PhD in Public Health alumna (2010) Dr. Sylvia Struck has been selected as one of 80 women who will be part of the Homeward Bound leadership initiative for women in STEMM (Science Technology Engineering Mathematics and Medicine) that culminates in a trip to Antarctica.
The vision of the program is to increase leadership capacity in women in STEMM (1000 women in 10 years) and to build networks and collaborations to address important global environmental issues including climate change. The 12-month program concludes with a 22-day trip to Antarctica. On the ship and at various points on land and at research stations, the participants will be learning about the impacts of climate change and the influence of human activities on the environment.
Sylvia began her career in environmental engineering; she has a BSc in Chemical Engineering and an MSc in Environmental Engineering. To effectively address environmental issues, she decided that she needed to better understand human and environmental health impacts. She therefore decided to pursue a PhD in Public Health. Sylvia studied for her PhD at the School from 2004 to 2009 where she was affiliated with the Department of Disease Control. She chose to attend LSHTM because of its reputation as a top tier institution for public health, the quality of research carried out at the School and its international focus. “By obtaining my PhD in Public Health, I have been able to successful expand my skill set and knowledge to more effectively address environmental issues”. “I was part of an amazing cohort of students. I have maintained a number of friendships as well as benefit from being connected to a network throughout the world”.
On being selected as one of 80 women who will be part of the Homeward Bound leadership initiative for women in STEMM, Sylvia said: “I am very excited to have been selected as part of the Homeward Bound program – a ground-breaking leadership, strategic and science initiative for women in STEMM”.
Sylvia is currently the Manager of the Drinking Water Safety Program at the First Nations Health Authority; she is also an Adjunct Professor at the School of Population and Public Health, University of British Columbia. “I have spent much of my last few years researching and working on equitable access to safe drinking water. With climate change and other threats to watersheds and governance, access will be further challenged. I feel that we still have a way to go and will continue to work on these challenges along with other issues that impact human and environmental health”.
Sylvia encouraged current students to take advantage of the many opportunities they will have. “I want to especially encourage women in STEMM to go for opportunities even if initially they feel they don’t have all the experience they feel is necessary. They will likely surprise themselves by how much they are capable of”.
You can read interviews from Sylvia Struck on the Homeward Bound leadership initiative in the Vancouver Sun , The Province and CBC. She is also fundraising for this initiative: https://www.gofundme.com/sylvia-homeward-bound-antarctica.
Images courtesy of Dr Sylvia Struck.