Seven UBC Applied Science PhD students named UBC Public Scholars


Several doctoral students in the UBC Faculty of Applied Science have been awarded scholarships through the UBC Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies’ Public Scholars Initiative

Established in 2015, the program aims “to encourage and enable a broadened conception of doctoral education” — one where students can “make tangible and immediate contributions to the public good [while] integrating broader and more career-relevant forms of scholarship into their doctoral education process”. 

The students — Ismalia De Sousa (Nursing), Rivkah Gardner-Frolick (Mechanical Engineering), Sakshi Jain (Mechanical Engineering), Louisa-May Khoo (Community and Regional Planning), Anurag Krishna (Civil Engineering), Catherine Liao (Nursing) and Karl Zimmermann (Chemical and Biological Engineering) — will receive up to $20,000 over two years to support “innovative/collaborative scholarship that they would otherwise be unable to pursue.” 

This year, such work includes addressing inequities in burn and stroke care, tackling air pollution with low-cost sensors in Strathcona, translating water treatment technologies into local water solutions and curbing the high suicide rates among older adults in Singapore. Often involving partnerships with a non-academic or alternative academic bodies on issues of mutual interest, research supported by the Public Scholars Initiative may not only produce positive social impacts, but also lead to greater career opportunities for students after graduation.

More than 260 scholars have been accepted into the UBC Public Scholars Initiative since its inception, leading to collaborations with more than 150 different partners in 40 countries. Selected based on their past accomplishments and future promise and the quality of their proposed scholarship, among other criteria, this year’s cohort has 38 doctoral students from almost every faculty and discipline at UBC. 

The UBC Applied Science-affiliated scholars and their research topics are: 

Ismalia De Sousa: "Towards equitable stroke care: learning from young women's experiences"

Rivkah Gardner-Frolick: "Quantitative evaluation of local air pollution in collaboration with the Strathcona community to inform environmental injustice concerns" 

Sakshi Jain: "A novel methodological framework for air pollution and environmental justice in Canada"

Louisa-May Khoo: "Ageing in a neuropolis: the social epidemiology of stress in late life among older adults in global-city Singapore" 

Anurag Krishna: [Research topic not available]

Catherine Liao: "Burn injury in underserved communities in BC: a mixed-methods study"

Karl Zimmermann: "Understanding the tools for technical experts to facilitate partnerships and support end-users in finding their localized safe drinking water solutions"

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