Portrait of Rhiannon Cooper

Rhiannon Cooper

MSc. Student

Pursuing my master’s degree under the supervision of Dr. Agarwal, with the support of the McMaster Community Paramedicine research team, has been a valuable experience. Dr. Agarwal took into account my research interests and learning objectives and assigned relevant tasks to help in my development. Furthermore, she offered several research opportunities, outside of my thesis project, involving collaboration with researchers nationwide and internationally. These experiences have been invaluable, not only to my personal and professional development, but also in building the necessary skills (writing manuscripts, analyzing data) for successfully completing my master’s thesis. Each member of the CP research team has enriched my learning experience with their wide range of expertise and have been very supportive along the way. This learning opportunity has helped to inform my future career decisions and I’m very grateful for the chance to work with the CP research team.

Portrait of Maryam Shirinzadeh

Maryam Shirinzadeh


I was a master’s student in the HRM program, and my internship experience at the family Medicine department was excellent. I was pleased to have Dr. Gina Agarwal as my supervisor for more than 2 years. Gina is a true mentor, in all respects, her insistence on learning accurately is always accompanied by great understanding and support for her students. In spite of her intense workload, she is always willing to take time to chat with her students about research ideas or personal concerns, or life in general. I received a huge amount of support from Gina, I have defended my thesis in January 2020, I published one paper and have two papers under review for publication, I also have been able to attend an academic conference to present my work.

Portrait of Leena Al Shenaiber

Leena Al Shenaiber

MPH Student

Working with the Vulnerable Individuals in Primary Care (VIP) Research Lab exceeded my expectations in every way. Despite the challenges of a virtual practicum, I gained many quantitative and qualitative research and communication skills and expanded my knowledge of health and health care. Dr. Agarwal and the team went above and beyond to make sure we were included in meetings and discussions and gave us many opportunities to work on a diverse group of projects. The team was incredibly supportive and patient and took the time to explain the reasoning behind many of the concepts that we covered. I am very grateful for the chance to work with this team and witness the power of effective communication and collaboration in primary care research!

Portrait of Jasmine Dzerounian

Jasmine Dzerounian

MPH Student

My practicum placement with Dr. Agarwal and the Vulnerable Individuals In Primary Care (VIP) Research Lab has been a cornerstone for my personal and professional development. The team is extremely supportive and worked tirelessly to provide an immersive experience for myself and other students, even with COVID-19 requiring that we all work remotely. I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to gain hands-on experience, through my own project and many others, in public health work concerning chronic disease prevention, knowledge translation, and primary care.

Portrait of Leila Harris

Leila Harris


I am very grateful to have completed my summer practicum placement under Dr. Agarwal’s supervision, along with the extended research team. Everyone was very welcoming and provided constant support, answering any questions I had throughout the practicum. Through this experience, I have been able to put my data analysis skills to use and complete a manuscript for publication, in addition to many other aspects of public health research. Given the importance of the research being conducted, I would highly recommend a placement with this dynamic team!

Portrait of Manika Bhandari

Manika Bhandari


My practicum with Dr. Gina Agarwal and the CP Research team provided me with valuable hands-on experience and a better understanding of community-based research, program planning and implementation. It was a wonderful opportunity to develop and enhance my skills in research methodology, manuscript writing, surveying and knowledge translation. I am very pleased with my experience working with a skilled team in a supportive environment. I would definitely recommend this practicum to students seeking to get involved in various aspects of public health research.

Portrait of Drashti Pete

Drashti Pete


Working with Dr. Agarwal and the McMaster CP research team has been a wonderful experience. The CP research team was very supportive and gave me new projects/tasks whenever I voiced interest in gaining experience in other areas of research/projects outside my own. Alongside my primary goal of gaining experience in data analysis, I got the opportunity to learn skills in knowledge translation, surveying participants, manuscript writing and presentation skills. I would definitely recommend this practicum to other students.

Portrait of Ying Zhu

Ying Zhu


I am very pleased with my practicum experience and felt well supported by the practicum supervisor Dr. Agarwal and the research team. Every time I had questions or difficulties, the members of the research team were always happy to help. I have learned and practiced data cleaning skills and how to deal with missing data. I also got the chance to apply multiple data analysis methodologies in analyzing RCT data. I have gained a further understanding of the nature of different types of data and practiced my data analyzing skills. I am happy that I was able to achieve my various practicum objectives!

Portrait of Guneet Saini

Guneet Saini


Completing a practicum with Dr. Agarwal and the team was a great way to gain experience in many different aspects of community-based research, such as data analysis, program planning and manuscript writing. I was given the choice to pursue an area of interest and was supported with the guidance and knowledge of a skilled team. I would definitely recommend a practicum with the CP research team for anyone wishing to further their exposure to important public health work.

Portrait of Aarani Paramalingam

Aarani Paramalingam


Working with Dr. Agarwal and the CP Research Team was a terrific experience. I had the opportunity to work with both quantitative and qualitative data, be involved with knowledge translation, learn surveying skills that were outside of my comfort zone, and be supported by a knowledgeable and experienced team. Learning about community paramedicine was fascinating as it is an innovative approach that combined both elements of population health and primary care. I would recommend this practicum to any student seeking an immersive experience, where they can choose to develop their own specific goals and interests.

Portrait of Andrea Ziesmann

Andrea Ziesmann


My experience with the McMaster Community Paramedicine Research Team exceeded my practicum expectations! Although I was assigned to my own project, I still gained experience in many other areas of research such as grant and protocol writing, knowledge translation, program evaluation and qualitative analysis. Dr. Agarwal and the research team provided me with diverse knowledge and expertise. They provided a supportive learning environment in which questions and ideas were always welcomed! This experience allowed me to enhance many of my public health competencies and sparked my passion for chronic disease prevention and management, and health promotion.

Portrait of Kendra Habing

Kendra Habing


My practicum experience with Dr. Agarwal was fantastic. I was given the flexibility to work on all different areas of the research, therefore I was able to develop a wide variety of skills for working in a public health setting. I gained experience with both quantitative and qualitative research, and with program planning, implementation and evaluation. I strongly recommend a practicum position with the McMaster Community Paramedicine Research team.

Portrait of Arshpreet Bedi

Arshpreet Bedi


My practicum with the McMaster Community Paramedicine Research team allowed me to understand the risk factors in subsidized housing in Hamilton and how an accessible community based approach can improve well-being. The experience was flexible, aligned with my personal objectives and provided the opportunity to interact with the community through focus groups and one on one-interview sessions.

Portrait of Angela Gao

Angela Gao

MD Student

I had the opportunity to work with Dr. Agarwal and the Vulnerable Individuals in Primary Care (VIP) Research Lab as part of an undergraduate project course. Dr. Agarwal and the extended team consistently supported my learning as I completed a project exploring social isolation in older adults in subsidized housing. The research team facilitated a welcoming environment, which allowed me to fulfill my personal research goals while feeling comfortable asking questions along the way. I gained experience in quantitative data analysis and manuscript preparation, and learned about community paramedicine as a novel approach to health promotion. Overall, the experience was extremely positive and encouraged me to pursue further research in primary care.

Portrait of Pauneez Sadri

Pauneez Sadri

MPH Student

I am incredibly grateful to have completed my practicum with Dr. Agarwal and the CP research team. As a practicum student, I was able to complete several projects related to community paramedicine that were tailored to my interests. I collaborated with students and members of the research team to learn new skills and engage in discussions that helped consolidate my passion for primary care research. This practicum has been an invaluable experience that has supported my learning and provided me with the knowledge and skills to succeed as a Master of Public Health student and future health care professional.

Portrait of Amelia Keenan

Amelia Keenan

MPH Student

I have had an immersive and valuable experience working with the Vulnerable Individuals in Primary Care (VIP) Research Lab for my MPH practicum. The team is dynamic, driven, and supportive of student project work and interests. During my practicum, I have honed my qualitative research skills under the guidance of Dr. Agarwal and the team and am grateful to have had the opportunity to contribute to other projects and initiatives related to improving health care for vulnerable populations. I would not hesitate to recommend working with this team!

Portrait of Jasdeep Brar

Jasdeep Brar

PhD Student

I am completing my PhD studies under the supervision of Dr. Gina Agarwal in the Health Research Methodology program at McMaster University. Previously, I completed my Honours BSc in the Life Sciences program at the University of Toronto in 2021. My research interests include health equity, global and public health, social determinants of health, health policy, and community engagement.

I also started working as a Research Assistant with the VIP Research Lab in 2022. I am very grateful to be working with this exceptionally supportive and talented team to contribute to various initiatives and an evidence base to improve the health of vulnerable populations.

Portrait of Hanna Dias

Hanna Dias

MPH Student

I am extremely grateful to have completed my practicum placement with Dr. Agarwal and the Vulnerable Individuals in Primary Care (VIP) research team. Dr. Agarwal took the time to understand my learning goals and interests so that I could complete a project that would be meaningful to me. I also had the chance to collaborate on the team’s other projects and research activities, which taught me a lot about how public health interventions and research initiatives work. It was an enriching learning experience to apply much of what I learned in my MPH courses to my work, while also learning more from the team’s expertise. I would recommend a practicum to any student who wants to contribute to meaningful work to improve the health of vulnerable populations.

Portrait of Maiura Muralitharan

Maiura Muralitharan

MPH Student

I am pursuing my Master’s in Public Health at McMaster where I am completing my thesis under the supervision of Dr. Gina Agarwal. Dr. Agarwal took into account my research interests in my thesis where I am exploring the impact of racism on the health outcomes of South Asian individuals. Her guidance has been instrumental in my academic and professional development toward obtaining my MPH degree and building my career. She has been flexible to allow me to explore an international practicum in South Africa through the Queen Elizabeth Scholarship while simultaneously motivating me and supporting my thesis work while abroad. As I am passionate about studying and addressing the impacts of the social determinants of health and working with vulnerable populations.

Portrait of Seth Walvinz Quimson

Seth Walvinz Quimson


I am a recent graduate of Master of Public Health where I completed my summer practicum placement with Dr. Gina Agarwal This practicum experience was instrumental for me to witness and experience the inner workings of public health research.
As a member of the team, I had the chance to work on a research study involving vulnerable populations, collaborate with stakeholders, and apply the skills and theoretical knowledge I have gained from my education in the field of Public Health. Through my involvement with the team, I also gained experience in manuscript writing, exposure to grant proposals, and quantitative and qualitative research skills. I am immensely grateful for the invaluable and enriching learning experience from this placement.

Portrait of Kumindu Gamage

Kumindu Gamage


As a graduate of the Master of Public Health program at McMaster University, I had the opportunity to complete my practicum with Dr. Gina Agarwal. Through my participation in the VIP Research Lab’s research projects I was involved in manuscript writing , conducting preliminary qualitative data analysis, and contributing to various research team tasks. Through these experiences, I was exposed to the routines of a research team and had ample occasions to apply and strengthen my public health competencies with real-world data. This position also re-invigorated my desire to be involved in public health efforts focusing on health equity and healthcare access for vulnerable populations. I greatly admire the work done by Dr. Gina Agarwal and her team at the VIP Research Lab and am grateful for having had the opportunity to contribute to their work for bettering the health of our communities.

Portrait of Anvi Desai

Anvi Desai


I have recently graduated from the Master of Public Health program at McMaster University. During my practicum, I worked under the supervision of Dr. Gina Agarwal to investigate a study on community paramedicine. Through this experience, I developed research skills and learned how to communicate with different individuals with varying expertise in the field of community paramedicine. Moreover, my time with the VIP Research Lab has truly been a knowledgeable and fulfilling opportunity as I was able to work alongside different members of the team and students to strengthen my skills in knowledge translation, conducting literature scans and presenting findings for various studies.

Portrait of Sahar Popal

Sahar Popal


I had a great experience working with Dr. Agarwal and other members of the Vulnerable Individuals in Primary Care (VIP) research lab for my practicum. I was able to put my theoretical knowledge into practice by contributing to meaningful real-world projects aimed at improving the health of vulnerable populations. The opportunity to engage in various projects allowed me to improve my skills in data analysis, manuscript writing, and knowledge translation. The supportive environment at the lab contributed significantly to my overall positive learning experience. I would highly recommend this practicum opportunity to others seeking enriching experiences.