Queen's University

Department of

Public Health Sciences


Public Health Sciences

site header
Subscribe to RSS - News



Laura Holder successfully presents her Biostatistics Practicum Report

Laura Holder successfully presents her Biostatistics Practicum Report 

On Monday, September 28, 2015, MSc in Biostatistics candidate Laura Holder successfully defended her Biostatistics Practicum Report to the Department of Public Health Sciences. Laura's practicum report title was multiple imputation in complex survey settings: a comparison of methods through application in the health behaviour in school-aged children survey. She was supervised by Drs. Michael Isaac (PHS) and Will Pickett (PHS), and her examiners were Drs. Will King (PHSand Paul Peng (PHS)Congratulations Laura.


Leah Hamilton successfully defends her MSc thesis ​

Leah Hamilton successfully defends her MSc thesis ​

On Thursday, September 24, 2015, MSc candidate Leah Hamilton successfully defended her MSc thesis to the Department of Public Health Sciences. Leah's thesis title was The Diagnostic Interval of Colorectal Cancer Patients in Ontario by Degree of Rurality. She was supervised by Dr. Patti Groome (PHS), and her examiners were Drs. Kathleen Norman (School of Rehabilitation Therapy), Will Pickett (PHS), Mike Green (PHS), and Harriet Richardson (PHS)Congratulations Leah.


Tasha Hanuschak successfully defends her MSc thesis

Tasha Hanuschak successfully defends her MSc thesis ​

On Thursday, September 24, 2015, MSc candidate Tasha Hanuschak successfully defended her MSc thesis to the Department of Public Health Sciences. Tasha's thesis title was Coronary Angiography and Neurological Intact Survival in Out-of-hospital Cardiac Arrest Patient. She was supervised by Drs. Steven Brooks (MED) and Paul Peng (PHS), and her examiners were Drs. Joan Almost (School of Nursing), Harriet Richardson (PHS), Ana Johnson (PHS), and Patti Groome (PHS)Congratulations Tasha.


Understanding risk-taking behaviour amongst Canadian adolescents

Understanding risk-taking behaviour amongst Canadian adolescents

Having been a Concurrent Education student at Queen’s University, Jonathan Kwong has always been passionate about child health and research involving the school environment. The MSc in Epidemiology program at Queen’s has given him the tools to answer the research questions that are most important to him.

Since beginning his graduate studies in 2013, Jonathan’s research has been focused on risk-taking behaviour among Canadian adolescents. By using a dataset of approximately 30,000 Canadian students, Jonathan wanted to understand how different types of risk behaviour (smoking, drinking, fighting, unhealthy dietary patterns, physical inactivity, etc.) relate to one another. Under the supervision of Drs. Will Pickett (Public Health Sciences) and Don Klinger (Education), Jonathan sought to answer two important questions: 1) are there predictable patterns of risk behaviour that adolescents take part in, and 2) if so, do those different patterns impact the health of Canadian adolescents? He was also keen to understand whether positive social relationships with peers and teachers could protect students who participate in risk behaviour from getting hurt.

Before choosing the MSc in Epidemiology program, Jonathan spoke to a number of graduates of the program and they all had wonderful things to say about the program. Jonathan states that “having now completed my degree, I would say the same things”. He goes on to add that “the program allows students to learn from one another, and the faculty make a real effort to support their students to be successful in the program, and beyond”.  

Jonathan is particularly proud of the work he did with his fellow MSc and MPH students in creating the Public Health Sciences Student Association (PHSSA). Jonathan explains that the PHSSA regularly holds socials and formals, and provides opportunities for professional development, thereby allowing students and faculty to get to know each other in both social and professional settings.

Having now successfully defended his thesis, Jonathan is preparing to start medical school at the University of Toronto. Jonathan is confident that the lessons learned during his MSc will help him critically evaluate medical literature and continue to grow as a research scientist.


Eleanor Hung successfully defends her MSc thesis

Eleanor Hung successfully defends her MSc thesis ​

On Wednesday, August 19, 2015, MSc candidate Eleanor Hung successfully defended her MSc thesis to the Department of Public Health Sciences. Eleanor's thesis title was shift work and cortisol production among female hospital employees. She was supervised by Drs. Kristan Aronson (PHS) and Joan Tranmer (School of Nursing), and her examiners were Drs. Rosemary Wilson (School of Nursing), Will Pickett (PHS), Harriet Richardson (PHS), and Kyra Pyke (School of Kinesiology and Health Studies)Congratulations Eleanor.


Katherine McKenzie successfully defends her MSc thesis

Katherine McKenzie successfully defends her MSc thesis ​

On Thursday, August 6, 2015, MSc candidate Katherine McKenzie successfully defended her MSc thesis to the Department of Public Health Sciences. Katherine's thesis title was aging with intellectual and developmental disabilities: the effect of frailty and health instability on admission to long-term care. She was supervised by Drs. Helene Ouellette-Kuntz (PHS) and Lynn Martin (Lakehead University), and her examiners were Drs. Mary Ann McColl (School of Rehabilitation Therapy), Harriet Richardson (PHS), Beatriz Alvarado (PHS), and Kevin Woo (School of Nursing)Congratulations Katherine. 


Student’s search for missing data

Student’s search for missing data

by Tim Rosillo 

Laura Holder, a current MSc biostatistics student, has always been interested in public health research and statistics, and she wanted to find a graduate program that combined these two disciplines. For Laura, the Biostatistics Program in the Department of Public Health Sciences seemed like the best fit, since biostatistics can be applied to an immense range of topics and projects.

Laura began her academic career at McMaster University, where she graduated with a BSc in psychology, neuroscience, and behaviour, with a minor in statistics. While completing her undergraduate training, Laura took courses in algebra, calculus, differential equations, probability, statistics, and survey sampling.  Laura was drawn to the MSc Biostatistics Program offered in the Department of Public Health Sciences since its curriculum provided both a good foundation in epidemiological research and statistical skill development.

During her 12 month program, Laura has enjoyed the “diversity in coursework, which has been enhanced by the inter-departmental nature of the program”.  She notes that the courses offered by the Departments of Public Health Science and Mathematics and Statistics are well integrated and very complementary.  The course work has exposed her to a diverse and comprehensive range of subject matter, and she likes the opportunity for collaboration that the small program offers. 

For Laura’s practicum, she is working with Dr. Michael McIsaac, whose research interest’s lie in methodology to handle missing data, and Dr. William Pickett, the co-principal investigator on the Health Behaviours in School-Aged Children Survey in Canada (HBSC). The HBSC is a cross-national survey of adolescent health conducted in collaboration with the World Health Organization. Laura explains that “missing data is a virtually inevitable obstacle in survey research, and neglecting to properly account for missing data during analysis may result in false findings and conclusions. Certain characteristics of large complex surveys, like the HBSC, offer unique challenges when dealing with missing data.”  Laura’s practicum is focused on the missing data in the HBSC, specifically, how missing data may impact conclusions drawn about the relationship between childhood hunger and certain negative health outcomes. 

After graduating from the program, Laura hopes to use the fundamental skills she has developed during her time at Queen’s to work as an analyst for a government or research agency that is involved in informing public health policy development.


Michael Leung successfully defends his MSc thesis ​

Michael Leung successfully defends his MSc thesis ​

On Thursday, July 30, 2015, MSc candidate Michael Leung successfully defended his MSc thesis to the Department of Public Health Sciences. Michael's thesis title was factors associated with reduction in metabolic risk score during a lifestyle intervention program. He was supervised by Drs. Kristan Aronson and Joan Tranmer, and his examiners were Drs. Christina Godfrey (School of Nursing), Harriet Richardson (PHS), Keyue Ding (PHS), and Kevin Woo (School of Nursing)Congratulations Michael.