My name is Tiana Bressan. I am a third year Biomedical Engineering student, a President’s Scholar, a student member of CRONICAS Centre of Excellence and a Chair for the Guelph Engineering Leadership Program (GEL).
In 2019 I completed my President’s Research Assistantship (PRA) in Lima, Peru under the guidance of Dr. Sherilee Harper, past faculty of the University of Guelph and program investigator of IHACC (Indigenous Health Adaptation to Climate Change), and the mentorship of Dr. Carol Zavaleta, a Peruvian physician and researcher.
As I shadowed Dr. Zavaleta, I was able to play a role in seeking new technologies and connections for her to pilot in the Amazon. I was proud to assist in her successful application for the prestigious Wellcome Trust Grant and helped her secure non-invasive testing for hemoglobin using a cell phone application through the Georgia Institute of Technology.
While in Peru, one of the conferences I attended led me to an underserved elementary school and my humanitarian efforts suddenly broadened. I taught an English class at the school and what I gained from their enthusiasm was far greater than what I could ever contribute. Upon my return, I hosted a fundraiser in my capacity as the Vice President of Social Affairs for the Engineering Society. Our team raised over $800 for two orphans at the school who needed medical care.
My experience in Peru intensified my desire to support those close to home. In that vein, I began coaching for SkateAble, a program that provides adaptive ice-skating for children and adults with physical and developmental disabilities.
Additionally, I am a Chair of the Guelph Engineering Leadership program to run workshops and promote leadership while examining how we can support the UN Sustainability goals
The Summerlee Humanitarian Scholarship allows me to continue several projects in Peru. I will further my research to understand non-invasive practices accepted by indigenous cultures in the Amazon. And I will return to the school in Peru to teach English.
My academic journey is focused on a career in health, medicine, and technology. I will travel and learn in diverse cultures around the world and apply my knowledge toward improving lives. This is my purpose, that was fueled by the generous Summerlee Humanitarian Scholarship.