Featured Student

Ariana Fernandez

What’s your program and specialty?

I am a PhD student in political science (with two fields of study: comparative politics and development). Also a student in DLSPH’s doctoral collaborative program in Global health

Why are you studying global health?

I study global health as an issue within social development studies. It allows me to understand and explain why some people have access to healthcare when others do not and how this disparity in populations affects us all.

Why did you choose to take part in the Collaborative Doctoral Program in Global Health?

My research is in the field of development. As such the scope needs to be multidisciplinary. Therefore, rather than staying in my home department (Political Science) I chose to participate in this collaboration with the Dalla Lana School of Public Health. I see this link as a necessity for the quality of my dissertation.

What are some current projects or research that you’re involved in?

My research will analyze and explain, within a developing country, the impact of labour extensive plantations on the health outcomes of adolescent girls. I will compare health outcomes of girls living in a community with multinational agro-industrial corporations with those living in smaller agricultural estates.

I am also looking at adolescent pregnancy: what makes certain communities more prone to adolescent pregnancy – with all its long term socio-economic consequences?  My research also aims to inform policy building, advocacy and monitoring.

If you have one, what is your dissertation title?

A comparative analysis of the health outcomes of adolescent girls in agro-industrial communities and in coffee plantations. But this is by no means final…it could be changed by the end of the month

What would you say to a prospective student who is considering the CDPGH or studying global health at the University of Toronto more broadly?

I can talk to people with similar interests, I can take classes not offered in my home department and have access to more financial and academic resources.

For example, I am undertaking fieldwork in the summer, before I submit my thesis proposal. This is only possible because of the Travel Award available to students of the CDPGH.