Today’s post comes from Audrey St-Laurent in collaboration with six OC-SNP chapters. Audrey is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Nutrition at Laval University. She is also the current Chair of the OC-SNP National Executive.
Six OC-SNP chapters generously provided the OC-SNP National Executive with their thoughts on what makes them unique and why students and new professionals should join their chapter. Here are their responses!
What makes your chapter unique ?
Our chapter fosters an interdisciplinary team where anyone can join as we acknowledge that a single discipline alone cannot address the complexity of mental health, well-being, and health-related conditions. As a chapter, we host events that represent the concerns of our community. Our “Speaker Panel on Mental Health and Wellbeing” focused on tips to adapt to changes from the current COVID-19 pandemic. The “Food Series” offered nutritious recipe ideas for students while eating on a budget. Our “Weight Stigma and Diet Culture” talks featured health professionals who spoke about the impact of weight stigma, debunked diet culture myths and gave tips on how to be more aware of fake nutrition information.
Our chapter organizes several activities such as webinars, conferences, friendly competitions, and more! Laval University Chapter works in collaboration with other organizations and experts from various domains (nutrition, kinesiology, biology, endocrinology, etc.). Our strength is our interdisciplinary network!
University of Waterloo
Each year, our goal is to engage students and new professionals from all faculties across campus in exciting events and collaborations. We are proud of the wide range of events that we put together each year to support students and new professionals in their professional and career development, as well as their health and well-being, in ways that are engaging and unique! Some of our past events include hosting Faculty debates, workshops on person-first language, case competitions, panels/webinars on topics relevant to overweight and obesity, and free fitness/yoga classes. Our group also led the development and a pilot evaluation of an online educational module that teaches students and instructors about weight bias and how to communicate about weight in applied health sciences research and education. The module has been integrated into courses within the Faculty of Health and is a resource that is readily available to students and instructors at the University of Waterloo.
University of Alberta
The University of Alberta Chapter holds diverse events catered to graduate students in obesity research and related fields. Our events are multifaceted and touch on a multitude of topics surrounding our group’s vision; these include cooking classes for students, research presentation competitions, and a speaker series discussing how various topics such as culture, society, and body image affect how we view issues surrounding obesity. Alongside this, we are also reaching out to upper-level Undergraduate students for our Research Blitz competition, an event we hold annually, to give them a platform to present their research and learn more about Graduate school experiences.
University of Toronto
At OC-SNP UofT, we focus on informing and engaging. Our Outreach team presents meaningful obesity research findings in beautiful online posts to our large social media audience. Furthermore, with events like ‘Pathway to Obesity Research’ and Student Seminars on Obesity, we aim to engage our local community in all the essential research concerning the different facets of obesity here at UofT.
The YorkU Chapter has the unique quality of being right in the center of some of the leading research on the disease of obesity. York University is a hub for some of the most esteemed researchers (such as Dr Chris Ardern who is the current Faculty Advisor of the YorkU chapter) in Canada and internationally, including a starting point for individuals to explore the field of obesity. This makes our chapter highly embedded and up-to-date with the latest discoveries and insights into the disease of obesity. Moreover, our chapter also emphasizes the multifaceted nature of obesity and encourages multiple disciplines to congregate and discuss how factors beyond science are important to acknowledge when discussing the disease of obesity. Finally, our diverse and multicultural community which spans across the globe gives the YorkU chapter a versatile set of perspectives and opinions, giving us insights into global perspectives and the importance of cultural and social impacts on obesity.
Why should students and new professionals join your chapter?
The Ryerson chapter enables students and new professionals to immerse themselves with like-minded individuals who want to inform and spread awareness of health-related resources, tools, and information. Students and new professionals can gain transferable skills that can be applied to various career paths. For instance, our club members have the opportunity to network with industry professionals for our events, develop their written communication skills through the Canva software, and work in project teams to achieve our club goals.
Our chapter members are motivated and engaged in organizing several activities and events each year. We always receive great support from our faculty supervisor and other experts in the field of obesity. Our wide network creates unique experiences and can provide many academic and professional opportunities for students and new professionals.
University of Waterloo
We are an enthusiastic group of graduate and undergraduate students who come from diverse backgrounds, including health policy, food environment, eating disorders, and mental health research. We also enjoy trying out different styles of events/workshops to engage students and new professionals in ways that go beyond the classroom. We welcome new members to bring their unique perspective to the chapter!
University of Alberta
Students and new professionals should join the University of Alberta OC-SNP Chapter to become part of a large community and network to make strong connections with other members and groups on campus and expand their career journey. Our Chapter holds many events over a year that allow members of various diverse backgrounds to join and find their interests alongside forming those important bonds and relationships with other members.
University of Toronto
As a recently revived OC-SNP Chapter, we are full of fresh energy and excitement to present you with inspiring events and a lively community here at UofT. If you want to know more about obesity research and advocacy, join us!
Students and new professionals should join our chapter because of exposure to some of the most contemporary research on the disease of obesity. Members will be up-to-date with new developments on campus and will be informed about on-going projects and initiatives. Furthermore, joining our chapter will give individuals the unique opportunity of networking with those interested in learning more about obesity which includes but is not limited to: researchers, healthcare professionals, patients, and students looking to develop a career related to obesity. We encourage individuals from all facets of life and disciplines to join our chapter because we strongly believe that the disease of obesity and better understanding it cannot be done solely through a scientific or healthcare lens, and that only through a diverse community can we as a chapter and a part of Obesity Canada, improve the field of obesity.
Wherever you are in Canada, we hope to welcome you soon in our OC-SNP family! You can either join an existing chapter or start up a new one! For more information on how to proceed, please contact the OC-SNP National Executive Committee at firstname.lastname@example.org.