SPPH students win best presentation and poster at Cascadia conference

Images credit: Becky Yost, University of Washington

School of Population and Public Health (SPPH) students Andrea Jones and Kyle Meeking won the best oral presentation and poster at the recent Cascadia Occupational, Environmental and Population Health conference.

Formerly ‘Semiahmoo’, the conference is a joint meeting of the University of Washington School of Public Health Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences & Dept of Health Services; SPPH; Simon Fraser University Faculty of Health Sciences; and Oregon State University College of Public Health and Human Sciences.

Cascadia best poster winner Kyle Meeking

Cascadia best poster winner Kyle Meeking with Associate Professor Christopher McLeod

Faculty from across Canada were some of the 100 attendees at the conference, and SPPH students, post-doctoral fellows and faculty chaired sessions, presented to conference attendees, took part in the Ignite sessions and submitted posters.

Doctoral student Andrea Jones (pictured) won best oral presentation for her research ‘Anxiety disorders and return-towork following musculoskeletal injury,’ and said it was validating to know that the audience understood her message and saw value in the topic.

Ms. Jones said she had been working over the past few years to improve her presentation skills, and found UBC Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies’ presentation workshops helps, as well as speaking in front of groups as often as she can. As well, a dry run with her research group helped win the award. And as a final tip, “practice – a lot!”

Ms. Jones said the conference was very supportive of students, including those looking to present their research, and featured presentations on a wide variety of topics.

“It made me realize that there is a lot of great public and occupational health research being conducted right here in this corner of the world.”
Cascadia best oral presentation winner Andrea Jones

Master of Science in Occupational and Environmental Hygiene student Kyle Meeking won best poster, and said based on the high quality of all the research presented, he was surprised and honoured to win.

The conference was a great opportunity to connect with other academics within the field of occupational, environmental and public health while getting a good grasp on its state in the Pacific North West, he said.

His tips for creating award-winning posters include to keep it simple.

“A few well constructed and clear figures is a great way communicate a lot of data.”
Cascadia best poster winner Kyle Meeking

Conference organizer Associate Professor Christopher McLeod said the conference was a great success. The event created a community of students with similar interests from five universities, a community which could last for years, he said.

“It’s a welcoming opportunity for students to share their research no matter what stage it’s in, and they get great feedback.”
Cascadia organizer Associate Professor Christopher McLeod

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