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Student spotlight: Marwah Azizi, Public Health and Safety

This student leader is passionate about the intersection of public policy and health
By: Bonte Minnema
May 24, 2022
Student spotlight: Marwah Azizi, Public Health and Safety

Marwah Azizi is passionate about the intersection of public policy and health.

Marwah Azizi is a student of public health and safety at the School of Occupational and Public Health, working to understand the links between public policies and their impact. In her own words:

Tell us about your community involvement.

I am a public health and social justice leader and advocate, and I am the founder and executive director of Connect Health Leaders (external link)  (CHL ORG). CHL is a registered student group with the Faculty of Community Services Society (FCSS) and an independent non-profit organization. Our work focuses on creating a diverse atmosphere where ideas come together and flourish to address, analyze, and tackle health and social justice issues. I also serve in organizations that aim to tackle refugee/immigrant health inequities, human rights and social justice issues.

Why is this work important to you?

My passion for adding value to healthcare and social justice stems from my experiences as an immigrant. Learning about how organizations function in government and health care has helped me bridge my knowledge of health and politics so I can make a change in the world. As a 2021 CanStudyUS fellow (external link) , I learned from distinguished American political leaders. I recently participated in a successful national campaign for Afghan refugees with the Canadian Campaign for Afghan Peace  (external link) (CCAP), which called on the different governmental parties to increase their refugee intake by 20,000. 

Looking 15 years into the future - tell us what you would like to see improved in the world and how you would like to be part of that solution. 

Many people die from preventable causes worldwide, one of which is a lack of regular access to healthcare services. At CHL ORG, we are a dedicated group of students working to raise awareness about these challenges by creating educational and social spaces. I hope we will have created a world where people of all colours, nationalities and religious beliefs have equal access to healthcare in 15 years. 

How have your studies helped you in your community leadership roles? Is there a course, professor, or TA who helped make a difference in your leadership endeavours?

My academic and work experience have prepared me to lead and serve my community. I put my education into daily practice outside the classroom. I enjoyed learning about epidemiology from Professor Jordan Tustin and food and water safety from Professor Fatih Sekercioglu. They always strive to keep students up-to-date with recent publications and issues.

What is your advice to future community leaders and FCS students?

Support causes that resonate with you and that you are truly passionate about. Work on what is meaningful. Because then, you will be willing to do whatever it takes to be a part of that change which is a very rewarding experience!

How have you navigated the COVID-19 pandemic in your studies and leadership? 

I’ve learned that staying on top of your work and preventing burnout requires developing a schedule that works for you. Checking in virtually and, when it's safe, in person with friends is also a great way to de-stress and have fun! Another effective approach for gaining guidance and insights from those who have been in the field is to connect with experts on LinkedIn and set up informational meetings.

Student Leader Series

We invited students to tell us about their leadership roles. We hope their efforts and success inspire you. If you would like to submit a story idea, please contact Madeleine McGreevy at