• Friday, November 20, 2020

    McMaster Public Health Student-Led Conference

  • What is the MPHSLC?

    McMaster Public Health Student-Led Conference (MPHSLC) is an annual conference held by students in the Masters of Public Health graduate program at McMaster University. The conference is an opportunity for students to showcase their research, network with public health professionals, and acquire new skills and knowledge through breakout sessions and presentations.


    Public health is a multi-dimensional, complex state of care that is interwoven with various fields. Consequently, this year’s conference theme will be discussing “current perspectives on climate change and health” to better understand the interdisciplinary nature of public health. We will be discussing the complex role of climate in public health, appreciating the various societies affected by the climate, and delving into how different fields play a role in our understanding of climate change within a public health context.

  • We would like to think Cindy Cui for being our conference photographer.

  • Conference Agenda

    Zoom | November 20th, 2020 9:30 AM-1:30 PM


    9:30 AM to 9:50 AM - Opening Remarks

    9:50 AM to 11:00 AM - Keynote Address

    11:00 AM to 11:30 AM - Lunch and Poster Session

    11:30 AM to 1:00 PM - Breakout Speaker Sessions

    1:00 PM to 1:30 PM - Closing Remarks

  • Keynote Address

    Dr. Kerry Bowman

    Kerry Bowman, PhD, is a Canadian bioethicist and conservationist. He teaches at the University of Toronto and currently holds an academic appointment with Department of Family and Community Medicine. He also serves with The University of Toronto Joint Centre for Bioethics and the University of Toronto Centre for Environment. Dr. Bowman has previously served for the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) as author for the Global Environment Outlook in 2007 and as an expert reviewer in 2012. He was also involved in the Global Environment Outlook 6, which examined the connection between human health and the environment. Dr Bowman is presently working on two major conservation projects in the Western Amazon and the Eastern Congo. Focusing on the intersection of human health with factors such as deforestation, biodiversity loss and emerging zoonotic diseases . Dr. Bowman will be speaking on the interrelationship between climate health and human health, with a focus on the COVID-19 pandemic as a case study.

    To learn more about Dr. Bowman, read his full biography here.

  • Breakout Session Speakers

    Attendees will have the opportunity to attend a breakout speaker sessions from 11:30 AM to 1:00 PM.

    Dr. Thomas Piggott

    Interactive Simulation on Climate Change and Health

    Thomas Piggott, MD and PhD(c), is a public health and preventive medicine specialist and the Medical Officer of Health for Labrador-Grenfell. He holds a Master in Public Health Economics from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, completed his residency training at McMaster University, and is also a PhD candidate in Health Research Methods at McMaster. Dr. Piggott has become passionate about improving collaborations in public health focused on social justice issues as they relate to environmental public health. He is the author of the book, “Under-Served: Health Determinants of Indigenous, Inner-City, and Migrant Populations in Canada.” Through his extensive work with underserved populations at various levels of public health both within Canada and internationally, he has developed research interests in global public health, disaster preparedness and response, and climate change and health. Dr. Piggott will be leading a simulation on the effects of climate change on public health.

    Marsha Walton

    Journalist Perspective on Climate Change and Health

    Marsha Walton is a science and environment reporter and broadcast producer. She is series producer for “This American Land,” now in its ninth season on most PBS stations. The show explores landscapes, waters, and wildlife, and the people taking risks and using innovation to protect these national treasures. She also works part time for CNN International. Marsha spent 16 years at CNN, most as a producer for the science and technology unit and writer for CNN.com. As a freelancer she produced more than 100 “Science Nation” video features for the National Science Foundation (NSF). And she writes profiles of scientists and engineers for the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). She’s done energy and climate change pieces for Mother Nature Network, (now part of Treehugger.com): and medical investigations on disparities in maternal health care suffered by women of color for Women’s E-News. Marsha has a BS in journalism from Northwestern University and a Master’s from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.


    Indigenous Perspective

    Information will be updated soon!

  • Abstracts & Posters

    A call for submissions!

    Each year, we ask students and researchers to showcase their work through a poster presentation session. This provides researchers and students an opportunity to showcase their work at the local level, improve their presentation skills, and gain important exposure in academia. This is also an excellent opportunity to network with professionals in the field. We encourage students in all health related fields to present including public health, global health, and more!

    Call for submissions!

    Due to the current state of the world, with the rise of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have decided to hold a virtual conference in place of an in-person one. Nonetheless, we hope to keep the spirit of the conference alive. As such, we will proceed with a virtual poster session. We have created a google sites page where conference attendees will be able to browse through submitted poster presentations and recordings (the idea is to have a visual/audio representation of what attendees would be seeing at an in-person conference). Those interested can apply on the abstract submission page here! If you have been selected, the MPHSLC team will reach out with more information on what to include in your poster and recording, as well as how to submit them virtually. Posters will be uploaded by the MPHSLC team onto the google site page, where attendees can browse through the submitted works. There will not be a significant amount of allotted time during the online conference for attendees to view all submissions, so they will be emailed out a week in advance to attendees and be made available for a week after the conference. Contact information for submission authors will be attached to each submission so attendees can correspond with any questions via email.


    Thank you to everyone who attended our poster session workshop about the abstract submission process! To those who missed it, here is the recording of the session for your reference: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1p7gSedKRHHPW8uPW2oft-7HmuqyKOefn/view?usp=sharing

  • Past Conferences

    Check out the itineraries and additional details from previous conferences.

    2018 MPHSLC:

    In Our Community: Public Health Engagement

    In hopes of connecting students, academics, and policymakers with the Hamilton community, this conference created space for thought-provoking and enlightening conversations about how public health can work with different community partners to act on the health disparities in Hamilton, and how to integrate community feedback into the planning and delivering of public health initiatives.


    Please click here to see the delegate package for this conference which includes the full agenda, list of poster presenters, speaker biographies, sponsors, and planning team members.

    2019 MPHSLC:

    Facing the Future: What's Next for Public Health?

    Public health practice in the twenty-first century is in a state of significant flux. The aim of “Facing The Future: What’s Next For Public Health?” was to provide students, professionals, academics, community organizations, and policymakers with a space to come together to critically discuss developments in the field of public health as well as emerging public health issues. The following topics were discussed through keynote address, interactive sessions, and break-out sessions: gun violence, social prescribing, environmental health, youth mental health, artificial intelligence, and health-system changes. In addition, a poster presentation session provided public health researchers a platform to disseminate new knowledge.


    Please click here to see the delegate package for this conference which includes the full agenda, speaker biographies, list of poster presenters and their abstracts, sponsors, and planning team members.

  • Take a look at our impact report from the first inaugural - 2018 MPHSLC titled "In Our Community: Public Health Engagement."

  • Meet The 2020 Conference Planning Team

    Zil Nasir


    Zil is a second year Master of Public Health student and holds an honours Bachelor of Science degree from McMaster University. Her interests are primarily in applied health research and evaluation including assessments of public health programs, tools, and interventions. Currently, Zil is completing a Master’s thesis evaluating the effectiveness of the GRADE adolopment framework for the adoption and adaptation of WHO-issued global Tuberculosis recommendations. As co-chair, Zil is excited to foster relationships between Canadian leaders in various fields and to grow her understanding of the interdisciplinary nature of public health.

    Elissa Morgan


    Elissa Morgan is a second year Master of Public Health student at McMaster University and a graduate of the University of Toronto Honours Bachelor of Science program. She recently completed a practicum placement at Labrador-Grenfell Health (LGH) where she was mentored by the Medical Officer of Health. She assisted with a wide variety of projects, including carrying out an evaluation of the LGH virtual care strategy. Her interests include public health program planning and evaluation, particularly around primary healthcare reform. She believes that climate change should be at the forefront of public health academia and is excited to be co-chairing the MPHSLC this year.

    Leena AlShenaiber

    Promotions Coordinator

    Leena is a second year Master of Public Health student and holds an honours Bachelor of Science degree from McMaster University in Integrated Science. She worked with Dr. Gina Agarwal and the Vulnerable Individuals in Primary Care (VIP) Research Lab at McMaster’s Department of Family Medicine for her summer 2020 practicum. Her academic and professional interests include chronic disease prevention, social determinants of health, health systems research, and evidence-based medicine. As the Promotions Coordinator, Leena is excited to be a part of the MPHSLC team for this year’s conference and is very passionate about the topic of climate change especially within the context of public health.


    Saman Iftikhar

    Finance Coordinator

    Saman is a second year Master of Public Health student who completed her Bachelor of Science at Wilfrid Laurier University. She is excited to take on her role as Finance Coordinator for this year's MPHSLC. Her goal as a public health student is to apply foundational knowledge in public health and research methods to tackle health disparities by engaging in meaningful research, program implementation and communication activities focused on chronic and infectious disease prevention and management. She is especially excited to virtually connect with like-minded individuals to create meaningful discussion around the short and long-term impacts of climate change in a public health context.

    Kapeena Sivakumaran

    Logistics Coordinator

    Kapeena is a second year Master of Public Health Student who completed her undergraduate degree in Health Sciences at McMaster University. She has completed her summer practicum with the Evidence Foundation, where she assisted in developing guidelines for the management of COVID-19, as well as working with the University of Maryland on literature reviews for FDA substances. Kapeena’s interests include health policy, social determinants of health and addressing inequities. As the logistics coordinator for this year’s conference, she is excited to collaborate with the MPSLC team to provide a meaningful experience for students to engage and discuss about the public health perspectives of climate change.

    Jasmine Dzerounian


    Outreach Coordinator

    Jasmine Dzerounian is a Master of Public Health student and holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts & Science degree from McMaster University. She completed her summer public health practicum with Dr. Gina Agarwal and the Vulnerable Individuals in Primary Care (VIP) Research Lab under McMaster's Department of Family Medicine. Among many other interests, Jasmine is interested in interventions, research, and policies that work to improve the health of vulnerable populations. She is also interested in knowledge translation, accessibility, health promotion, health behaviour, and research informed by the needs and wants of the community. As outreach coordinator for this year's conference, Jasmine is excited to facilitate connections between professionals and students from different disciplines and backgrounds through the conference. She hopes to help foster a conference environment where learners from all backgrounds feel they can make a contribution as well as gain new understandings of climate change as an immediate and pressing public health issue.

    Jacqueline Rintjema

    First Year Representative

    Jacqueline is a first-year Master of Public Health student who recently completed her Bachelor of Arts in Health Studies from McMaster University. From her relevant work and volunteer experience in government, academia, the not-for-profit sector, as well as international experience in Sydney, Australia, she was introduced to the health inequities facing marginalized and underserved groups both in her community and abroad. This developed her interest in non-communicable disease prevention, the social determinants of health, patient engagement, and advancing health equity through policy. As the First Year Representative, Jacqueline is looking forward to facilitating the engagement of first-year students in the MPHSLC and creating an open communication channel between first-year students and the planning committee. She is excited to engage with students, faculty, and community members in discussions around the complexities of climate change through a public health lens.