“I wanted to be part of something bigger and felt that this program and the professors in this department would foster that type of experience for me.”
Sarah Lake is a graduate student, a teacher, and researcher. This St. Francis Xavier graduate was first drawn to the Mount’s Master of Science in Applied Human Nutrition because the program offered small class sizes, the option to complete the Internship Education Program, and the chance to work at a leading school in community and action-based research.
“Isaw my participation in this program as an opportunity to engage in upstream approaches to health and nutrition,” she says. “I suppose I wanted to be part of something bigger and felt that this program and the professors in this department would foster that type of experience for me.”
Intersecting passions: Research, social justice, nutrition and health
As a student in the MSc AHN program, Sarah has worked as a research assistant on several projects, seeing firsthand how community-based research can translate into action and change.
“My work and involvement with FoodARC (Food Action Research Centre) has certainly been a highlight of my time in this program,” says Sarah. “Under the mentorship of Dr. Patricia Williams (a professor in the nutrition department and the director of FoodARC) I have been able to build my capacity as a researcher and future health professional. She has instilled in me a passion for issues of social justice and a realization for how these issues intersect with nutrition and health.”
Personal and professional growth
Sarah’s work with the FoodARC has been both a valuable professional experience, as well as a personally transformative one. She feels that she’s grown as an individual, and that she’s now well equipped to enter whatever role or opportunity that may present itself in the future.
“My experiences through this degree have certainly strengthened my personal convictions, values and beliefs of what determines health—something that will always influence the ways in which I approach my role as a professional.”
While Sarah ranks the research opportunities that came with her MSc AHN program as one of the most rewarding aspects of her studies, she’s also enjoying a new challenge: teaching. Last year, Sarah joined the Applied Human Nutrition faculty as a part-time instructor. And she hopes that the professional experience she’s gained in both teaching and research will help pave the way for a future career as a university professor.
“What this degree has enabled me to do is to find my passion – where I ‘fit’ within the field of nutrition and dietetics.”