School of Public Health, University of Alberta
Born and raised in a deprived farming community in Northern Ghana, my inclination has been to confront and address issues of poverty and environmental injustice in both rural and urban settings. My professional and interdisciplinary academic training has been a deliberate design to help serve this course. After finishing my undergraduate studies in 2004, I spent six years working as an Environmental Governance Advisor for SNV Netherlands Development Organization, a position which offered me a rare opportunity to contribute to poverty reduction efforts in Ghana. In this position, I traversed the length and breadth of the country, developing and nurturing community capacities for poverty reduction and environmental governance.
My graduate training in Environmental Science (MPhil, Ghana) and Geography (MA, Manitoba) has helped to deepen my understanding of how poverty, environmental conditions, and health are interlinked. In my graduate and undergraduate research in Ghana, I explored environmental governance with a focus on poverty reduction, community empowerment, and resource conservation. Under Dr. Masuda’s supervision at the University of Manitoba, I finished a Master of Arts in Geography in the summer of 2013, and have since started a PhD in Public Health at the University of Alberta. My MA thesis research explored Aboriginal homelessness in Winnipeg within the context of neoliberalized social housing interventions. When the opportunity came to pursue this research, I saw it as another platform to advance an agenda for equality in a world in which the neoliberal ideology of self-responsibility has expanded rapidly at the expense of an inclusive and caring society.
I was a fortunate recipient of a Manitoba Graduate Scholarship, a University of Manitoba Graduate Fellowship, and a University of Manitoba International Graduate Entrance Scholarship. A SSHRC funded project on urban housing and homelessness, led by Dr. Joshua Evans (Athabasca University) and Dr. Masuda (University of Manitoba), provided me with additional funds for my thesis research project. I am sincerely grateful to Dr. Masuda and the CEHE team for the support I received while studying at the University of Manitoba.