Sophia Kam began her university studies at the University of Toronto, where she attained her Honours BA in Political Science, History and American Studies. Her political science courses allowed her to study civic participation and access to essential services for underserved populations. This fostered in her a strong interest in policy formation, decisions and processes, and exposed her to the work of the University of Windsor's Dr. Stephen Brooks.
"The prospect of taking courses and working with Dr. Brooks, as well as other faculty with expertise in social and public policy, such as Dr. Cheryl Collier and Dr. Lydia Miljan, made applying to the MA in Political Science program an easy choice for me."
Since completing the MA program at Windsor in 2012, Sophia has since gone on to pursue an interdisciplinary PhD in Rural and Northern Health at Laurentian University. The education she acquired at Windsor provided her with a strong foundation to conduct health policy and health services research at the doctoral level.
"At every opportunity, the course work encouraged us to work towards our individual research endeavours. It permitted me to engage with policy theories, including evidence-based health policy-making and policy cycles. This has enhanced my understanding of how health policy is developed." It has also allowed her to contribute unique perspectives to discussions with colleagues in an interdisciplinary environment. Additionally, it served her well during her recent comprehensive examinations. "As luck would have it, the questions I received allowed me to refer to sources I used for major paper research. I also drew upon our Scopes and Approaches to Political Science textbook!"
Sophia has just started her third year of doctoral studies. Her research project is entitled "A study of Family Physician Scope of Practice in Ontario." She was awarded a student assistantship at the Centre for Rural and Northern Health Research (CRaNHR) to work on her current research project as part of a $3.4 million Health Systems Research Fund grant awarded to CRaNHR. She has presented provincially, nationally, and internationally on physician scope of practice regarding multiple dimensions of physician governance and practice, and serves on a national advisory committee for the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada to provide expertise on the scope of practice as co-lead of a working group on this topic.
Sophia looks back on her time at UWindsor fondly and has a new appreciation for it.
"It is amazing to see how the program offerings at both undergraduate and graduate levels have changed in the short time since I completed my MA. During program committee meetings at my current institution as a student representative, I find myself making reference to the innovative ways this department has equipped its graduates with the tools necessary to gain invaluable practical experience and to work toward their career goals, both within and outside of academia."