As part of our Spring Convocation 2024 coverage, we asked graduates from our six Schools to share their experiences of completing a degree in McGill’s Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Here, we meet Class of 2024 member Isaiah Williams from the School of Population and Global Health. Isaiah completed his MSc in Public Health and received his degree at the Spring Convocation Ceremony on May 28. Congratulations Isaiah!    


Name: Isaiah Williams 

Degree: Master of Science in Public Health 

Hometown: Hamilton, Ontario 


What did you love most about studying at McGill and the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences?: 

I loved being exposed to so many new ideas and being able to bounce these ideas off of my friends, classmates, and professors.  


Did you focus on a particular area during your degree?  

My program was non-thesis, but I did a lot of research on substance use and harm reduction. 


How will your research have a positive impact on society? 

I learned a lot about the systems people live within and how these systems impact the health of communities and individuals. I hope that, with my MScPH, I will be able to work alongside others to help make these systems more humane, fairer and more conducive to human wellbeing. 


Please share a particularly proud or challenging moment from your degree? 

Learning how to use the R programming language. It was something I entered my degree having never used. Given that very little of my prior education involved coding, I’m proud that, through classes, assignments, and my practicum, I’ve come to a point where I now comfortably use R in my day-to-day work.  


Your favourite activity? 

Bouldering at different climbing gyms around the city. 


Any shoutouts? 

I want to shoutout Dr. Dimitra Panagiotoglou and Dr. Ananya Banerjee! They have been such incredible mentors to me and so many other students throughout the School of Population and Global Health. 


Top tip for incoming students in your program?  

If you come across something new and it interests you, pursue it. Public health is such a broad field that it can be challenging to know what’s out there. If you come across a topic or an idea that piques your curiosity, you’ll never regret asking a professor more about it. Just asking could be the start of a new passion or career trajectory! 


Anything you’ll miss? 

I’ll miss the friends I made and the people I met in the program. They all brought such unique perspectives to the program. Their camaraderie, kindness, and support made these past two years such a joy to experience. 


What’s next for you?  

I’ve begun working as an epidemiologist with the Public Health Agency of Canada.