Alumni Profiles

MPH graduates go on to obtain exciting roles in a variety of fields. Recognizing that new opportunities might arise for our alumni, the following profiles were current at the time the information was provided.


Ashley Vanderlaan (Graduated 2011)
Manager, Epidemiology & Evaluation, Planning & Business Improvement, City of Hamilton Public Health Services

Guelph’s MPH program prepared me to work at the local public health level by offering a comprehensive curriculum in epidemiology, public health policy, evaluation and health promotion, as well as strengthening my skills in communication, knowledge translation, critical thinking and project management; these are all essential competencies for public health professionals. Guelph’s MPH Practicum afforded me the opportunity to gain valuable work experience with the Public Health Agency of Canada and opened doors for me in terms of future employment opportunities with the City of Hamilton. I began working for the City of Hamilton Public Health Services in 2012 and have held several different positions during this time as a Research Analyst, Epidemiologist and Manager for the Epidemiology & Evaluation team. Guelph’s MPH program provided me with a solid foundation to pursue my career goals in public health.

I have many favourite aspects of the MPH program at the University of Guelph! To name a few, I really enjoyed the small, intimate cohort size of our class. Because of the small class size, student peers often collaborated on projects which enhanced and enriched the learning experience. During my time at Guelph, I made life-long friends and established networks in the public health field. Guelph’s faculty are excellent, knowledgeable and engaged and I credit the MPH program for instilling my passion for public health.


Nicole Britten (Graduated 2012)
Advisor, Policy & Advocacy, Region of Peel Health Services

The program provided me with a good foundation for working in the health sector. Evidence-informed decision making skills, strategic thinking about complex problems, and an understanding of the policy process were all key learnings from the program that I continue to use in my work today.

I really appreciated the breadth and flexibility of the program that allowed me to learn a little bit about everything, while taking elective courses that aligned with my own interests. The opportunity to complete a practicum was also invaluable to gain real world experience and apply what you are learning in the program.


Elizabeth Choi (Graduated 2013)
Senior Program and Policy Population and Public Health Division, Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care Contract lecturer, School of Occupational and Public Health, Ryerson University

The MPH program helped prepare me tackle the complex challenges that currently exist in public health. The program is designed to facilitate a comprehensive understanding of advanced public health and exposes students to new opportunities in this field. Personally, the program gave me the confidence to explore new roles in public health and the practicum work placement helped to launch my career in policy development.

One of the most valuable aspects of the MPH program is the ability to engage in small-class discussion with a diverse peer group who are keenly interested in public health. The connections made in this program continues to be a strong network both personal and professionally.


Alexandra Fournier (Graduated 2013)
Health Promotion Specialist, Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health

As a Health Promotion Specialist, I routinely apply numerous health promotion strategies in my projects and often work across a variety of health topics. The University of Guelph’s MPH program provides students with unique opportunities to build their knowledge and capacity in the various competencies and topics encompassed within public health. From research methodology and statistical analysis, to program evaluation and health communication, this well-rounded and comprehensive program provides a strong foundation for a career in the public health sector. Combined with a practicum placement and numerous opportunities to network with and learn from public health professionals, the MPH program enabled me to pursue a variety of career opportunities in health promotion in the public and non-profit sectors and at regional, provincial and federal levels of government.

My favourite aspect of the MPH program was a group assignment in the Public Health Administration course, where we partnered with a local public health unit to develop a project plan based on community and public health priorities. This assignment gave us real-world experience in developing a project plan from start to finish while working with community members and the public health sector.


Zoe Martos (Graduated 2013)
Manager Climate Change Communications and Knowledge Mobilization

The MPH program prepared me for working in the public sector through helping me build a diverse skill set including evaluation, administration, planning, and research. It has given me flexibility for moving between different topic areas and building my communications skills over time. Since the program, I have worked in various government roles both within and outside of the realm of public health. This has led me to a career in climate change, where I’m in a dynamic field that combines my interests in program and community development, and communication and outreach.

I really enjoyed the Communications courses because they were very practical and hands-on. Coming from a background in science, it was very refreshing to practice my communication skills, especially creating specific written products and developing presentation skills. These are skills that I have used at every position since the program, and continue to make use of daily.


Melissa Cummings (Graduated 2014)
Health Promotion Specialist

The program was tailored to meet the current needs of public health organizations in Canada. The knowledge and skills I developed throughout the program helps me to meet and exceed the expectations of my coworkers, managers, and directors. I had no trouble finding suitable employment after graduation because of the public health competencies learned throughout the program.

I enjoyed the diversity and collaboration opportunities within the program. In my cohort, my peers came from different fields within public health which always led to interesting discussion. There was also a wide range of electives to choose from to help us shape our individual educational paths.


Etran Bouchouar (Graduated 2014)
Panorama Community Health Nurse (Public Health Informatics)

The MPH program has been integral to my development as a public health professional. It provided me with the knowledge and skills to make positive contributions towards addressing emerging public health issues, developing healthy public policies, and reducing health inequities.

Since graduating from the MPH program I have worked with remarkable leaders and professionals in various levels of government in Canada and internationally in a variety of roles. This includes working as a Nurse Epidemiologist with the Public Health Agency of Canada providing policy and epidemiologic support to senior officials on influenza and emerging respiratory pathogens. During this period, I was also mobilized as an on-site lead Epidemiologist in Dubreka, Guinea as part of the World Health Organization’s largest coordinated emergency operation for Ebola. Currently, I am working with new and innovative technologies to better enable and support the management of communicable diseases, outbreaks, and immunizations in Yukon.

The University of Guelph’s MPH program allowed me to acquire proficiency in a broad range of core competencies in public health and provided insight into the integration of theory and practice through relevant, practical and applicable assignments. I benefitted from the flexibility we were given for various assignments, where we could select special topics of study that aligned with our own interests. A critical highlight was the opportunity we were given to meet and work directly with organizations. In addition to the MPH capstone, I could work with Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health in my Public Health Administration course and with Newfoundland and Labrador’s Communicable Disease Control Division in my Studies in Population Medicine course.

I am forever grateful for the role the program played in shaping my public health practice and providing me the tools and mindset to be an effective public health practitioner.


Alessia Borgo (Graduated 2017)
Health Policy Analyst, Cancer Care Ontario

The MPH program at the University of Guelph is definitely unique program. The depth and breadth of topics I studied over the course of the program have provided me with a wide range of knowledge and experience within public health. In particular, I enjoyed the community-engaged courses and practicum placement, which gave me the opportunity to apply theory-based concepts to real-world situations. Most importantly, without the continuous support and encouragement from the professors and administrative staff at the University, I would not be where I am today.

My favourite aspect of the MPH program at the University of Guelph was having the opportunity to work with and engage with my classmates. I found that I learned the most when collaborating with a diverse group of individuals who are passionate about public health. All of my favourite memories and thoughts about the program take me back to the MPH lounge, where a group of us would meet every day (and most nights), to support each other throughout our academic journey.


Michael Whyte (Graduated 2017)
Dashboard Development Specialist with local public health unit

I began my Masters of Public Health as a graduate fresh out of a Biomedical Science undergraduate degree. In my undergrad I had learned a lot about how different diseases occur, how those diseases impact the body, and how they can be treated. One recurring theme that became very familiar is that many of the diseases that impact our society are preventable. Since then, I’ve wanted to learn as much as I can about the barriers that people face in accessing good health, so that I can help make good health more equitable and achievable for everyone who wants it. The Masters of Public Health program at Guelph has given me everything that I need to be capable and well-rounded in the world of public health. I’ve had the opportunity to learn from teachers from all aspects of public health, to appreciate how federal, provincial, municipal and local efforts work together to form public health campaigns and programs. Through challenging, yet interesting projects in both individual and group settings I had the opportunity to apply the learnings through lectures and solidify the concepts that are crucial for effective public health practice. With the support of the incredible professors at Guelph, I was able to find a place in public health that suited my skills and talents. Going forward I feel that the core principles and practices of public health that I’ve learned in the program have prepared me well. With this solid foundation, the program has laid the ground work for me so that I can continue to build my skills and talents to provide the best and most innovative approaches for public health and the people we care about.

By far, my favourite aspect of the MPH program was having the opportunity to work in a real public health setting through the practicum course. The course is offered in the summer after the first year of courses, where you can apply to local and foreign public health agencies and organizations based on your interests. It is a great opportunity to take the theory and principles of public health that you learn in the first year into an environment that was both challenging and rewarding. It can be really difficult to find what kind of work you want to do, and I feel that it helped me to make a much better decision about the area of public health that I now specialize in. 


Kelsey Houston (Graduated 2018)
Infection Control Practitioner, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre

The experiences and connections I made during my MPH Practicum placement directly contributed to my gaining full-time employment with the Infection Control department at University Health Network as it allowed me the opportunity to bond with the team and prove my work ethic and passion. As an Infection Control Practitioner, a key aspect of my role is to educate staff and patients from all departments and educational backgrounds. The skills I learned during my studies in the program with respect to Knowledge Translation, Health Promotion and Communication have been invaluable to my professional success and to the safety and understanding of staff at UHN. The MPH program's coverage of Infectious Disease and Epidemiological concepts have also been integral to my nosocomial investigations and outbreak management responsibilities. I very much appreciated the program's small class sizes. This allowed me to spend quality time with the highly-qualified professors, and gain personal insight from their expertise. I also appreciated the program's flexibility in allowing me to seek out and arrange my own Practicum experience outside of the placements advertised directly to the program. The professors actively encourage each student to tailor the experience based on their future goals. By providing course coverage in a variety of Public Health topics, I feel like I graduated as a capable Public Health professional ready to meet the needs of my employer.


Stephanie Duench (Graduated 2018)
Community Health and Education Specialist, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH)

The MPH program at the University of Guelph provided me with the integral knowledge of how to plan, implement, and evaluate health programs. Through my experiences in the program, I deepened my understanding of the various health issues which impact society and the influence of the social determinants on health. I was encouraged to use my creativity to explore innovative solutions to address complex health disparities. The program provided a solid foundation in all Core Competencies for Public Health, otherwise known as the essential knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary for public health practice.

The MPH practicum was an invaluable learning experience where I was able to apply the concepts and theories learned in the classroom to real-world scenarios. The practicum reinforced my passions and career goals and allowed me to develop the skills and confidence needed to succeed post-graduation. This experience led me to my current role as a Community Health and Education Specialist at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH). 

There were ample opportunities throughout the MPH program to participate in extracurricular activities and connect with like-minded professionals. The program size was ideal for developing meaningful relationships and collaborations with my professors and peers. The diversity and breadth of the program allowed me to tailor the curriculum path to meet my needs and was essential in fostering my understanding on a wide range of topics.

If you are interested in learning more about my experiences in the MPH Program at the University of Guelph, please feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn.


Madison Wimmers (Graduated 2019)
Animal Health Information Analyst, World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) (Paris, France)

There are so many positive aspects of the MPH at the U​niversity o​f ​G​uelph that helped start me on my public health journey. First, is the broad and comprehensive offering of courses. Upon graduating, you will have been exposed to many major public health themes and disciplines. I believe this familiarity with many different topics and the adaptability which follows allows you to become an asset in the workplace, as there is a solid foundational base of knowledge that can easily be built upon. For me specifically, the strong affiliation with OVC was one of the primary drivers for choosing the MPH at the University o​f G​uelph. My main public health interest is the intersection of human and animal health. The MPH directly draws on the strengths and depth of knowledge at OVC, and the One Health perspective is built into every course. I believe this, in addition to a well-placed practicum within OMAFRA (with which the MPH program has excellent ties), provided me with a strong base for my current position in an international animal health organization.

Strong project management skills, critical thinking, problem solving, and collaboration were emphasized during the program and are necessary skills to excel within the public health field. As well, the communication and knowledge translation courses are extremely valuable, even when not working directly in these public health fields. These skills are incredibly transferrable​, and personally I have found myself drawing on these concepts while communicating with stakeholders and colleagues who are often non-native English speakers.

In addition, the general environment of the MPH program was a significant benefit. Peers and professors alike were incredibly supportive. The small cohort size and small class sizes allowed for the time to work meaningfully with each other. As well, the program draws students from a wide variety of different academic and professional backgrounds. Different perspectives, inputs and topics of interest made for interesting and well-rounded discussions. Overall, I feel that as I continue to embark on my public health journey, whatever that looks like, I have a strong educational base.


Amanda Lien (Graduated 2020)
Epidemiologist, Laboratory Incident Notification Canada, Centre for Biosecurity, Public Health Agency of Canada

Guelph’s MPH program provided me with the opportunity to explore different areas of Public Health, including health promotion, public health policy, epidemiology, and infectious diseases. Applying the various skills and knowledge offered by the wide breadth of courses and experiences that the program provided allowed me to excel and stand out in my practicums and ultimately secure post-graduate employment. The path to my current role was paved by connections made through the MPH program’s practicums.

I had a fantastic experience with the program! I enjoyed the curriculum’s incorporation of the connection between animal and environmental health with human health, due to the program’s unique affiliation with the Ontario Veterinary College. The learning environment was engaging because of the small cohort size and highly knowledgeable and supportive faculty. The optional independent project courses allowed for deeper learning and real-world experience in specific topics that I wanted to pursue further. This diverse program not only prepared me to work in the public health sector but also allowed me to discover what areas of public health I am passionate about.


If you are a graduate of the University of Guelph's Master of Public Health program and would like to stay in touch, please send your updated contact information to Dr. Andrew Papadopoulos (MPH Coordinator).