Mahala Swisterski (BHSc '21), a graduate student, found many mentorship opportunities at ULethbridge and she credits those opportunities with giving her guidance and support throughout her program.
Meet Mahala: Committed | Passionate | Collaborative
Program: Master of Science | Major: Health Sciences, Public Health specialization
Why did you choose ULethbridge?
I chose ULethbridge because I wanted to have mentorship experiences from extraordinary minds in my field. ULethbridge’s campus is the perfect size to foster mentorship opportunities. It also helps that the campus is beautiful, and the city of Lethbridge is the perfect place for me. I grew up rurally, so I value smaller cities like Lethbridge.
- meaningful, real-world research and practice opportunities
- flexible, future-focused, career-relevant programs
- supportive campus communities
- generous student funding
What is your most memorable ULethbridge experience?
The day I decided to pursue graduate studies. I was pre-med for a while and was starting to question if that was the right path for me. I went to the SGS Open House (admittedly because there was free food) and attended a session about the public health graduate program. I left that session with a renewed passion and spent the next week researching how I could apply. It was the first time in a while that I felt I was on the right path and had found what I was genuinely passionate about.
How have your professors supported your education?
My ULethbridge professors have impacted my education immensely. If I had to boil it down to one point, it would be that they are incredibly supportive. They want to help you, they want you to feel confident, and they care about your success. My professors have cheered me on in my success and have guided me through when I felt lost. They truly care and want to support you, which is something I have really valued in my time here.
Is there anyone who has had an important influence on your ULethbridge experience?
Dr. Cheryl Currie. Full stop. She has been a phenomenal supervisor, mentor and professor. I don’t think I would have had half the success I have without her support and guidance. She is one of those professors and supervisors who truly cares. She really wants to see you be successful, whether you are a student in her class, one of her grad students, or any student on campus. I could go on for hours about how amazing she is.
What are your hopes and plans for the future?
Eighteen-year-old me would be shocked…. but I would like to learn more. Whether it is doing a PhD or going to med school, I don’t think I am done learning yet. What has changed since starting grad school is that I have many more options, all of which I am passionate about and would be excited to be doing.
What advice would you give to someone about to start their journey at ULethbridge?
I would say to soak it all in. You have some amazing professors, support and opportunities. Absorb it all in and try everything you can. You never know where your passion may be, so soak everything in and really make the most of your experience.