Skip to main content
Simon Fraser University
Assistant Director, Internal Communications
SFU News Editor

A photo of the author
“I have a strong passion for social justice and breaking down barriers to access[...] Basic healthcare is a need; it’s a human rights issue.”

This article was originally published on SFU News June 07, 2016

Medical imaging technologist Lauren Shandley loves to travel. That’s why she pursued a BA in health sciences with a focus on global health. She figured combining the degree with her technical expertise would lead to jobs that would pay her to travel.

She was right.

She convocates in June, and is just completing training as a new member of the Red Cross’ Emergency Response Unit, which deploys highly trained professionals within 48 hours of a disaster.

“I’ll be taking x-rays in a field hospital in a disaster zone,” she says.

Doctors Without Borders has also hired her, and will send her on four-to-six-week missions in Africa and the Middle East, where she’ll work alongside local medical staff to deliver training in medical imaging.

And while a career in the humanitarian sector doesn’t pay well, that’s not an issue for Lauren, whose previous travels took her to many disadvantaged countries.

“I have a strong passion for social justice and breaking down barriers to access,” she says. “Basic healthcare is a need; it’s a human rights issue.”

Acceptance into international aid organizations isn’t easy. Lauren credits some of her success to a four-month SFU international co-op term in India, where she helped deliver English literacy and numeracy classes to human- and sex-trafficking victims at Destiny Foundation.

“It definitely helped me gain the experience of living and working abroad in a difficult situation.”

In October, she will head to Arusha, Tanzania on a paid, two-month fellowship with RAD-AID and the Canadian Association of Medical Radiation Technologists to train local technologists to use a new CT scanner.

After that? A four-month trip across the continent on her own, and with friends—unless she’s mobilized by the Red Cross or Doctors Without Borders.

“There aren’t a lot of x-ray technicians who have a global public health degree,” she says. “I’ve found a good platform and feel I’ve been able to position myself quite well. Hopefully, one day I’ll be full-time dedicated in the field.”

Simon Fraser University
Assistant Director, Internal Communications
SFU News Editor
visibility  103
Aug 3, 2016

You Might Like These... International, Life Experience, Co-operative Education

Korea
International Spotlight: Korea

Bordered by China, Russia, and separated from Japan by the Korea Strait, Korea makes for a strong international hub of Asia.

California
International Spotlight: California

Sunny California is not only one of the favorite tourist destinations but also a state with a variety of opportunities.

Kaleigh sitting on a cliff staring out to the wilderness
My Co-op Work Term in Gaborone | Part Two

In Part 2 of her series, Health Sciences Co-op student Kaleigh Banister gets into the local Gabarone culture and takes a bit of time to explore the natural wonders she’s surrounded by.

You Might Like These... International

A group of houses in Poland
Co-op Poland: Evan's International Adventure of Self Exploration

University can be a draining experience. So how to do you recharge yourself without delaying your academic or professional plans? Why not go on an international co-op placement? Check out BPK student Evan Hutcheon's adventure, reflections and experiences he gained working in Poland.

Photo of 8 men stacked in triangular pyramid formation, standing on each others shoulders
Team Work Works: The Story Behind the Photo

Karan Durairajan may be new to SFU, but that didn’t stop him from entering the 2008 WIL Photo Contest under the brand new entry category, Community Engagement. Read the story behind the photo.

Two people in the bus smiling to the camera
My Co-op Work Term in Gaborone | Part One | Dumela (Hello) Botswana

Health Sciences Co-op student Kaleigh Banister is spending the spring semester in Gabarone on a Co-op work term with the Cancer Association of Botswana. In Part 1 of her series, Kaleigh arrives in Gabarone and begins to adjust to life in the slow lane.