Obesity Canada prioritizes professional development opportunities for their students and new professionals. At this year’s 6th Canadian Obesity Summit in Ottawa, the opportunities were endless. Let’s highlight some of the exciting opportunities that were made available to Students and New Professionals (SNPs), many of which were organized by SNPs for SNPs.

First, we would like to highlight our From Grad School and Beyond Mentorship Breakfast. Hosted bright and early on Wednesday morning, students engaged in networking and discussions over a healthy breakfast. We had incredible professionals who volunteered their time and led table discussions with our SNPs. Mentors were given a topic area to discuss with the students who were seated at their tables. Topics and mentors included: Dr. Sean Wharton (research in medical settings), Jennifer Brown (allied healthcare professionals), Dr. Rebecca Liu and Dr. Roberta Bgeginski (post-doctoral fellowships), Dr. Zach Ferraro (medical school), Dr. Tarun Katapally (health policy research and collaborations), Dr. Kristi Adamo and Dr. Michelle Mottola (hiring in academia), Kelly Isfan and Dr. Isabelle Gagnon (careers in the hospital setting).

A Leadership Workshop was the next event held by the SNPs. A unique game of Bingo was played with SNPs and mentors which connected students to individuals advanced in their careers. Another new initiative that was available to SNPs this year was the Conference Connections Program. During registration, SNPs could request a ‘conference buddy’ to connect with at the conference based on areas of interest and career aspirations. The summit makes it very easy for students to do the one thing they are always told to do at a conference: network, network, network!

No Canadian Obesity Summit is complete without our evening socials! From visiting the Canadian Museum of Nature, trivia night, playing pool and enjoying great company with lively conversations – we’d say that the evening socials were a hit. These socials brought together SNPs and mentors once again for a fun and comfortable way to end the evenings. If this was your first Obesity Canada event, thank you for attending and we hope to see you again. If you have yet to attend an Obesity Canada event, let us be the first to tell you, they’re amazing!

Finally, recognition is the greatest motivator (Gerald C. Eakedale). On behalf of Obesity Canada’s Students and New Professionals National Executive, congratulations to the 2019 recipients of the honorary SNP awards.  

  1. Rising Star – Dr. Rebecca Liu
  2. Chapter of the Year – University of Waterloo
  3. Faculty Supervisor of the Year – Dr. Chris Ardern
  4. Pedometer Challenge Chapter Winner – University of Western Ontario

Before we end this blog post, remember to stay tuned for Obesity Canada’s call for SNPs National Executive applications.

Taniya & Nadia

(OC-SNP Chair & Vice Chair)