Emily Rugel


Name: Emily Rugel
Graduate Program: PhD
Award: Bridge CIHR Strategic Training Fellowship (2012-2015)

“Travelling around the globe and seeing how public health concerns deepen existing inequalities motivated me.”

Emily Rugel’s travelling experiences ultimately shaped her pathway towards completing a Master of Public Health degree in 2006 at Portland State University. During a Presidential Management Fellowship at the U.S. National Institutes of Health, she came to the realization that her primary interest was in the design and development of healthy, sustainable cities.

Through SPPH, Emily enrolled in the Bridge Program. The Bridge Program previously provided students in the UBC Faculties of Medicine, Engineering, and Interdisciplinary Studies with funding to support their studies and research. This gave her the opportunity to expand her knowledge by researching various design strategies to improve public health.

Focusing on improving urban individuals’ mental health, Emily’s thesis highlights the need to provide equitable access to high-quality natural spaces for all residents. Her interests also include gentrification and the health impacts associated with redevelopment.

“I really enjoy the opportunity to interact with individuals seeking to improve their health and the chance to work directly with communities to help them advocate for change.”

After graduating from the PhD program at SPPH, Emily hopes to work with a community-based organization or governmental public health department, focusing on participatory research.

Emily’s most valuable knowledge obtained while at SPPH “has been the inspiration provided by the breadth of my fellow students’ research interests. It’s easy to get tunnel vision in a Ph.D. program, but I can always count on the other members of my cohort, and future colleagues, to provide a new perspective.”

More information about SPPH’s PhD Program