Young Alumni Award 2013 - Jenna van Draanen

Young alum with a passion for social justice and human health

Jenna van DraanenJenna van Draanen believes that achieving social justice is critical to improving human health, and in her own way tries to make the world a better place. Jenna graduated from the University of Waterloo with a BSc in Health Studies in 2009.

While a student, Jenna was the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences representative for UWaterloo’s senate, part of the senate executive committee and a member of the Federation of Students education advisory committee. A Dean’s Honours List student, she also received a fellowship with the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Strategic Training in Health Research, and an Ontario Graduate Scholarship.

After leaving UWaterloo, Jenna pursued a Master’s degree in Public Health while continuing to volunteer in the community. Her roles with organizations like the Basic Income Canada Network, Columbia Forest Long Term Care Facility and the TOMA Foundation for Burned Children, have impacted the health and well-being of many. Recognized for her leadership, Jenna has been awarded the A.B. Patterson Award for outstanding community service and UWaterloo's President’s Circle Award for Volunteerism. 

Jenna has spent the last two years as a Research Coordinator at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, working within the Evaluation Centre for Complex Health Interventions. She is the founder of Blink Evaluations, a private consulting company where she has conducted program evaluations and policy research for community organizations. Building upon her passion for community health, Jenna is currently enrolled in a PhD program at the University of California, Los Angeles in the Fielding School of Public Health. Jenna has a drive that motivates others to act – she is determined and unwavering in her efforts to incite change and improve the health and well-being of those around her.