Maggie Woo Kinshella

A human-rights based approach to exploring the relationships between maternal diet and pregnancy hypertension in sub-Saharan Africa
Dr Rajavel Elango (UBC) and Dr Sophie Moore (KCL)
Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?

After my Master's degree, I worked and volunteered in action research and global health interventions for six years, fueled by a passion to bring the voices of the most marginalized in societies to the forefront of conversations and reduce the gap between theory and practice. I became especially interested in women's health and rights and found an amazing work family with the PRE-EMPT ( team based at the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology and the BC Children's Hospital Research Institute. When the opportunity arose, I was very excited to pursue a PhD to further work towards tangible change in policies around how the international community views maternal diet and health.

Why did you decide to study at UBC?

UBC is a vibrant academic community with wonderful interdisciplinary opportunities. I have been very inspired by the professors, colleagues and fellow students I've had the honour of working with and learning from.

What is it specifically, that your program offers, that attracted you?

The Reproductive and Developmental Sciences (RDS) program is the only graduate program in Canada based in a Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. It’s a great opportunity to gain a comprehensive understanding of women’s health.

What was the best surprise about UBC or life in Vancouver?

After spending some time abroad, I always look forward to returning to Vancouver and eating sushi! In my opinion, Vancouver has some of the best sushi in the world!

What aspects of your life or career before now have best prepared you for your UBC graduate program?

I am passionate about global health, gender and reducing inequalities in health. As such, I worked as a consultant in the Downtown Eastside in Vancouver, youth health across BC, maternal and child health in Ethiopia, sex-and-gender-based violence prevention in Western Kenya and with the intersection of food security and maternal and child health in rural Tanzania. I feel like I gained valuable professional experiences throughout my winding journey to develop innovative perspectives and inspiring global connections.

What do you like to do for fun or relaxation?

I love spending summer days in my garden and going for hikes in the local mountains around Vancouver. I enjoy cycling, reading SF/fantasy books and am an avid traveler and writer.

What advice do you have for new graduate students?

Be passionate.


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