Irene Duah-Kessie

Irene

Honours Bachelor of Science, Life Sciences • McMaster University  

Bio 

Irene graduated in 2017 from McMaster University with an Honours Bachelor of Science. Irene’s university studies in the biological, social, and environmental determinants of population health issues formed the foundation of her interest in sustainability. She is passionate about creating social change through addressing the racial inequities in education and socioeconomic status that shape the significant disparities in health status.

At McMaster, Irene was heavily involved in the start up of two clubs on campus, The Black Aspiring Physicians of McMaster (BAP-MAC) and the McMaster Womanists. BAP MAC is a chapter of a provincial initiative, known as the Community of Support (COS), that seeks to increase the representation of Black students in Canadian Medical Schools. This initiative was founded at the University of Toronto by the Undergraduate Medical Education MD program of the Faculty of Medicine. The McMaster Womanists group allowed women of color on campus to network through shared experiences, and socially engage in critical conversations regarding the intersections of oppression. Irene is currently employed by COS as the Outreach Assistant, where she provides infrastructure support to the various Outreach activities, initiatives, and events.

Outside of McMaster, Irene volunteered as a Research Assistant in Honduras at Cusuco National Park with Operation Wallacea, a biodiversity and conservation research organization. During her research expedition, she enjoyed conducting bird and habitat surveys. The data collected about the carbon abundance and biodiversity within the park is used to issue carbon credits through the Natural Forest Standards system, which are sold by the Honduran government to multi-national companies. Irene has also done community volunteer work in Victoria, BC with Tsartlip’s First Nations Reserve. At Tsartlip, she helped organize and facilitate day camp activities and trips for the children and assisted in the preparation and delivery of weekly luncheons and medical check ups for the elders.

Irene enjoys traveling, exercising, baking and spending time with family and friends. Throughout the MScSM program, she hopes to explore ways to respond to the social issues impacting marginalized communities.