Spotlight on Staff: Kaitlyn Shannon

One of the School of Population and Public Health (SPPH)’s greatest assets is the people that support important research and facilitate the education of health leaders. In this new series, we will be featuring some of our incredible staff so you can get to know them better and learn about their impressive backgrounds.

Meet Kaitlyn Shannon! Kaitlyn is the Senior Education Manager at SPPH, having joined the team in March of this year.

Kaitlyn Shannon

What attracted you to SPPH?

The COVID-19 pandemic has illustrated the ongoing importance and relevance of public health, and I’m honoured to support the graduate programs that are training Canada’s researchers and public health professionals. It’s exciting to work in a field that has such a positive impact on our communities.

What was your own graduate experience like? Do you have any advice for incoming students?

I completed my MSc in International Relations at the London School of Economics in London, UK, where I focused on EU foreign policy. With classmates from all around the world, it was truly an international experience. I’ve kept in close touch with a few friends from my program and have been lucky enough to visit them in places like Denmark, Japan and Cambodia.

To incoming students, my advice is to deliberately incorporate non-school activities into your weekly schedule. Whether it’s a video call with a friend, an outdoor activity, or reading a book, regularly setting aside time for yourself will rejuvenate your energy and help you focus.

What’s one thing on your bucket list?

I’d like to travel to northern Canada see the aurora borealis!

What did you do before this?

Prior to joining SPPH, I worked at Mitacs, a national non-profit organization that supports research collaborations between academia and industry. I managed their suite of international programs.

How would you describe your role? What is your favourite part? What is the most challenging part or something new you have had to learn?

In my role, I oversee the delivery of the SPPH graduate programs, in collaboration with the fabulous members of the SPPH Education team. I enjoy working with the team to find creative ways to make our operations more efficient. Since I joined SPPH in March, I’ve had to learn how to build professional relationships with my colleagues in a virtual environment. I’m thankful to be able to access technology to help me with these connections.

Who or what inspires you?

Along with so many others, I’m currently inspired by Dr. Bonnie Henry, who has demonstrated that effective leaders can be kind and compassionate.

What do you like to do for fun?

I love hiking, camping and exploring the beautiful Pacific Northwest. One of the highlights of my summer was watching the sunrise from atop a mountain during a backpacking trip along the Sunshine Coast trail.