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Dal Crossroads continues 20 year legacy of student ‑led learning

Posted by Ryan Donato on June 10, 2024 in News
The theme of this year's conference was Sustainability in Health. Bruce Bottomley photo
The theme of this year's conference was Sustainability in Health. Bruce Bottomley photo

The 2024 Crossroads Interdisciplinary Health Research Conference continued its proud legacy of celebrating the newest generation of student leadership in health research. On March 1st and 2nd, over 140 students from across Canada gathered at Dalhousie University to showcase their latest research, participate in engaging panels, and hear keynote speeches from leaders in the health sector.

“It was a pleasure and privilege to Co-Chair Crossroads 2024! We had a high number of attendees, and it was fantastic to see the inclusive and celebratory atmosphere of the conference,” said co-chairs, and Masters of Health Promotion candidates Emily Burke and Simran Bhamra. “Students were able to connect and collaborate with each other, our speakers, and established health professionals, it was great!”

Crossroads drew in students from across the country. The farthest traveled student was Esther Mandono who flew all the way from the west coast to attend. Mandano is a student in the Therapeutic Recreation program at Douglas College in BC. “This is my first Crossroads conference. I heard about it in my research class last semester. My professor mentioned the conference to my class because one of the co-chairs is a grad from the program. After discussing it with my professor, I decided to apply.”

Mandono gave a poster presentation titled “The lens of a BIPOC professional in the TR field”. Speaking about the benefits of the conference, Mandono said “For me, this conference is an added part of my learning experience as a student. It also gives me the opportunity to share my research with other students and professionals across Canada.”

The first day of the conference was opened by Dr. Sara Kirk and Dr. Cecilia Carrea on behalf of the Healthy Populations Institute and took place in the Dalhousie Student Union Building (SUB). The day's events kept in line with the conference’s theme of “Sustainability in Health” and consisted of lively panel discussions on important topics such as “Sustainable Health Systems” and “Exploring Social and Community Health Resilience”.

The participants were also invited to participate in a mini-course on “Sustainability and Accessibility” led by Michelle Mahoney, the new Accessibility Officer for the University of Kings College. Course participants learned from Mahoney’s lived experience living with disability, as well as learning about her new role, some of the existing accessibility initiative in the college, and how accessibility connects with sustainability

Day two of the Conference was hosted in the Collaborative Health Education Building (CHEB) and featured two keynote speakers. The first keynote of the day was by Dr. Mikiko Terashima, Associate Professor in the Faculty of Architecture and Planning’s School of Planning department. Dr. Terashima spoke about the work she has been doing as part of the Planning for Equity, accessibility, and Community Health (PEACH) Research unit. At the awards ceremony, Cameron Campbell, Executive Director of the Nova Scotia Innovation Hubl spoke about the role of the Nova Scotia Innovation Hub and how students can get involved in their work.

Also on the second day, nearly 100 students representing a wide variety of health disciplines presented their latest research. The presentations took place in multiple rooms throughout the day and were given in two formats, oral presentations and poster presentations both of which were adjudicated by established health professionals, academics, and student peers..

More than 40 oral presentations were heard on subjects including the accessibility of mental health, stakeholder experiences with school based COVID-19 immunization efforts, and the impacts of cannabis consumption. Additionally, there were over 50 poster presentations on subjects including income and education inequalities in ovarian cancer mortality, accessing health care in a climate crisis, and an evaluation of a summer camp for children living with disabilities.

The Faculty of Health would like to congratulate co-chairs Emily Burke and Simran Bhamra as well as the other members of the Crossroads Planning Committee, Lindsay Van Dam, Natalie Green, Katya Kruglova, Beatrice Devlin, Julia Bedell, Lucy Eum, Ainsley Macdonald, Diana Adamo, Sofia So, Elora Bishop, and Kelly Page for organizing another successful Dal Crossroads Conference.

The Crossroads Conference is organized annually by the Graduate Student Society in the Faculty of Health’s School of Health and Human Performance.

For more information on the 2024 Dal Crossroads Interdisciplinary Health Research Conference please visit