Under the Same Stars: An Arctic Winter on North Baffin Island

By Acacia Johnson

On February 1st, 2015, four days away from the long awaited return of the sun, the sky glows brighter daily.  Jetstreams and distant clouds have begun to glow a fiery orange around noon. I stare at the mountains, ever-reflecting the sky, and my heart skips a beat – is that sunlight, that soft magenta? A first glimpse of alpenglow? Again I am deceived, and I begin to wonder if I even remember what sun looks like.

I arrived in Arctic Bay, Nunavut, on the first of November. One of the northernmost communities on Baffin Island, at 73 degrees north, Arctic Bay is home to around 700 people, the majority of whom are Inuit. I came here on a Fulbright scholarship for the dark season, the heart of winter, to pursue a photography project exploring human relationships to winter landscape. Growing up in Anchorage, Alaska, I had always felt a profound connection to the wilderness, but my family’s history within it only goes back two generations. I wanted to experience Baffin Island, to immerse myself in a culture whose relationship with the land goes back thousands of years, and see where my experiences overlapped with those of people here.

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Arctic Bay Town View

My original idea was to photograph specific sites in the landscape that hold historical and cultural importance, even in today’s modern context, but this would change and evolve as time passed. After two months in Toronto, researching and working with negatives from Nunavut, I arrived in Arctic Bay with very little idea of how to begin. I moved into an apartment with a young couple and their three kids. The father of the family traveled for work twice a week to the old mining site of Nanisivik as a wildlife monitor. In the first weeks he let me join him on a 35km skidoo trip over the sea ice and allowed me to stop along the way to photograph the scenery, and look for polar bear tracks. It was during the first of these trips, on November 5th – four days after my arrival – that we stopped the skidoo and watched the sun sink below the horizon one last time.

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Joseph Kigutaq driving home from work in the last glimpse of sunlight before winter.

Life in town was more challenging for me to adjust to. Many people seemed to spend most of their free time on their iPads and watching television, whereas I was eager to get out of the house, meet people, and have new experiences. In time, though, I figured out the schedule for weekly events I could attend: women’s floor hockey, community dances, church services, and the Youth Committee, where elders gather to pass on traditional knowledge. Soon I befriended an elder with a dog team, who let me accompany him onto the land in exchange for dog food. I found it magical, speeding across the sea ice under the omnipresent glow of the North Star. In the quiet hours on the dogsled, he told me stories and taught me about the land: places where people had lived, places where birds nest in the summer, places that were used for traditional seal hunting etc. I have been told that seal hunting is integral to life here, and with the astronomical cost and often, low nutritional value of store-bought groceries, any opportunity to eat “country food” is embraced. With great respect for nature, traditional knowledge emphasizes that no part of the animal is to be wasted, and you will often find hunters helping their neighbors by also providing them with food. “Because we live in darkness,” a friend commented, “God gave us seals.”

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Peugatuk Ettuk drives his dog team along the base of the St. George Society Cliffs.

Between these trips and my weekly journeys to Nanisivik, I realized that my initial project idea – to focus on landscape sites that are important to people – would not be nearly as compelling as photographing what people do in the landscape, or in the winter in general, on a daily basis. The photographs I took of the landscape sites looked generic and uninteresting: yet another pretty, snowy landscape, with little to differentiate between them. When I tried to visually construct meaning within them, it felt forced. Instead, I was drawn magnetically to the seal hunters we frequently encountered on the land, and the people who spend weekends at their cabins.

While I photograph with my large-format analog camera as often as possible, digital is certainly more practical on the back of a moving skidoo in the dark! The best camera is the one you have with you, I always remind myself. Evidently, the cold and darkness have been a factor, with temperatures ranging between -10F (in November) and -40F (in February). From that last glimpse of sun in November, Arctic Bay plunged rapidly into darkness. The moon took on the role of the sun, rising and setting with its magnificent glow; by December, the North Star hung alone in the sky all day long. Yet contrary to what many may believe, we never experienced true 24-hour darkness. Even on the darkest day of the year, a gentle twilight marked the middle of the day, illuminating the reflective snow that blankets the land. Now, in the last days of the polar night, there is something comparable to broad daylight for about five hours a day. The cold will intensify for about a month after the sun returns.

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Polar bear tracks on the way to Nanisivik.

Due to the temperatures,  people are reluctant to take me with them out on the land, finding these opportunities have been my biggest challenge. I soon realized that much of life during the winter is spent indoors. I therefore I began photographing people in this setting as well, ultimately embracing the indoor culture that keeps most people entertained during the winter. Perhaps one of my best indoor activities has been learning to sew, since it gave me the opportunity to bond with the girls and women of the community. Sewing is an integral part of Inuit culture, and is still practiced today. I have now sewn three pairs of mittens, have started a parka, and hope to learn to make kamiks – sealskin boots – before I leave. Traditionally, men could get married once they were good hunters, had a dog team, and could build an igloo; women could get married when they had learned to sew. Everyone jokes that I’m almost eligible, but I always say I would love to have the men’s skills instead!

johnson_fulbrightblog13My friend Jemma Tatatoapik in front of her home, where I have learned a lot about sewing.

 

As I finish writing this, a few days have passed, and the sun is expected to appear in town tomorrow. Already it paints the highest mountaintops around midday, and anticipation builds in the streets. A subtle orange glow lingers over the clear horizon, and I am preparing the first part of a free photography workshop I’m holding for the community. My last month here will be a cold one, but imbued with new energy, sunlight, and the ever-increasing warmth of my friendships here in Arctic Bay. At the end of the month, I must return to Toronto – to work through my negatives and create a traveling exhibition – but I know in my heart it’s not over. Having wintered here, I will return one day, in the spring, to join the town in celebrating the return of life. This I know. This is only a beginning.

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Acacia Johnson

Acacia Johnson is a photographic artist devoted to capturing the magic of the Circumpolar North around the world. Born and raised in Alaska, she has also spent several years living in northern Norway, and works seasonally as an expedition guide and photography lecturer in Greenland and the Canadian Arctic. A recent graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design, she has exhibited her photographs internationally and has work in collections at the Rhode Island School of Design Museum and the Smithsonian Museum of American History. With the support of a Fulbright Canada Student Award, she has been able to realize a long-standing dream: to spend a winter living on the north of Baffin Island in the Canadian Arctic, learning about people’s relationship to the winter landscape and creating photographs to illustrate these findings. She hopes to continue combining her passion for the Arctic with photography, writing and education throughout her lifetime.

Please check out Acacia’s website: acaciajohnson.com

Following the Oil Trail: From Alberta to British Columbia

Posted by Ann Chen in Fulbright National Geographic Stories on January 28, 2015

Ann Chen Jan 28 2015

VANCOUVER, BC – It’s nearing the end of January, and I am close to four months into my storytelling project, documenting the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline that will carry oil from the Athabasca oil sands in northern Alberta to the British Columbia coast. From the oil boom town of Fort McMurray, where the oil is mined to the unpopulated edge of the industrial city of Fort Saskatchewan where the pipeline will begin, I spent my first three months in Alberta tracing the path of the pipeline as well as researching the presence and significance of oil in the province. Where the oil is being extracted is as significant to this story as where it will be transported.

I’ve been in Vancouver since the beginning of January and will spend the next four and half months in British Columbia. This time, I will follow the pipeline route in reverse, starting with the oil tanker routes through the Hecate Strait between the the Haida Gwaii and the mainland coast back towards the port city of Kitimat, also the end terminal for the Northern Gateway Pipeline. Traveling via ferry along the British Columbia coast, navigating the numerous islands and coastal inlets is a trip I’ve dreamed of making though I’ve always pictured it taking place in the summer instead of the dead of winter. It will be amazing, my new Canadian friends tell me, but do you have to go in February? Make sure you bring some antiemetics, they add.

Traveling these coastal waters in winter conditions is precisely what I want to experience. The British Columbia coast is known for its intricate shorelines, thousands of islands and deep inlets. It’s been compared to the fjord-laden geographies of Norway and southern Chile and are known for being difficult to navigate, particularly in the winter. Opponents of the pipeline include Coastal First Nations, an alliance of British Columbia’s Coastal First Nations who are concerned that an oil spill would have huge environmental and socioeconomic impacts in the region. Enbridge and some experts from the maritime and shipping community say the risk of a spill is lower than the critics might believe. While my ferry route won’t exactly follow the same one as the oil tankers, there will be a few overlapping moments during my journey and I will be able to experience firsthand what the conditions will be like at the worst time of the year.

From Alberta to British Columbia

Since I arrived in Edmonton in early October, the price of crude oil has fallen considerably. Even if you don’t follow the news, it’s impossible to ignore the low gas prices at the pump. A friend from Edmonton told me earlier this week that gas is now at 68 Canadian cents per liter. Four months earlier it was hovering at $1.14. While the 46 cents savings is being embraced on the consumer level, I can’t help but wonder how it will affect the workers in the industry. I also wonder, how is Enbridge thinking about the Northern Gateway in relation to oil prices?

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On my most recent trip up to Fort McMurray in early December, I stayed with a young family originally from Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. My host has been working in Fort McMurray for the last ten or so years as an electrician at various oil companies. He was on a rare day off while I was visiting. He had been on the job for close to a month without a break. I asked him how the volatility in the oil price was affecting his work. He told me the changes were affecting construction projects and not existing production ones and that given his tenure with the company, his position, working on existing projects was secure. I asked him what other changes he’s seen, in the past decade of working in the industry. There was more demand for trade work, he noticed, more interest in entering vocational schools for high school graduates. He also saw changes within corporations too. Things are more restrained now, he told me, compared to the rampant development of the early 2000s. Everything is more controlled, projects are developed in phases. Instead of hiring thousands of workers at a time, the companies are acting more conservatively. I was surprised by what he was telling me, how the changes in global oil prices could affect the day to day operations on an oil sands extraction site with such speed, such that construction for a new extraction project could be put on hold indefinitely.

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Apart from similar drops in consumer prices at the gas pump, it is more difficult to see the socio-economic ramifications of falling oil prices in British Columbia. As I begin my research in British Columbia, I am seeing that temperature, climate and landscape aren’t the only differences between these two provinces. Opposition to the Northern Gateway Pipeline feels much stronger in British Columbia than in Alberta, where lives and livelihoods seem more complexly intertwined with the oil industry. Just last Sunday, I attended a town hall style event held at the Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre Society where MP (Member of Parliament) Nathan Cullen spoke out forcefully against the pipeline, introducing Bill C-628, which seeks to block oil tanker traffic along the northern British Columbia coastline. Almost every seat was filled, with many people leaning against three walls of the gymnasium. At roughly 250 people, it was the largest crowd of anti-pipeline supporters I’ve seen in Canada since attending the Tar Sands Healing Walk in June 2014. Compare this with a similar anti-pipelines talk I attended in Calgary, Alberta, organized by Greenpeace in early October which gathered maybe 20-30 audience members.

It feels too soon to begin drawing conclusions, especially since I’ve only just arrived in British Columbia. This is a complex issue that becomes ever more so as I dig deep into my research. The question I keep coming back to is, what is it about the Northern Gateway Pipeline Project that hits such a nerve? When I started on this journey, it seemed much clearer to me. Here was a proposal for a new energy infrastructure that would pass through pristine watersheds, crossing hundreds of fish-bearing streams with the potential to pollute human communities and untouched wilderness. Indigenous, non-indigenous, human or non-human, all who depend upon these natural ecosystems are concerned about this potentially disruptive project. But LNG (liquefied natural gas) pipelines are being proposed and approved in the very places where Northern Gateway is being blocked. Why does the Northern Gateway Pipeline Project drum up so much attention and controversy? This is a question I will be asking myself and others I meet, as I journey up north in the upcoming months.

Coming Up: DIY Aerial Photography and Mapping

A significant portion of my research will be produced by a set of grassroots mapping tools developed by the The Public Laboratory for Open Technology and Science or Public Lab for short. In addition to using these tools to create aerial images of public areas along the proposed pipeline route, I will also be leading training workshops in the communities I visit, so the ability to create community-derived cartographic data based on local knowledge are in the hands of the community itself. My last few posts focused more on sharing my experiences in unraveling the story of oil and a pipeline in two provinces. In my next post, I will describe in more detail the technical and creative aspects of my project and how flying a kite can produce high-quality data. But first, if you live in the Vancouver area and are free this Saturday, January 31st, I will be leading a DIY Aerial Photography and Mapping Workshop at the offices of Ecotrust in downtown Vancouver. RSVP if you would like to join.

 

Ann Chen is a multimedia artist and researcher from New York City. She is currently in Western Canada tracing the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline through collective storytelling, community mapping and citizen science. Follow Ann on TwitterInstagram, Facebook, or her blog.

Dr. Catherine Kreatsoulas: Friday’s featured fulbrighter in celebration of International Education Week #IEW2014

Energy. Ideas. Vision. Exchange. Collaboration. Dreaming big. Striving higher.

Dr. Catherine Kreatsoulas, Fulbright Student 2011-2012

Upon being awarded a Fulbright Canada Scholarship, as a clinical epidemiologist, I went to Harvard University to broaden my scope by studying social epidemiology. As it turns out, that was just the beginning!  I study angina, the cardinal manifestation of heart disease, from a gender-centered perspective.  There is a prevailing perception that heart disease is a “man’s disease”, despite being the leading cause of mortality and morbidity in women.  Understanding symptoms is critical to both the individual experiencing them and to the clinician assessing them.  In a series of progressive studies, I investigated angina symptoms in men and women and mapped them onto blockages in the arteries of their heart. Surprisingly, and against prevailing thought, I found that symptoms are remarkably similar between men and women but differ greatly in the way they are expressed.  This study was published in JAMA Internal Medicine and my controversial findings received substantial media attention. I was on live television, radio, satellite radio, and picked up by multiple news outlet sources.

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A few weeks ago, at the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress, I presented a featured research presentation on the “Symptomatic Tipping Point” where I explored the differences between men and women in the decision-making process and the reasons that prompted them to seek medical attention for their cardiac symptoms.  This study also received wide media attention, including coverage in the Huffington Post, the Times of London, heart.org, and many others.  I believe that the reason for the media attention is the unique and evolving lens that I bring to my work, in addition to the fact that heart disease is very much a woman’s disease as well.

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Dr. Catherine Kreatsoulas receiving Greek America Top 40 under 40 2014 Award

I was deeply honoured and excited to receive the Fulbright Canada award, but did not know what to expect when I first moved to Boston. Now, three years later, I can honestly attest to this being the biggest life and career changing experience and I feel blessed to have been given this opportunity.  In addition to the professional benefits of enriching my skill set, expanding both my vision and my collaborative network, and growing as an independent researcher, I have also grown as a person in my sense of self.   I now dream big, with the confidence to pursue my dreams.  I approach barriers and devise solutions to overcome them.  My work in angina is now expanding to use methods embedded in artificial intelligence, and in collaboration with researchers at MIT, I am carving out new field.  This experience has allowed me to think outside the box, to move the needle in a whole new direction, and develop a new methodology evolving alongside developments in technology.  By addressing this important issue in a novel way, beyond the scientific contribution of this work, I believe it will have beneficial implications in medicine improving the health care among patients.

AHA presentation Nov 18 2014

I am excited about the new direction of my work. I feel inspired and energized to pursue my innovation. I have expanded my vision and new ideas are born. This Fulbright Canada exchange has allowed me the opportunity to establish new collaborative networks, expand my reach, and while I strive for population impact. I am grateful for the support from Fulbright Canada and I look forward to fostering and expanding my collaborative network while I pursue even bigger dreams.

Catherine Kreatsoulas, PhD
Fulbright Student 2011-2012
Harvard School of Public Health
Department of Social and Behavioural Sciences

Dr. Brian Culp: Thursday’s featured fulbrighter in celebration of International Education Week #IEW2014

 

Health is a Ball of Wealth

Dr. Brian Culp, Fulbright Visiting Research Chair in The Person and Society 2014-2015, Concordia University

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My work revolves around understanding why people move and how to break down barriers for those who cannot, due to the lack of opportunity or other barriers. My excitement at being chosen as Fulbright Chair in the Person and Society at Concordia University was primarily because of emerging trends that are impactful for other cities in North America. First, Montreal is striving to meet the challenge of preserving the local heritage amidst the growing trend of internationalization. Second, people aren’t participating in near enough health-enhancing behaviors, particularly as it relates to physical activity and increasingly as it relates to physical activity among indigenous populations, persons of color and immigrant groups.

An emerging body of research has attempted to identify reasons for this. These include language barriers, policies and regulations that have worked against underrepresented populations, and the lack of health initiatives that are culturally responsive. In a lecture that I gave a few weeks ago in an intervention in human systems course, I began talking about this using a simple object: A beach ball.  Why?

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A beach ball is an object that most of us can relate to. It’s relatively inexpensive. Most of us have experienced hitting a beach ball in a recreational format or seen one being hit among a group of people. When the group is small, you have a better opportunity to participate. There is a feeling of accomplishment when we strike the ball and if it makes us feel good we want to do it more.

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Adding more people to the group gives fewer opportunities for participation. This adds to the level of frustration for many. If you ever witness a group of people involved in this sort of activity, invariably, you will begin to see the following: 1) the few who have the knowledge and means of communication to strategize for control of the ball 2) others who feel as if they cannot compete but are not compelled to change the task and 3) those who leave after realizing that they do not have the knowledge and cannot compete in a task they felt initially confident about. The beach ball being hit is health, which many of us take for granted. In theory, health-enhancing behaviors can be demonstrated by all, but we have not had a history of effectively engaging diverse groups in providing this knowledge over the course of North American history.

As simple as this example sounds, it is at the foundation of the two projects that I am currently involved in. The first is a collaborative effort between the University of Regina, First Nations University of Canada and the University of Saskatchewan to try to promote Healthy Active Living among Indigenous Youth at a Tipi Camp in Saskatchewan. Indigenous youth are Canada’s fastest growing demographic and have health risks that are impacted by the structure of physical activity in schools and community, economic practices and access to knowledge on healthy behavior. The overall goal is to promote interventions that decrease sedentary behavior while providing agency and leadership opportunities for youth.

The second project is a recent initiative with PHE Canada. We Belong is a program that engages community groups to participate in newcomer youth engagement through physical activity. In particular, it engages sport and physical activity as a means of health, integration and socialization. Community groups in common geographic areas will be gathering on a weekly basis for face-to-face meetings and asset building activities.

Both of these projects have been enhanced by the Fulbright Canada experience. I am confident that this work will help us shed light on interventions that can provide a social benefit through the promotion of health enhancing behaviors in communities.

I guarantee you’ll never think about a beach ball in the same way again.

Brian Culp, Ed.D.
Fulbright Visiting Research Chair in The Person and Society 2014-2015, Concordia University
Associate Professor, Kinesiology
School of Physical Education and Tourism Management
Indiana University Purdue University, Indianapolis

Simone Bernstein: Wednesday’s featured fulbrighter in celebration of International Education Week #IEW2014

Fulbright student and passionate volunteer

By Simone Bernstein, Fulbright Canada student 2014-2015

As we recently celebrated Veteran’s Day, I give thanks to my dad and all other service members worldwide who give back and make a difference. To show our support for these individuals, I encourage youth to volunteer for organizations supporting these service members. Watching my dad leave for deployment and volunteering has changed how I view the world. Volunteering gives young people hands-on opportunities and the tools to address societal challenges, problem solve, and heal divisions within the world.

Simone in Traditional home Magazine, Classic Woman Awards 2014

Simone Bernstein, featured in Traditional home Magazine, Classic Woman Awards 2014

While young people increasingly seek out service opportunities, many struggle to find organizations willing to allow their help due to age restrictions. To help young people seek out projects in their community, my brother and I created a volunteer-run, non-profit organization called VolunTEEN Nation as a platform for teens to connect with service projects. Since the site’s establishment in 2009, more than 75,500 young people have engaged in more than a million service hours packaging letters and healthy snacks for military members, teaching violin and guitar to students in low-income school districts, providing technology lessons to older adults, growing gardens to donate produce to food banks, and taking on volunteer roles in their communities.

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Through these opportunities, I developed critical thinking skills that led to my interest in studying abroad through Fulbright Canada’s student program. As a Fulbright Canada student at the University of Toronto, the first three months of my exchange have been filled with incredible learning and networking experiences.  I have had the opportunity to learn from scientific leaders, have met students with varied interests, have been exploring my host city and continue to volunteer.

During orientation in Ottawa, ON, I enjoyed meeting other fulbrighters, visiting the National Art Gallery of Canada to listening and attending lectures from scholars in various fields.  In the evenings we engaged in late night discussions about world issues and possible solutions.

The excitement from orientation led to my first week at the research laboratory at the University of Toronto. I work with scientists to understand various aspects of aging. From reading various academic journals to processing data from multiple brain scans, I am learning various skill-sets and establishing ideas for future collaborations and studies. I am also attending many on-campus lectures and conferences from leaders in the field.

My experience with Fulbright Canada is providing me with the ability to use critical thinking and problem-solving skills to make a difference in the community. As an avid volunteer in both my hometown and host community, I wanted to get involved in youth-led organizations in Toronto. Currently, I am organizing STEM garden service-learning projects for youth in low-income areas of the city.  I am excited for the next six months as a Fulbright student.

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To learn more about VolunTEEN Nation, check out the  November/December issue of Traditional Home Magazine, where the organization was honored for supporting young people worldwide in their service efforts.

James Crispo: Tuesday’s featured fulbrighter in celebration of International Education Week #IEW2014

*Le français suit

Fulbright in Philly: A Student’s Dream Come True

By James Crispo, 2014-15 Fulbright Student

Studying abroad has always been a dream of mine; however, had often seemed out of reach due to the high costs, logistical challenges, and the ‘need to get on with my career.’ How could I finance learning abroad? Which visas would I require? What opportunities were there for Canadian PhD students to study in another country? After hearing about Fulbright Canada from colleagues, and feverishly navigating Fulbright’s website to learn about program requirements and the application process, it quickly became apparent that Fulbright was a fit for me – a Doctoral Student in the University of Ottawa’s Population Health Program.

Skip ahead nearly eighteen months and I find myself living in the heart of ‘The City of Brotherly Love’ (aka Philadelphia, or Philly), researching Parkinson disease and risks associated with antiparkinson drug use, alongside some of the brightest minds at the University of Pennsylvania.

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Photo: James at the University of Pennsylvania

Having only been in Philly for three short months (of nine), I am making the most of it. To date, I have attained my first study objective and prepared a manuscript on antiparkinson drug use in response to clinical practice guidelines and drug availability, have submitted abstracts to present my findings at two international meetings, and have travelled to Buenos Aires, Argentina to participate in a clinical research in movement disorders workshop. Additionally, I have become actively engaged in my host community by volunteering with a hospitality organization that provides nightly meals to those in need. This volunteer experience has allowed me to meet many new people and learn more about this incredible city. During my leisure time, I find myself travelling to new places along the east coast, such as New York City, and enjoying the outdoors.

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Photo: James (left) and a colleague in Buenos Aires, Argentina while attending the Clinical Research in Movement Disorders Workshop

My Fulbright experience thus far has been nothing short of spectacular and is truly a dream come true. I’m looking forward to what the next six months have in store, as there are many new people to meet, stories to share, and experiences to be had!

 

James Crispo, M.Sc.
Canadian Fulbright Student, University of Pennsylvania
PhD Candidate, Population Health, University of Ottawa
Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics
Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania
Blockley Hall, 423 Guardian Drive, Office 729
Philadelphia, PA 19104

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Étudiant Fulbright à Philadelphie: Un rêve devenu une réalité

Par: James Crispo, Étudiant Fulbright, 2014-15

J’ai toujours  rêvé d’étudier à l’étranger. Toutefois, ce rêve me semblait inatteignable à cause des frais élevés qui y sont associés, des défis logistiques, et d’un sentiment imminent de devoir compléter mes études et de débuter ma carrière. Comment pourrais-je m’organiser financièrement afin d’étudier à l’étranger? Comment pourrais-je me procurer un visa? Existait-il un moyen de permettre à un étudiant canadien au doctorat d’être formé à l’étranger? Toutes ces questions m’ont été répondues lorsque j’ai découvert les programmes d’études de Fulbright Canada. En débutant ma demande, je me suis rendu compte que la fondation des échanges éducatifs entre le Canada et les États-Unis offrait une opportunité hors pair me permettant de pouvoir étudier à l’étranger et d’être formé parmi les experts dans mon domaine d’étude. Somme tout, ceci offrait un excellent partenariat entre un programme éducatif et un étudiant au doctorat de l’Université d’Ottawa dans le programme de santé des populations.

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Photo: James au campus de l’Université de Pennsylvanie

 Dix-huit mois plus tard, je me retrouve au cœur de la ville de l’amour fraternel (ou plutôt Philadelphie) acharné à travailler sur ma recherche portant sur la maladie du Parkinson et les risques associés à l’utilisation de médicaments antiparkinsonien. Le tout parmi les chercheurs les plus distingués du domaine, et ce, à l’Université de la Pennsylvanie. Je suis à Philadelphie depuis que trois mois, mais à tous les jours je m’efforce d’en tirer profit. À date, j’ai accompli mon premier objectif d’étude qui était de rédiger un article portant sur l’utilisation de médicaments antiparkinsonien en relation aux lignes directrices de pratique et à la disponibilité des médicaments. La rédaction de cet article m’a permis de soumettre deux résumés à des conférences internationales. De plus, au mois d’octobre j’ai entrepris un voyage à Buenos Aires afin de participer à un colloque sur la recherche clinique des troubles neurologiques du mouvement. Je me suis aussi impliqué au niveau de la communauté en faisant du bénévolat hebdomadaire avec une organisation qui offre des repas aux gens en besoin. Cette expérience de bénévolat me permet de rencontrer plusieurs gens et d’en apprendre davantage sur la ville de Philadelphie. Dans mes temps libre, j’ai voyagé à New York et autres villes de la côte est afin d’explorer et j’ai aussi tenté de profiter d’expéditions de plein air.

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Photo: James (gauche) et un collègue à Buenos Aires en Argentine lors du colloque sur les troubles neurologiques du mouvement

Mon expérience en tant qu’étudiant du programme d’études Fulbright est exceptionnelle et un rêve devenu une réalité! J’ai hâte de voir ce que les prochains six mois me permettront de découvrir, de vivre, et de partager!

James Crispo, M.Sc.
Canadian Fulbright Student, University of Pennsylvania
PhD Candidate, Population Health, University of Ottawa
Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics
Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania
Blockley Hall, 423 Guardian Drive, Office 729
Philadelphia, PA 19104