BPK PM 2021/2022: Get to Know Your Mentors!


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Joshua Mentor ProfileJoshua Koehn – Founder

Welcome to our Peer Mentorship Program! As you enter your first year, our program and your mentor will be your keys to an easy transition to SFU life. If you asked anyone, I did not have my first year at SFU figured out! But I knew some older students who really helped point me in the right direction and get me to where I am today. They are what inspired me to start this Peer Mentorship Program, to make sure that you get off on the right start to your university career. My pro tip for those of you starting out is, get involved – if you put time into something, you will care about it and those people you work with will care about you.

(Joshua has moved onto medicine at UBC, focusing on training in Northern BC for emergency and rural family medicine. He credits his successes at SFU to the BPK Co-op Program (Darleen!), the fascinating faculty of BPK, and lovely friends who helped him along the way.)

Previous Directors and Assistant Directors:

  • Emily Chinn (2017-2018)
  • Amanda Zacharuk (2018-2019)
  • Matthew Cheung (2018-2019)
  • Victor Lau (2019 – 2021)
  • Eva Ang (2019 – 2021)
  • Shreya Luthra (2019 – 2021)
  • Ardeshir Hassirchian (2020 – 2021)
  • Nicholas Tran (2020 – 2021)

 

Nathan Lee (Co – Director)

Hello! My name is Nate and I am a 4th year Biomedical Physiology student. I opted for Biomedical Physiology so that I can diversify my scope of knowledge for graduate school and facilitate my passion for the healthcare field.

I recently completed a 12-month co-op at St. Paul’s Hospital as a Clinical Research Coordinator in colorectal surgery, where I was responsible for numerous clinical studies involving colorectal cancers and other gastrointestinal disorders. Alongside my co-op experience, I volunteer as a Kinesiologist Assistant where I assist an incomplete quadriplegic older adult with their weekly rehabilitation and I’m also working with a team of doctors at Royal Columbian Hospital where I am working on a quality improvement project to improve care for patients with congestive heart failure. Outside academics & volunteer work I enjoy fishing, rock climbing, hiking, and anything outdoors related.

As a former mentee, who benefited highly from the Peer Mentorship program, I am familiar with the challenges you might encounter in your first year. With my past experiences, I am hoping to help you navigate and ease your transition into post-secondary school and the BPK Department. I am truly excited to be a part of the BPK Peer Mentorship and I am looking forward to meeting all of you!

Maya Peterson –  (Assistant  Director)

Hi everyone! My name is Maya (MA-YA, she/her) and I am going into my 5th year as a Kinesiology major! I am also doing the concentration in active health and rehabilitation. I joined kinesiology because I loved biology in highschool and really enjoyed playing sports growing up. BPK has taught 

me a lot about the human body and all of its intricacies which I love but, what I love more are the professors and staff who have helped me find my passion along the way. Through the BPK co-op program, I was able to gain a 8 month placement at a pediatric therapy clinic working with children with various acute and chronic injuries as well as various neurological disabilities. It was at this job working as a therapy assistant that I realized I really enjoyed what I was doing and so it pushed me to become a better student in order for me to pursue physiotherapy or occupational therapy in the future!

 In my spare time, you can usually find me at the Port Moody or Coquitlam rec centers working as a skating instructor, programme leader, rec leader, skate attendant… I have too many job titles to count. I also enjoy rock climbing, backpacking, hiking, and overall spending time outside.

Katherine Van Klaveren –  (Assistant  Director)

Hi everyone! My name is Katherine and I am a 4th year Kinesiology

student. I have been a mentor with BPK PM for two years and I am super excited to be on the exec team this year. 

I am passionate about health and fitness and my goal is to work in a field where I have the opportunity to encourage others to be active and live a healthy lifestyle. This passion led me to pursue volunteer opportunities where I get to work with people and impact their lives in a positive way. I currently volunteer at a physiotherapy clinic, specializing in neurological disorders, helping with rehabilitation exercises and programs. I also volunteer with the Canadian National Institute for the Blind to help individuals with visual impairments with day to day activities. BPK has been a great fit for me and I really enjoy taking classes on topics I am passionate about. I love spending time outside doing any sort of outdoor activity such as hiking, camping, swimming, kayaking and just soaking up the sun whenever I can. 

I am excited to guide and support mentors and help facilitate fun and engaging events to help build mentor-mentee connections. I am looking forward to meeting and getting to know you all!

 

Yana Uzelac –  (Assistant  Director)

Hi everyone! My name is Yana and I am entering my 3rd year of studying Biomedical Physiology. I chose BPK because I’ve always enjoyed learning about the human body, I’m passionate about health and fitness, and I hope to pursue a career in the medical field. I was also inspired to study science through my research experience at the BC Children’s Hospital Research Institute over the past few years. In my spare time, I enjoy swimming and I’m currently a lifeguard and swimming instructor. I love kids, and teaching the very youngest swimmers (6 months – 5 years old) is my favourite, so I aspire to continue working with them throughout my career!

After being both a mentee and a mentor with BPK PM, I am looking forward to returning this year as an exec (and a mentor)! I wanted to become a mentor because having the support and guidance of mentorship in my first year meant the world to me — I gained lots of valuable knowledge and advice, which I would love to pass forward to future first-years. I hope that sharing what I’ve learned from my experiences will help my mentees transition into university successfully and find opportunities that motivate and inspire them!

I can’t wait to meet you all!

 

Rachel Cheng –  (Assistant  Director)

Hi everyone! My name is Rachel, and I am a 4th year Kinesiology major in the Active Health and Rehabilitation concentration. After switching

my major multiple times, I finally decided Kinesiology was the one for me! I’ve always had a passion for exercise, sports, and learning about how the human body works. I also love helping other people and pushing them to achieve their goals.

This passion led me to work as a weight room supervisor and ACSM certified personal trainer at SFU’s fitness centre and student trainer for the SFU women’s softball team. My goal in university was to get involved as much as possible. I volunteer as a Kinesiologist Assistant where I assist a semi-quadriplegic individual with weekly rehabilitation. I’m also the team lead at Eagle Ridge Hospital where I design programs to accommodate elderly individuals with cognitive and physical limitations. In addition, I’ve immersed myself in research by volunteering in the Injury Prevention and Mobility lab and currently doing a directed study in the Quantitative Exercise Biology lab. In my spare time, I love weightlifting, watching movies, playing basketball, going hiking, and playing with my dog.

I am a firm believer that what you put into university is what you get out of it. My advice to you would be to get out there and try out everything! I’m excited for another year in the BPK Mentorship program, and I’m looking forward to meeting you all!

 

Ryan Wu (Co – Director)

Hi everyone! My name’s Ryan and I’m a fifth-year student majoring in biomedical physiology. I chose BPK on a whim and I am very glad I did. BPK has taught me so much about the human body and has provided me with knowledge regarding the world of physiology in a fashion where other majors may not have been able to do so. It has also allowed me to complete two semesters of Co-op within Fraser Health. This opportunity showcased the administrative side of health care which was an invaluable experience as I am an aspiring health care professional.

In my spare time, I love to golf, play my guitar (I named it Lucy), watch Formula One and play hockey! I wanted to become a peer mentor, because I believe the experiences I have acquired through my years at SFU will be helpful to new students in BPK. Moreover, I am a firm believer that the connections you make at post-secondary are an important part of the university experience.

 

Wesley Lor

Hey! I’m Wesley, and I’m currently a 4th year Kinesiology Major, in the Active Health and Rehabilitation concentration and pursuing the Occupational Ergonomics Certificate. I chose to pursue kinesiology because the human body, how it moves, and how we were able to develop around it, fascinates me.

Future endeavours that I am currently considering are RMT School to become an RMT or pursuing graduate studies in ergonomics to work with ICBC or other bodies. A number of courses in the program have helped refine my interests and passions in the field. I enjoy a hands-on approach to learning and hold the same mindset with helping other individuals.

Outside of school, I find joy in playing video games alone or with my friends, playing soccer, spending time outdoors, and dancing. Speaking of which, I am the co-president of SFU Hip Hop Club. You can find us on Facebook at “SFU Hip Hop Club” and on Instagram at @sfuhiphop! What I hope to bring to the table as a peer mentor is to bridge that gap where students may find it daunting or feel a bit directionless in their first year of university. Hope to see everybody soon!

 

Ziyanna Vallani

Hi everyone! My name is Ziyanna, and I am in my 3rd year in Biomedical Physiology! I chose to study BPK because I have always loved playing and watching sports, as well as learning about the human body and how it works. I volunteer in SFU’s Neuromuscular Mechanics Laboratory, and I am a Math and Science Peer Tutor.

I currently work as a swimming instructor, a behavioural interventionalist, and I own my own cake business that I started when I was 14. In my spare time, I love playing soccer, baking, running, swimming, hiking, scrapbooking, watching sports, and spending time with friends and family. At the moment, I am thinking about a career in Pediatric Occupational Therapy as I love working with children and helping others.

I decided to become a peer mentor because I understand it is a big and overwhelming transition from high school to university. I want to be there for new students and help you adapt to a new school. When I was in my first year, having a peer mentor was very helpful and my hope is to also provide new students with the support that helped me through my first year. Looking forward to meeting you!

 

Estee Leung

Hi everyone! My name is Estee and I am currently a fifth-year Biomedical Physiology major. I enjoy learning about the different organ systems of the human body so this major is perfect for my interest! I did two directed studies (BPK 498), which opened the world of science research to me and got me pretty hooked. I am currently volunteering at SFU’s Neurokinesiology lab (research on golf!). I am interested in the research/medical field in the future!  

I am also on the SFU varsity golf team where I spend most of my time outside of school on the golf course and traveling for golf tournaments in the States with the team! I also volunteer as a Learning Coach and HIVE Leader. During my free time, I enjoy working out and playing the piano for worship. First year in university was challenging yet exciting. I hope to use my experiences and knowledge to support your journey in university. We are all here to help you to reach your goals. Super excited to meet y’all!

 

Mackenzie Heidel

Hi everyone! I am a 4th year Biomedical Physiology student and USES program member. I moved from Saskatchewan because of SFU’s emphasis on engagement and, for me, going to school on a mountain is a dream come true! I chose Biomedical Physiology to learn about how the body functions from its smallest component to its biggest. Hopefully, by 2026, you will be calling me Doctor! I am a lead volunteer in the Injury Prevention and Mobility Lab at SFU and am researching falls, head impacts, and mortality among older adults in long-term care with them as well. I am an avid skier, and new hiker. My latest passion project is coordinating a children’s reading program with the Learning Buddies Network. I had a fantastic experience as a mentee in my first year and am very excited to pay it forward as a mentor again this year!

 

Samantha Rothwell

Hi everyone! I’m Sam, I’m in my final year as a BP major. I originally started out at SFU in chemistry but after my first few semesters, I realized my interests aligned better with either biology or biomedical physiology. I completed a year-long co-op at Stemcell Technologies working in the lab culturing and growing 3D epithelial organoids. This awesome co-op opportunity helped me choose BPK over biology because of its clinical relevance. My aspiration is to find a career in the medical field, but it’s still to be determined…

I currently volunteer with the Port Moody Adaptive Soccer program which provides children with disabilities an opportunity to play soccer. Outside of school, I enjoy playing soccer, hiking, camping, and going on adventures with my dog. 

I hope to make the transition to university less overwhelming by using my experience to help my mentees find great opportunities to help them discover what they’re passionate about.

 

Connor Baily

I am headed into my third year at SFU completing a degree in kinesiology. While playing a variety of sports throughout my life, I have consistently wondered how the human body works in order to perform these activities at such a high level. This drove me to study kinesiology in university and I hope my career path can lead me to a place where I can help others achieve their athletic and personal goals. Away from school I work part-time as a supervisor at Krispy Kreme and during my free time I like to hike, and watch sports. As a peer mentor, I would like to make others feel comfortable asking for help either from me, their professors, or other resources. I believe that many resources are underused because people are nervous or afraid to ask for help, and I want to help grow confidence in my peers so they can ask for help.

 

Marvin Ly

Hey beauties! My name is Marvin, and I’m going into my 5th and final year as a Kinesiology major (in the Active Health and Rehabilitation concentration) here at SFU, which I chose to go into because of how much I love learning about physiology, movement, health and fitness. 

I’ve immersed myself in a large variety of enriching experiences in the field, such as working as a weight room supervisor and NSCA-certified personal trainer at the SFU Fitness Centre, getting an 8-month co-op placement as a student kinesiologist at ProMedicals Occupational Health Clinic, and meeting an endless number of amazing friends from classes and work! In addition, I was also a member of SFU’s 2020 Kinesiology Games team and currently volunteer at the Quantitative Exercise Biology lab in pursuit of directed studies within the lab. I’m aiming to pursue a career in cardiology technology, and possibly a Master’s in exercise physiology, after graduation. 

In my spare time, I love to lift weights, watch/play hockey, ski, game, read, binge movies/shows, and spoil my two cats. As a mentor, I’m hoping to give the advice and support to new students that I wish I’d received in my first year and help them with transitioning into post-secondary life as much as I can!

 

Emma Gregory

Hi everyone! My name is Emma and I am beyond stoked to be a part of the BPK peer mentorship program this year. I am currently going into my 4th year at SFU as a kinesiology major. Coming from a dance background, I automatically gravitated to a kinesiology major, as many student athletes do. As being someone who loves to be active and spends all of my time in the gym, it so interesting learning how your body works in your sport and in everyday life. 

As a peer mentor I hope to guide students through their degree with a focus on mental health and putting yourself first while still getting the most out of your education. University can be a stressful time, and have been through it, I’ve learned a few tricks of the trade. 

I am currently working at Clover Hills Rehabilitation as an administrative assistant and being in the rehabilitation environment has given me so much exposure and has taught me a lot already. In the near future, I plan to join the SFU athletic clinic as a clinic assistant and eventually a student trainer. Post grad I hope to complete my masters in physiotherapy at UBC as well as complete my personal training certificate to begin my work in rehabilitation.

 

Puneet Sidu

Hey everyone! I’m Puneet and I’m in my last year as a Biomedical Physiology major. For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been into sports and the human body, so from the very beginning I knew that this was the perfect major for me. At the moment, I plan on pursuing a career in healthcare. To be what exactly? I’m still trying to figure that part out. I’m curious by nature, so in my spare time I love learning about anything and everything. From V8 engines to tarot cards, I love to expand my knowledge in any field possible. On top of that I’ve enjoyed volunteering at my local hospital, my old soccer organization, and at the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. I understand how overwhelming university can be, especially coming straight from high school. Truthfully, when I entered my 1st year I didn’t have anyone guiding me. So, I learned by trial and error, and boy there was a lot of error. That’s why I’m excited for this opportunity to share my experiences and assist my future mentees so that their 1st year at SFU can be as smooth and fulfilling as possible.

 

Emmanuelle Ferron

Hello everyone! My name is Emmanuelle and I am in my final year of my Biomedical Physiology undergraduate degree with Honours and co-op designation. I was initially drawn to BPK because of my interest in human anatomy, physiology and pathophysiology. I completed my first two semesters of co-op as a student kinesiologist at a physiotherapy clinic. For my last semester of co-op, I received an undergraduate student research award (USRA) to work as a research assistant in the Tibbits Lab at the BC Children’s Hospital Research Institute. Through this position I was fortunate to have the opportunity to learn about the applications of stem cell research in cardiac disease. I am an avid hiker and have recently been getting into backpacking! My other hobbies include skincare and taking care of my many house plants. I have long aspired to pursue medicine after I graduate and with a newly piqued interest in research, I hope to be able to combine the two. As a peer mentor, I want to share the knowledge and experiences I have gained to help smoothen the transition into your undergrad, highlight opportunities and make it an enjoyable experience!

 

Camille Velasco

Hi! I’m Camille and I am in my final semester at SFU! I am a Kinesiology major with an Active Health and Rehabilitation Concentration. I have also completed an Occupational Ergonomics Certificate and participated in the Co-operative Education (Co-op) program within the BPK department.

Fun fact about me is I have a black belt in taekwondo, and it is my main inspiration that put me on the path towards BPK. Having worked as a taekwondo coach for many years, I developed an interest in exercise and human anatomy – so when I found out Kinesiology was a thing it was a no-brainer for me! After having gone through the program, I definitely made the right choice. My favorite part is being surrounded by so many friendly, down-to-earth, intelligent people who are so driven to keep on learning. My academic goals include finishing up my undergrad at SFU and pursuing a Master’s in Physical Therapy.

Aside from school, I like to spend my time doing martial arts, climbing, biking, hiking, running, and basically any activity where I can drag my friends along with me. Guilty pleasures include endlessly searching for my next overpriced coffee from the newest aesthetic café and a good old fashioned Netflix binge session, haha. I’m looking forward to meeting you all :)

 

Matthew Edema

Hello! My name is Matt, and I am a fourth-year Kinesiology student with a concentration in Active Health and Rehabilitation. I chose to study Kinesiology because I have always been interested and involved in sports growing up and wanted to learn more about the movement of the body. As I have progressed through my degree, I have realized that Physiotherapy is the career path I want to go into after my undergrad. I currently have the opportunity of working at Twin Rinks Physiotherapy & Sports Injury Clinic as a student kinesiologist. I work with patients in their rehabilitation process by doing exercises with them and sending them home with a program to follow.

In my free time, I love to watch or play basketball with friends. I also love to exercise and spend time with family and friends. As mentioned before, my goal is to one day be a physiotherapist and open up my own clinic. My plan is to go to UBC and do the MPT program.

I wanted to be a peer mentor because I understand the anxiety you feel as a first-year student. Luckily, I had mentors in my life during that time which made things much easier, and I would love to do the same for my mentees. My goal is to make the transition from high school to university as smooth as possible.

 

Lucas Alcayaga

Howdy everyone! The names Lucas, and first things first, it’s a pleasure to meet you over this computer 😉 Really excited to give a solid hand shake too ya sooner or later! Before we talk university, you should know, this very important equation, Lucas + Mountains = :)

I’m a Kinesiology student, kicking off the second year hear at the awesome SFU! I’m majoring in the Active Health and Rehab department of the degree, and thus far, quite pleased with the experience. I graduated high school (like most of y’all) as a covid grad in 2020, and am proud of it, as you should be too!

I went for BPK initially, not having a clue what route it would lead me, just knowing that I loved the sciences; and if that’s you too, you’re in the right place. As my first year flew by, I fell in love with the dream of one day working alongside patients young and old, as a Physiotherapist; aiding people in physical development and rehabilitation, and I am truly stoked to see where I end up! In the meantime, of the university grind, when I’m not planted at the good old desk, find me up north, on one of our gorgeous mountaintops, skiing, climbing, hiking, or mountain biking.

 

Elena Selles

My name is Elena, and I am a fourth year SFU student from the BC interior. I began my journey in BPK as a BP major, with the aspiration of someday going into biomedical research. However, a couple years into my degree I realized that I was truly interested in a more people-centered career, and decided to change programs. This led me to my current major in kinesiology, with a concentration in active health and rehabilitation. Going into BPK, I originally thought that human anatomy would be my favourite part of the program, but I now realize just how much more there is to kinesiology than movement of the human body. I am a member of the SFU concert orchestra, and in my spare time I enjoy hiking, running, watching movies, and listening to music. Having participated in the BPK Peer Mentorship program as a mentee in my first year, I recognize the value of student experience and hope to pass on some of the advice I was given in that first year of university life.

 

Yasna Javanmardi

Hi everyone! My name is Yasna and I’m a second-year student in biomedical physiology. I started off as a mentee so I’m super excited to be a mentor and to share all of the things first year taught me. I chose BPK because although I love all the sciences, I really enjoy the focus on human anatomy and bodily functions that BPK offers. I’m still in the early stages of my co-op journey but I look forward to embarking on my first work term in the coming semesters. 

When I’m not studying, I really enjoy swimming and going on hikes. I also do a lot of biking and for the past three years I’ve worked at a summer camp teaching kids how to ride bikes. 

So far, I have only attended university online, but I’m still very familiar with the campus thanks to my years at SFU camps. As things start to head back in person, I look forward to seeing everyone around and definitely getting more involved in campus activities.

 

Lavisha Katyal

Hey there! My name is Lavisha and I’m a 2nd year Kinesiology major in the Active Health and Rehabilitation Concentration. I chose to pursue a degree in BPK due to my interest in anatomy physiology. Beyond my undergraduate career I aspire to get my M.Sc. in Physical Therapy and help those affected by CNS disorders such as stroke and spinal cord injury through neurological rehabilitation. Though I have yet to participate in the Co-op program I will definitely be applying in the future to gain experience in the field!

I adore learning new things, especially languages. I speak four at the moment and am currently learning Spanish. I love being outdoors whether that’s going for a walk, hiking or escaping to the beach for the day. I enjoy being active and have been dancing for the past 10 years. If I’m not on my feet, you will definitely find me curled up in a corner reading a book.

As a mentee last year, I was overwhelmingly anxious about the year ahead of me. However, I found it very helpful to have a mentor who was there to help me in my transition to university. I’m thankful that I get to go full circle and be a mentor helping new students adjust to undergrad by answering any questions and introducing them to the variety of opportunities SFU has to offer.

I look forward to meeting you!

 

Rose Sheikh-Bahaie

Hi everyone! My name is Rose and I’m going into my fourth year as a Biomedical Physiology major. I love science and working with the community so I chose to study BPK to help me pursue a career in healthcare.

I was the promotional coordinator for the BPKSA for a year and had the opportunity to host a bunch of awesome events like fitness challenges and career panels. I’ve also been volunteering outside of school at the hospital for nearly 4 years.  In my free time I love baking, running, doing yoga, reading and writing!

I did the BPK Peer Mentorship program as a first year and I learned so many things from my mentors. They helped me figure out where all my labs were and shared their personal experiences as new undergrad. I hope I can do the same for new BPK students too!

 

Aryan Davoudi

Hello friends! My name is Aryan and I am heading to my 5th (last) year in Kinesiology.

Let’s start with a little background about me, shall we? I was born and raised in Iran and we moved to Vancouver in 2014. Funny enough, my mind was set on Mechanical Engineering until I had a knee injury in 2016 and that changed my entire journey. After dealing with that long process of healing and spending quite some time in different clinics, I became obsessed with the human body and health care, and decided to choose the path that I am currently on! I am aiming for medical school and I would love to have a career in patient care.

Personally, as a first-year student, I had a million questions and uncertainties about everything around me in the university environment and finding my way through all alone was not easy at all. And right now, I am more than happy to be a part of this team to help my fellow juniors along their challenging paths.

A little more about me (!) – studying is not the only thing I do! Aside from school and work, music is a major part of my life. I play the guitar, sing and write songs!

Anyways, let’s cut this short. I am looking forward to meeting every one of you (in a covid-free world!).

Ciao for now!

 

Jessica Wojcik

Hey! I’m Jessica but everyone calls me Jess. I’m a 5th year Kinesiology student in the Active Health and Rehabilitation Concentration, as well as completing an extended minor in psychology. I’m an ex-competitive gymnast and dancer, who has had a fair share of injuries and physiotherapists. My love for sports and being active, as well as my interest of the human body and helping others guided my career path to BPK. I’m excited to have the opportunity to be a BPK peer mentor, and to be able to pass on the knowledge and experiences I have obtained over my time at SFU. After I finish my undergrad degree, I am hoping to complete my Masters of Physical Therapy and one day open up my own physiotherapy clinic.

A little bit about me. I am currently working in a physiotherapy clinic, I’m a big animal person (I’m the person who says “Look there’s a doggo” mid conversation). I am very active and enjoy going to the gym hiking, and wakeboarding. I also love to travel (I haven’t been everywhere but it’s on my list)! I look forward to assisting you with any questions you may have!

 

Bianca Te

Hi everyone! My name is Bianca Te, and I am going into my 5th year at SFU, majoring in Kinesiology and concentrating in Active Health and Rehabilitation. I have truly loved my degree, because it perfectly encompasses my interests by allowing me to explore the inner workings of the human body, while also learning about how to live a balanced, healthy lifestyle.  

At SFU, I am also a member of the varsity volleyball team, a research assistant  at the Injury Prevention and Mobility Lab, and an Academics First tutor. There are so many wonderful opportunities to get involved at SFU, and I’m excited to share my experiences with you all so that you can make the most out of your degree!

During my free time, I love exercising, eating yummy food, and spending time with friends, family and most importantly, my dog Henry! Can’t wait to meet you all :)

 

Hannah DeGuzman

Hi everyone! My name is Hannah and I am entering my third year of studying Biomedical Physiology at SFU. What made me choose BPK is the study of anatomy and physiology. I found my interest in anatomy and physiology in high school when we learned about the body systems and dissected sheep eyes and heart, and a piglet with our own suture kits! From high school and onto University, I was happy to apply my knowledge to BPK 142 where we learned about anatomical movements, identifying the bones, muscles, and more. I have yet to complete a Co-op term, but I am looking forward to gaining more experience in the healthcare field. 

In my free time, I love to swim, hike, travel to new places, read, watch movies, and spend time with my family and friends. I am always down for an adventure. That includes just getting food! Currently, I am a virtual medical scribe for physicians in the U.S and enjoying every minute of assisting the physician and experiencing real-life patient care. My goal in the future is to attend medical school and become a pediatric doctor. 

What motivated me to become a Peer Mentor is knowing there are others who are going through similar University experiences as I did. I want to make students who are new to SFU and BPK feel comfortable and supported during their transition. I look forward to meeting everyone and making more friends!

 

George Ren

Hey! My name is George Ren and I’m going into my 4th year in Biomedical Physiology. I chose BP as it combines my interests in the human body as well as some biochemistry. Currently, I volunteer with the Arthritis Society as part of their information line as well as a camp counsellor. I am also an executive member of SFU Pre-Dental Society, so if you’re looking for a new club to join let me know.

In my free time, I like to go on long hikes and runs with friends. I’m also super into ultimate frisbee (dog sport, I know).

Almost 4 years into my undergrad, and surprisingly dental school is still the plan for me. Specifically, I want to specialize in pediatric dentistry and help children understand the importance of good dental habits from an early age. Transitioning from high school to university can be daunting. By sharing my experience, I hope to help incoming first years.

 

Heather Hatch

Hi! My name is Heather and I’m a 6th year Biomedical Physiology student with a minor in Criminology and certificate in Forensic Studies. I originally started out in CRIM but after taking a BPK course I realized I missed science and was curious to learn more about the human body. With BPK Co-op I got my first and current job as a Residential Care Worker for the Developmental Disabilities Association which has taught me so much about providing care, community engagement, and advocacy for people with developmental disabilities. I also have fun in Dr. Ruben’s lab as a Research Assistant, learning more about electrophysiology. I was never much of a clubs person but when I was considering going to medical school I did end up joining the medical fraternity Phi Delta Epsilon. I became the recruitment executive and stayed with the fraternity even when I decided medicine wasn’t for me because of the friends I had made and the opportunity I had to help others with their medical journeys. As for my career options I’m hoping to explore my interest in the justice system more by working as a Coroner after graduation. My passions include playing softball, dancing kizomba, snowboarding, and any outdoor activity!

 

Shideh Estandnia

Hi there! My name is Shideh and I am entering my fifth and final year as a kinesiology major with a minor in business. Growing up as an athlete, I’ve always loved participating in various sports and so this naturally led me to my major. I chose to take a minor late in my academic career in order to broaden perspective and explore fields outside of science.

After experiencing the transition from high school to university, I understand how stressful it can be. My peer mentor supported me a lot and showed me the ropes. Now that I have gone through these obstacles, I would love to share my experience with others who need help through my role as a peer mentor. 

Aside from my studies, I have participated as an Undergraduate Anatomy Peer Tutor (UAT) where I help my peers through the challenging anatomy topics of BPK 326. Don’t be shy to come say hi and ask any questions if you see me around!

 

Aman Dhami

Hi there! My name is Aman, and I am going into my second year as a Biomedical Physiology major. I chose BPK because I’ve always been interested in all the little things in our bodies that allow us to function as whole. Throughout my first year, I have been involved in a few clubs which gave me an opportunity to be a part of the SFU community and learn how to balance my extracurricular and academic lifestyle. I was a first-year representative for the Science Undergraduate Society, which allowed me to take shadow of other executives and learn how the dynamics of a club work. I am also an executive member in the BPKSA, which gives me an opportunity to meet like-minded BPK students. Outside of SFU, I’ve volunteered with a variety of organizations, like the Canadian Cancer Society and Surrey Memorial Hospital, just to name a few. Outside of school, I enjoy hiking, playing sports (tennis, golf, ball hockey), exploring restaurants, cooking, and spending time with my dog.  After my undergraduate degree, I aspire to go to medical school. I was a mentee this past year and my mentorship helped me adjust into the university lifestyle. I think I learned the ropes of university this past year and would love to pass my knowledge along to my mentees.

 

Neena Hull

Hey! My name is Neena and I am a second year kinesiology student. I chose kinesiology since I love to learn about the movements of the body and its application to the gym, sports, and anything in the health and fitness industry! Currently, I coach swimming and teach piano.

When I’m not working or studying, I love hiking, biking, gymming, basically anything that is active or outdoor activities. I love travelling, going to lakes/beaches and camping too! 

I’m not 100% sure what my future career will be, but hopefully something in pediatrics and related to the fitness industry. In my first year, I was part of the BPK peer mentorship program as a mentee and my mentor really helped me ease into university life and helped relieve the stress that came with course/future planning. I had a really great experience and I hope to be able to do the same for you

 

Ali Sokhanvar

Hello! My name is Ali, and I am a 4th-year student pursuing a major in Kinesiology (general program) and a minor in Business. I entered the Kinesiology program at SFU because being a competitive soccer player throughout my youth allowed me to develop a desire to obtain knowledge about the human body in areas like anatomy, physiology, and sensorimotor. Moreover, I volunteer at the Injury Prevention and Mobility Lab analyzing videos of falls among the elderly. Aside from school, I enjoy playing soccer, traveling, investing in the stock market (gotta pay off that tuition), and going on hikes. Some of the hikes I have completed are Panorama Ridge, Mount Brunswick, and Elk Mountain. After graduating, I plan on applying to medical school. However, I am open to other careers related to biotechnology, neuroscience, healthcare management, athletic training for professional sports teams or, even teaching abroad! Having completed nine semesters at SFU, I have gained substantial knowledge about university life and the BPK program. Therefore, I would like to share my experiences to help first-year/ transfer students reach their full potential at SFU.

 

Grace Budvarson

Hi there! My name is Grace and I am a 3rd year Behavioral Neuroscience (BNS) Major. I decided to choose Behavioral Neuroscience because I find the link between physical, mental and emotional health so important and interesting. I love learning how intricate our brains are and about all of the things that affect our behavior. Assisting those struggling with mental health and addiction is what I would like to do after university.

I am from Alberta and when I first came to university, I was so nervous about being in a new city while also trying to handle the pressure of school. I was grateful to have a peer mentor to provide guidance as I navigated my first year. I am so excited to now be a mentor and have the opportunity to support a new student by sharing the advice I have received.

I am an avid music lover and I have a record collection that I cherish dearly. Camping and spending time outdoors with my film camera is what I love to do in my free time. I am also currently doing victim services training. I love meeting new people and I am excited to meet you all!

 

Samreen Randhawa

Hi there! My name is Samreen Randhawa and I’m a second-year Behavioural Neuroscience student, looking to minor in Business. I have been intrigued by the human brain from a very young age and this program allows me to delve deeper and learn more about the body’s control center from a closer perspective. I’m an exec-at-large in the BNSS at SFU and I’ve also been a cadet for 6.5 years. I’m a team player, having played both team and individual sports all my life, and wanderlust may as well be my middle name, since if not at school, I’d rather be halfway across the world immersing myself in cultures abroad. I’ve been on an international exchange to five European countries and I definitely consider myself an extrovert. I love to meet new people and try new experiences, but contrastingly enough, I spend all my lazy evenings curled up under a blanket with a good book and a mug of hot chocolate. After my undergrad, I hope to go to med school and aspire to become a neurosurgeon in the near future, but for now, I’d love to meet and help you navigate the waters of your first year at SFU!

 

Helia Jafary

Hi! My name is Helia Jafary, and I’m going into my second year of kinesiology. I chose to study Bpk because I’m fascinated by human anatomy and am passionate about health. I am currently an administrative assistance at Performance Institute, this has been an amazing opportunity for me as I have opportunities to shadow kinesiologist that also work there! Working here has really emphasized and confirmed my passion for health and fitness. I also hope to do a co-op work term either spring or summer 2022. I love to paint, go on walks/hikes, and bake whenever I have some free time on my hands. I also really enjoy watching documentaries and sitcoms! I hope to pursue a career in rehabilitation as a physiotherapist or possibly in healthcare, while I’m still exploring my options, I know that I want to spend my career helping and healing people. I became a mentee in my first year at sfu during the pandemic, my mentor helped me pick my classes and I always had someone to go to for academic advice. I want to provide the same assistance to incoming first years. I know it can be difficult being new to everything, but having someone there to guide you is a really big asset.

 

Justin Li

My name is Justin Li, and I am going into my 4th year at the Kinesiology major. I chose the BPK program because I love learning more about fitness and physical activity. I am currently volunteering in SFU Recreation’s Fitness and Promotions departments. In my spare time, I love watching sports and playing video games. I also love spending quality time with friends and family, which often involves food and Netflix. I wanted to be a peer mentor because my brother will be starting university this September. He often asks me questions about how my first year went and any tips I could give to him. Not everyone will have someone to talk about their uncertainties with post-secondary life, and I want to help fill out that role for those people.

 

Kaelin Sher-Gill

Hi everyone! My name is Kaelin Sher-Gill.

I am a Kinesiology major in the active health and rehabilitation concentration, and I am going into my last year at SFU! 

Through co-op, I just finished a placement at Maple Ridge Physiotherapy and Pain Clinic. It was really interesting to work in a clinical environment and learn more about the day-to-day workings of a physiotherapy clinic. This also cemented my own desire to pursue physiotherapy as a career path after graduation. Other opportunities I have been involved with at SFU include working in the sports medicine clinic, volunteering to help with campus events and joining the UNICEF SFU club.

I chose BPK because I have always loved both sciences and athletics. I’ve played soccer my entire life and I also enjoy playing basketball and running. Outside of athletics, I love to read. I mostly read fantasy, mystery and science fiction.

I look forward to being a peer mentor to help students get involved in the SFU community and support them in their journey!

 

Jaden Sekhon

Hello! I’m Jaden, entering my third year of majoring in Biomedical Physiology. I have always been interested in the science of the human body and this passion has only increased after learning about specific related topics in-depth. I plan to further my education in this field after completing my undergrad and potentially pursue Optometry as a career. While in grade 9, I became a volunteer at Burnaby Hospital where I still volunteer. This has been my most significant volunteer experience and provided me with many new skills. During my time at SFU, I began dabbling in design and took opportunities to create logos and designs for various SFU clubs and associations including SFU BNSS, SFU SUS, and SFU BPKSA. This year, I was elected for and am now the VP Design for SUS and Promotional Coordinator for BPKSA. Outside of academics, I enjoy Videography, Photography, and composing, singing, and engineering music. As a Peer Mentor, I want to contribute to first-year students in the same department as me excelling in and getting accustomed to SFU.

 

Vrinda Kapadia

Hello, my name is Vrinda Kapadia.

I am a 4th year BP student and I aspire to attend Medical school. I am also enrolled as a Co-op student and have successfully completed one Co-op term employed as a research assistant in Environmental Sciences. I was recruited in the mycology lab to run experiments on fungi. I learned to distinguish different fungal species while observing them under the microscope. I helped mix treatment products and tested for their anti-fungal efficacy through experiments. I was also awarded a work-study term during my first year and was accepted for a research assistant position at an MBB lab. I like writing and occasionally contribute for The Peak which is the independent student newspaper at SFU. At home, I am a plant parent to Orchids and Purple Shamrocks. My favorite book to read is Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. I love science-fiction movies and my favorite movie is Steven Spielberg’s A.I. 2001. As a BPK peer mentor, I hope to support newly enrolled SFU students and make them feel integrated in the SFU campus community.  

 

Raman Rai

Hi everyone! My name is Raman, and I am currently heading into my 4th year at SFU as a Kinesiology major. The BPK program intrigued me from the start because I always knew I wanted to be learning about the human body along with the more active component.

Growing up, I was very active, and I played ice hockey competitively for about 15 years. I also love being outdoors and going on hikes or runs as much as possible, so I found the Kinesiology major to be a perfect fit for me from the start. Not only is the BPK program engaging, but it’s also a very fun and challenging environment to be in, which makes it that much better.

I am super excited to become a Peer Mentor and help students have a smooth transition into their new SFU environment. I understand and have experienced the hardships of jumping directly into university studies, so that’s why I’m here to help! I’m looking forward to meeting everyone.

 

Alia Simmonds

Hello everyone! I am in my second year of Biomedical Physiology. I chose to go into Biomedical Physiology to gain an undergraduate degree that would allow me to gain a base knowledge that is beneficial for the medical field; as I am planning on writing my MCAT for the first time this summer and then applying to medical school the fall of my third year. After my first year I have really enjoyed the classes and teachers within the program! When I am not studying, I will be outside, hiking, skiing, or climbing! I recently hiked the Bergg Lake trail and I would highly suggest it. As I had lots of help with my transition into the SFU and a new province I know how many uncertainties there are durining this transition, I am excited to help with your transition.

 

Yasmin Sardary

Hi there! My name is Yasmin and I’m currently a 3rd year Biomedical Physiology major. I chose BPK because it allows me to explore my interests in science, anatomy, and physiology while working towards my goal of attending med school somewhere in the future! I have yet to complete a Co-op term, but I am definitely looking forward to applying in the coming year to gain more real-life experience in the field.

In my free time, I love being outdoors either hiking, swimming in the ocean or camping with my friends every summer. I was a dancer for 10 years of my life so I value exercise and try to stay as active as I can! Being a mentee in my first year, I learned how helpful it was to have someone experienced to go to for guidance when you get stuck and I’d love to provide the same help to others. If you’re feeling anxious and confused going into your first semester, not to worry! We’ve all been there at some point and there are many resources available to help you sort it all out. I look forward to meeting the new SFU students and helping them out as much as I can with their transition into university!

 

Julia Hughes

Hey everyone, I’m Julia! This will be my 4th year at SFU as a kinesiology major. I chose BPK because its focus on humans has always been of interest to me and I’m hoping it will help lead me down the path to medical school in the future. 

I have been an active volunteer with the Canadian Mental Health Association for several years now and it has truly inspired me to pursue a career in health care!

Living in Vancouver, I love to be outdoors exploring and hiking the city, travelling to new places, or relaxing with friends!

During my time at SFU I have been involved in Passport to Leadership courses which develop skills in teamwork, communication, and leadership that I found to be extremely valuable. I have also volunteered as a clinic assistant at the SFU physiotherapy clinic for the student varsity athletes. I would highly recommend this position to gain some hands on experience. 

I was a part of this peer mentorship program as a mentee in my first year at SFU and it was an unbelievably beneficial experience for me. So, I’m excited to be able to help ease the transition for new students, answer questions along the way, and hopefully make it fun! I’m really looking forward to meeting everyone.

 

Leah Farquharson

Hey! I’m Leah, and I will be going into my fourth year of Kinesiology. I chose kinesiology because I really like sports and I love learning about the human body and how it functions. I volunteer for first aid at my church and help at my mom’s physio clinic (Headworks physio). I also coach high school basketball, swimming, and ultimate frisbee. I started a swimming club at school so if u want swim (when school is not online anymore) let me know :)

In my free time, I enjoy playing sports with my friends or family and doing any sort of outdoor activities. My favorite thing to do probably is go to a beach or lake and I love travelling. I also like to play music and make crafts like sewing clothes or making necklaces and bracelets.

I am still figuring out what I want to do for a career and after I graduate, but I would like to work with people. I would like to be a peer mentor, to help first years have the best first year they can; I would also like to help ease the transition from high school to university. 

 

Jay Dave

Hey! My name is Jay and I am currently in my 4th year at SFU. I am going to be majoring in Kinesiology with the Active Health and Rehabilitation Concentration. I wanted to study BPK because I am not only interested in the cellular component of science, but also how that relates to our body movement. BPK lab courses at SFU have taught me many practical skills and components that I never knew were even related to Kinesiology.

I like to remain active and enjoy playing team sports; however, in this precarious time we are in, I have shifted my hobbies to reading lots of fiction and non-fiction books and learning about creating my own investment portfolio. I have shifted my perspective on many career choices because the more I learn about BPK, the more career choices seem to open up. Currently, I want to experience the research side of Kinesiology, and what we can scientifically discover about Kinesiology. I decided to become a Peer-Mentor because as a 3rd year I have experienced so many lessons – good and bad, that I want to pass down to a 1st year student. Your first semester can be overwhelming, but we are here to help.

 

Kyle Yeung

Hey, everyone. Welcome to BPK Peer Mentorship! My name is Kyle, and I’m a Behavioural Neuroscience major entering my 2 nd year. I chose Behavioural Neuroscience because I thought it would be wise to understand the brain before I become a mental health professional of any kind. I came into university to pursue this degree last September — in the height of the pandemic — and I’m excited to guide you through the successes and challenges of starting university online! Volunteering helps remind me that life exists outside of my email inbox and the Canvas website. Outside of class, I am a SFU Sustainability Advisory Council member, and the VP Internal for BNSS, the student union that provides a community for Behavioural Neuroscience students. I also mentor a group of school-aged queer kids! Between school and volunteering, I enjoy listening to music (pop, R&B, hip-hop, and K-pop), and producing my own music. If everything goes right, I’ll eventually become a psychiatrist who provides marginalized groups in Vancouver with access to mental health care. However, I’ve still got a lot of possibilities to explore, and as your Peer Mentor, I’ll be here to help you explore your possibilities as well!

 

Carla Balce

Hi everyone! My name is Carla and I’ll be going into my 3rd year as a Biomedical Physiology major! I chose BP because I’ve always been fascinated with the human body and how it moves. My interests in fitness and anatomy made BP the perfect program for me! In the future, I hope to pursue a career in healthcare, specifically something that allows me to interact with others as I love helping and meeting new people. 

In my free time, I enjoy eating sushi with my friends or swimming in a lake nearby! I also love exploring the city with my friends or family, so I’m always open to trying new things! I decided to become a Peer Mentor because I was a mentee during my first year and found the experience very useful and beneficial. My mentor gave me great guidance and advice that significantly eased my transition to university life. I had a memorable experience with my mentor and I want to do the same for others! I am looking forward to meeting you all and helping make your first year fun and memorable as it can be!

 

Avantika Vashisht

Hi! I am Avantika Vashisht and am going into the last year of my undergrad degree at SFU. The human body and its systems always intrigued me while growing up and thus led to me pursuing my BP degree. An opportunity I am glad I learnt about is the BPK Co-op program, as it allowed me to find a position that really resonated with me and furthered my determination to attend medical school. My Co-op placement was at SFU’s Gerontology Research Centre, where I successfully completed my three work terms. This placement fuelled my desire to pursue a gerontology minor. 

I  work as a research assistant at SFU’s Gerontology Research Centre for the past three years (a position I could never have found without the BPK Co-op program), which worked to illuminate many of my own goals and interests along with teaching me how to step out of my comfort zone. I am also the president of The Golden Key International Honour Society chapter at SFU. 

My journey from a prospective student to a full-time student at SFU had been and continues to be filled with confusion and challenges. However, over the years, I have learnt to persevere and learn from my own mistakes. I will certainly try my very best to help guide you through the transition to university, whether that be with academics, Co-op, and any other uncertainties. 

Apart from school, I enjoy taking on adventurous hikes around my city or simply exploring nature. I enjoy travelling and learning about new cultures and traditions. 

Lastly, welcome to BPK, and I hope you all feel excited to start this new journey! Best of luck!!

 

Simran Prashar

Hello fellow BPKers! I’m Simran, a 3rd year Kinesiology student. I chose BPK because I love to see its advancements from basic science to human health and physiology. I am the current President of the BPK Student Association, I chair all our meetings and help organize events to further enhance your undergraduate student experience. I am so glad to have learned about the Biomedical Physiology and Kinesiology Students Association (BPKSA) which is a great group of BPK students working together to provide further support and opportunities to our growing community!

In my free time, I love to cook and hike on our beautiful trails. In the future, I hope to use my degree in Kinesiology and pursue a career in Physiotherapy where I can apply my knowledge to further help others. I decided to become a Peer Mentor because I know that entering university into a new environment can be intimidating for many students. I hope to help guide my mentees in the right direction by providing support during this transition to post-secondary!

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