As a Canadian living in Seattle, Vibhuti Kacholia Vic 2T1 applied to Victoria College on a whim, but once she learned more about Vic’s close-knit social and intellectual community within a diverse city, she knew she had found her home for the next four years.
Kacholia describes her undergraduate experience as “immensely fulfilling.” Her major in global health provided a path for her that led her beyond the traditional life sciences to focus on social and environmental determinants of health.
Highlights of her program include academic experiences outside the traditional classroom. One of her favourite classes was an independent, community-engaged learning seminar led by Professor Sam Tecle, which provided her with an undergraduate placement opportunity. She worked with the Gendering Adolescent AIDS Prevention (GAAP) project with Dr. June Larkin and was able to immerse herself in "community-based, participatory research and practice.”
Another highlight of her undergraduate experience was participating in the Faculty of Arts & Science International Course Module to Greece with Professors Dimaras and Papaconstantinou. There, she and her classmates explored the impact of the refugee crisis on health and austerity services in Athens. Her double minor in psychology and equity studies complemented her life sciences degree with a wide breadth of knowledge and theory through a social sciences and humanities lens, which made for a rewarding academic experience all four years.
Kacholia was also eager to get involved as a volunteer and student leader at Victoria College. Her involvement all four years on the Victoria University Student Administrative Council (VUSAC) showcased the importance of social connection between student peers: “What was truly impactful was when we could connect with students and fill gaps in their University experiences with resources, services and programs.”
Filling in gaps is something that Kacholia hopes to bring with her as she moves onto graduate school and her future career: “This lesson is especially prevalent in healthcare, where community and culturally informed health services and knowledge are essential in empowering marginalized communities to make informed decisions about their health. Working on projects such as the free menstrual product dispensers in the Goldring Student Centre during my time on VUSAC gave me invaluable advocacy experience, and I look forward to bringing this to my career in health promotion.”
Vibhuti Kacholia graduates with a global health major and a double minor in psychology and equity studies. She has been awarded the Helen Muriel and Doris Elizabeth Hubbert Award for her postgraduate studies in the sciences and for demonstrating good citizenship, good social responsibility and leadership in society. She has also been awarded a Gold V (for her truly outstanding contributions to improving the world around her and inspiring others to do the same. In the fall, she will return to U of T and begin a master’s degree in public health in health promotion with a focus on adolescent