Leah Shipton

Corporate power extension through global health public-private partnerships during the Covid-19 pandemic and its normative fallout
Faculty of Arts
Peter Dauvergne
Faculty of Arts Graduate Award
Joseph Bombardier
Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?

I chose to pursue a graduate degree because my career interests are in global health governance and politics and to advocate for interventions that protect and promote health, in Canada and globally. I decided that a PhD in Political Science would be a great way to develop the skills and expertise necessary to pursue this career trajectory.

Why did you decide to study at UBC?

I decided to study at UBC for a number of reasons, but the main reason was because the faculty both within the Department of Political Science as well as in other departments have expertise in my research areas of interest. This made me reassured that it would be a great campus to learn and develop my academic interests.

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

The most important feature of the PhD Program at the Department of Political Science was that there are several faculty with expertise that can guide me in my research and who are invested in my academic development. My academic background and work experience is in public and global health, not political science, so it was also important that this program valued the contributions and insights I could bring from my disciplinary background as well as support me in exploring the intersections of political science and global health.

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

I'm not sure anything has really been a surprise - but I've moved around a lot so maybe I am just used to adjusting to different places! Being able to go to the ocean and hiking in the mountains has been a new and great experience.

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

I think what has been most helpful for me is that before beginning my graduate program I had a few years of experience working and conducting research in various places as well as on different topics. I think these experiences provided a good skillset for me to work from, helped shape my research interests that I am pursuing in grad school, and gave me plenty of opportunities to reflect on the kind of scholar I want to be. I think all of this means that I entered grad school with a good foundation to build on and clearer sense of direction.

What do you like to do for fun or relaxation?

Carving out time for fun and relaxation has become a priority for me. That means taking the time to go on walks around different Vancouver neighbourhoods and hiking areas, see friends and family, read (for fun), and play soccer in the park when I can. 

What advice do you have for new graduate students?

I would recommend that new graduate students think early about academic and non-academic opportunities you would be interested in pursuing and how to prepare for them during your degree. And really take time to invest in building good relationships with your supervisors and classmates, that is what will make the experience enjoyable and fulfilling.


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