Orientation kicked off this week with Global Health MSc and PhD program students joining in from Toronto, Halifax, Vancouver, Bangladesh, Nigeria, Botswana, and other local and global locations.
Delivering the official welcome address, Andrea Baumann, associate vice-president, Global Health, discussed the need for continued innovative virtual collaboration and inspired the learning journey ahead for future thought leaders who will effect positive change for a sustainable world.
The MSc students had an opportunity to join activities including an Alumni Q & A session where alumni provided incoming students with tips and advice on navigating the program, next steps after the program, and career pathways. Also included as a fundamental component of orientation was an Equity and Diversity workshop which focused on inclusive excellence principles to establish respectful living, learning, and working environments.
“We put in a lot of effort to make orientation week a success and emphasized the value of communication through our various platforms,” explained Sonya de Laat, the Global Health program’s academic program advisor and curriculum co-ordinator. “It’s important that we find innovative ways to engage students, connect them with available local and global opportunities, and continue to build a global health community”
As an example, an optional documentary film event invited students to watch three films – First, Do No Harm, You Don’t Back Down, Angry Inuk, and Bending the Arc– and engage in an informal discussion on the pressing global health issues raised.
The Global Health program uses a variety of technology platforms including Avenue to Learn, Microsoft Teams, Zoom, and WebEx, to deliver program content. For the duration of the program, students will use these tools and collaborate in small online learning pods with peers from partner universities in the Netherlands, Thailand, India, Sudan, Colombia and Norway.