Today’s blog comes from Rebecca Christensen. Rebecca is a PhD Candidate in Epidemiology at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health. In addition, she is currently the Out-Going Vice-Chair on the OC-SNP National Executive. 

The experience of being a mentor can be exceedingly rewarding. You get the ability to share your wisdom, but also get to help nurture someone to find their own passions and succeed in their chosen field.  

On the flip side, having a great mentor is invaluable. They can help introduce you to areas you had no idea about before, and also be a source of guidance when navigating new situations. 

I have been fortunate enough to experience both, by which I mean having exceptional mentors and getting to mentor volunteers and students at various stages of their careers. These are experiences I would not give up for all the money in the world as they have had a profound impact on who I have become. 

However, I still remember how difficult it was trying to find good, quality mentors. What was perhaps even more difficult was knowing what to do once you think you have found a good one. The Obesity Canada – Students and New Professionals (OC-SNP) Executive wants to help make this process easier. Therefore, we put together a fantastic panel of four amazing mentors in the field of obesity. They will share their experiences about being a mentor, but also their tricks and tips on how to approach a mentor, especially during the new primarily virtual world during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

This panel will be taking place on February 24th, 2021 from 1pm to 3pm ET via Zoom. Please RSVP here for the event. A zoom link will be sent to you before the event. 

The four fantastic mentors that we have lined up include:

  • Dr. Taniya S. Nagal – a Mitacs-funded Post-Doctoral Fellow with the University of Ottawa and the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada. Her research aims to understand weight stigma during reproductive years and the effect on biopsychosocial maternal and newborn outcomes
  • Dr. Rebecca Puhl – a Professor of Human Development and Family Sciences at the University of Connecticut. She leads research and policy efforts aimed at reducing weight-based stigma and discrimination. 
  • Dr. Stephanie-May Ruchat – an Associate Professor at the Department of Human Kinetics, Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières. Her research focuses on the role of preconception, prenatal and postnatal physical activity and sedentary behaviour on maternal and neonatal health. 
  • Dr. Andre Tchernof – a Professor at Laval University School of Nutrition. His research interests relate to the metabolic complications of obesity and body fat distribution, with a particular emphasis on adipose tissue physiology. 

We look forward to seeing you there!