities for change. In teams of up to five people, SFU students and recent alumni choose a problem space to thoroughly research on a systems level. Then, they present their findings to their peers, community members, and influencers.

  1.  What problem should I or my team work on?

Any problem you are passionate about, whether it’s a local or global issue – all the better if you have already been working on something! You can take a look at some of the research focus areas from last year’s international competition.

Last year, the successful SFU team won both the national and global Map the System Challenge competition with their extensive research project about solid medical waste from Vancouver hospitals. Check out their final pitch at the global finals!

  1. Do I need a solution idea for my problem?

Nope! You just need a thorough understanding of the problem and current gaps or opportunities. A helpful framework to start with is Daniela Papi-Thornton’s Impact Gaps Canvas, which offers a comprehensive approach to mapping out a social problem.

  1. Who is eligible to apply?

Individuals or teams of up to five people. You must have at least one SFU student (undergraduate, graduate, or doctoral) OR a recent alumni (i.e. within 1 year of the registration date, January 22nd, 2018), and may include community members.

  1. How do I apply? What’s the timeline?
  • November 16th, 2017: Map the System Info Session for SFU students, alumni, and community interested in Map the System.
  • January 22nd, 2018: Complete the short registration form; all SFU teams are required to complete this quick registration form to confirm their involvement and chosen problem area.
  • January 27th, 2018: Problem Mapping 101 – a workshop hosted in collaboration with UBC. Present your problem space and research ideas to peers and community experts, and receive feedback and connections to deepen your work. Register here!
  • March 26th, 2018: full submission for the SFU local competition round, including three documents, to present your findings: a visual map or other creative representation of the issue; research analysis (max. 2000 words); and a bibliography of resources.
  • April 11th, 2018: SFU-wide competition for top 8 teams. The winning team from this round will move on to the national finals.
  • May 4th-5th, 2018: Map the System National Finals, hosted by SFU at the Segal Graduate School of Business.
  1. What can we win?

Prize money, trips to Oxford and the Emerge Conference 2018, access to further funds and support, fame and glory, and the opportunity to learn about a problem you’re curious about. SFU will provide at least $1,000 for the top SFU individual or team, and $500 for two runners up.

  1. What support is there from SFU?

We’re hosting several workshops for participants in the Map the System Challenge prior to the March 26th, 2018 final project submission deadline (see timeline above). We will do our best to support and advise teams with narrowing down their problem area, sparking community connections to experts in their chosen fields, 1-on-1 coaching, and offering presentation guidance. Sign up for our mailing list to register for our next workshop on January 27th, 2018.

Additionally, there are already lots of great resources available by the global host, the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship at the University of Oxford.

More questions? Check out the Map the System FAQ first! Should you have further questions, feel free to contact Amy Farahbakhsh at afarahba[a] To receive updates about Map the System, you can sign up for our mailing list.

The Map the System Challenge at SFU is coordinated by RADIUS SFU and Student Engagement and Retention at SFU with support from the SFU Alumni Association and SFU Innovates. This opportunity is offered in partnership with the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship at The University of Oxford, RECODE at the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation, and the Trico Charitable Foundation.

Health Change Lab Retreat: Moving from Individual Interests to Interdisciplinary Collaborations

By | Change Lab, Community, RADIUS Edu, Social Innovation | No Comments

Applications are NOW OPEN for Health Change Lab, co-hosted by RADIUS, SFU Faculty of Health Sciences, and the Beedie School of Business,

By Health Change Lab alumna Stephanie Lam

It has hardly been one month since the Fall 2017 semester has started, and being enrolled in Health Change Lab has already inspired professional, academic, and personal development for my classmates and I. Initially, I felt anxious about my ability to be in an interdisciplinary and self-directed program. Nevertheless, I approached the term with excitement and hope to see what the semester would contribute to my learning journey. When the Health Change Lab cohort attended our first team retreat at Camp Alexandra, my nerves were immediately eased.

Following an early morning drive to White Rock, I arrived feeling calmed by the serene environment of Crescent Beach. From the start, it was clear that the retreat was designed to provide opportunities for peers to bond through a series of activities and workshops while providing a safe space to learn about ourselves.

At the beginning of the retreat, we all gathered around a fire pit. Upon the request of our instructors, each student brought an object that represents our motivation behind why we are interested in social change and community health. One by one, we presented our objects and dug deep to share the emotional and inspirational stories behind our current goals and future ambitions. As we sat around in a circle, it was amazing to see where all of my fellow classmates came from. As an interdisciplinary group of 21 individuals with varying backgrounds, it was amazing to see and feel that we were all connected as students who aspire to create positive change for the people around us.

Alongside sharing our personal objects and motivations, another challenging but illuminating activity was called the Super Social Vision Portal, which took place on Crescent Beach itself. As we walked along the sandy beach and took in vast views of the sea, we engaged in an activity that helped us practice deep listening, idea flow, and envisioning of our futures. Our instructor asked us to situate ourselves one year from now, as if we could time travel to September 2018. We spoke to 3 different partners about how and what we wanted our year to look like. The only catch was that we had to talk to each partner for 5 minutes, and they weren’t allowed to say or acknowledge anything that we said. Not only was it difficult for a group of young students to speak for 5 minutes straight about their futures, but talking to someone who couldn’t respond to us or offer feedback was interesting to say the least. This activity allowed me to fully engage and listen to my partner’s words. I couldn’t interrupt, share my thoughts, or lead the discussion towards a different trajectory. Instead, I discovered how important it is  to let people be in flow with their thoughts and ideas to engage in genuine and authentic conversations. The activity taught me a valuable lesson in improving my listening skills with my colleagues, friends, and family.

I look forward to the upcoming months, where I will collaborate with my fellow student changemakers to explore and propose interventions to improve community health within the City of Surrey!


SFU Students: Apply Now for the Entrepreneurship and Changemaking Activators (E&C) Program!

By | Community, RADIUS Edu, Social Innovation | No Comments

We are excited to announce that RADIUS SFU and Coast Capital Savings Venture Connection have joined forces to launch the new Entrepreneurship and Changemaker (E&C) Student Activators Program!

This paid opportunity brings together six students from a variety of faculties to support student engagement in a broad suite of changemaking opportunities at SFU, from promoting experiential learning opportunities like Change Lab, CityStudio and the Charles Chang Certificate in Innovation and Entrepreneurship, to designing and hosting workshops.   

Given that SFU was recently designated as one of just over 40 Ashoka Changemaker Campuses in the world, we are eager to activate student voices to build the momentum of SFU’s diverse ‘changemaking’ initiatives, where creative approaches are taken to addressing social, economic and environmental problems. The Changemaker Campus designation was a rigorous process conducted by Ashoka U, a global leader in social entrepreneurship. It recognizes colleges and universities for their commitment to social innovation through their research initiatives, their curriculum design, and their vibrant changemaking communities.

This program is supported by SFU Innovates and the Charles Chang Institute for Entrepreneurship.

We invite SFU students from all faculties to apply by September 12th, 2017 at 11:59PM.

You are:

  • A current SFU student with an expected graduation date no earlier than Fall 2018;
  • Passionate about social impact, innovation, entrepreneurship, and envision yourself as a changemaker;
  • An emerging student leader from any faculty with proven results and achievements;
  • Excited to help build a stronger entrepreneurial and changemaking ecosystem across SFU’s campuses;
  • A team player willing to work with a multi-disciplinary team;
  • Committed to learning how to present changemaking opportunities to your peers and to the broader community;
  • Willing to learn, take risks, make mistakes, and try novel approaches to problems.
  • Curious about and dedicated to continuous learning, personal development, and self-reflection.

You will:

  • Promote entrepreneurship and changemaking opportunities at SFU, including class presentations, tending booths, and attending events;
  • Coordinate and host events, such as workshops and speaker series;
  • Help with social media and branding of SFU as an Ashoka Changemaker Campus and the Coast Capital Savings Venture Connection program;
  • Be active on all three campuses over three terms;
  • Attend E&C Activators team meetings up to twice per month; and
  • Act as an ambassador on behalf of the SFU changemaking community, including RADIUS and Venture Connection, fulfilling your leadership role as a student changemaker.

Value to you:

  • A $4,000 stipend
  • Access to professional development (e.g. via workshops, coaching, etc.)
  • Profiles on RADIUS SFU and Venture Connections websites, newsletters, and blogs
  • A fun and engaging year connecting SFU students with an amazing array of opportunities

Time Commitment: 6-8 hours/ week
Timeline: October 2017 – September 2018
Application Deadline: September 12th, 2017 @ 11:59PM

How to Apply

To apply, send in your resume and cover letter in one file to Zoya Jiwa at by September 12th at 11:59pm with the subject line “Application: E&C Activators.”

In your cover letter, please concisely address the following in no more than two pages:

  • What are you studying at SFU, and what is your expected graduation date (semester / year)? How did you hear about this opportunity?
  • Which campus(es) are you based at most often?
  • Why are you the right person for this program? What relevant experience makes you a good fit?
  • What are two of your proudest achievements, and why?
  • Imagine: You return to campus in 10 years. What has been the impact of your involvement?

All applicants will be notified of their application status by Monday September 25th.

About SFU Innovates

SFU Innovates is a university-wide strategy that builds on our dynamic culture and seeks to strengthen SFU’s commitment to innovation and entrepreneurship.

About the Charles Chang Institute for Entrepreneurship

The Charles Chang Institute for Entrepreneurship works to make SFU a global leader in entrepreneurship, providing unparalleled opportunities for SFU students.


RADIUS (RADical Ideas, Useful to Society) is a social innovation lab and venture incubator at the Beedie School of Business, Simon Fraser University. We develop and deliver cohort based programs to build the capacity of Radical Doers and to cultivate their projects and ventures in service of systems change. We are working towards a transformed economy that is dynamic, just, sustainable, and resilient. Read more about our work.

About Coast Capital Savings Venture Connection

Founded at SFU Surrey and serving all three SFU campuses, Coast Capital Savings Venture Connection supports SFU ventures from initial idea validation through to operating businesses. Services of the program include mentorship, office space, networking opportunities, internship/co-op terms, competitions, educational workshops and speaker events. Since 2008, the first-of-its kind, innovative, and groundbreaking program has engaged over 6000 participants, provided mentorship to over 200 student teams, and business development services to over 170 early-stage startups. Read more about their work.

About the Charles Change Institute for Entrepreneurship

SFU Innovates is a university-wide strategy that builds on our dynamic culture and seeks to strengthen SFU’s commitment to innovation and entrepreneurship.



Welcome the Health Change Lab 2017 Cohort!

By | Change Lab, RADIUS Edu, Uncategorized | No Comments

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 Barbacuta

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.

Benta Cheng

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 Chisvo

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

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 Chong

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 Fajber

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 Jang

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 Huynh

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 Hinlopen

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

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

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.

Sophia Knowles

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 Liu

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 McFarlane

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 McGee

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 Tran

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 Zhang

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

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

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 Nguyen

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.