Shamiram Zendo: Assessing health & social policy

By Aisha Malik

Shamiram's hometown: London, Ontario

Shamiram Zendo is hoping to further her knowledge of the world and health.


Shamiram Zendo was born in Syria, and moved to London when she was 12-years-old. She is currently a doctoral candidate in her fifth year. Shamiram received her undergraduate degree from Brock University in Health Science. Following this, Shamiram enrolled in a Master of Health and Rehabilitation Science at Western University. The master’s project was a qualitative study that explored how criminalized women accessed health care when serving time in a provincial jail.

Through research, Shamiram hopes to deepen her understanding of health policy, performance measures, and contemporary social issues that impact health and wellbeing. Shamiram is interested in understanding how social policies function as health interventions to improve people’s lives.

Shamiram’s thesis work is an evaluation-based study that uses realist methodology. The work is focused on exploring the mechanisms that allow for the uptake of a health equity measurement tool used by Local Public Health Agencies across the province of Ontario. This tool is called the LDCP funded health equity indicators. Through this work, Shamiram aims to unpack who the tool works for, and under what circumstances. This thesis project received additional funding from Public Health Ontario’s Locally Driven Collaborative Project, and through this additional funding, Shamiram conducted an impact assessment of the indicators among 17 Local Public Health Agencies across Ontario.

"The PhD route is not an easy one, it's one that requires discipline, and a lot of creativity on the student's part. You have to pave your way and be strong and lead your own path to wherever it is you want to be. There are lots of people who will support you when they see you doing that."
In addition, Shamiram is involved in multiple community collaborative projects in the City of London. The first project that Shamiram is involved in a SSHRC funded project called Mobilizing Narratives for Policy and Social Change. Throughout this process, Shamiram has worked closely with a team of community and academic advisors to conduct a literature review which explores the existing body of knowledge that describes the use of narratives in mobilizing social and policy change. Shamiram is also a project lead on a project conducted in collaboration between Western University, The Centre for Research on Health Equity and Social Inclusion and the Middlesex-London Health Unit. This study explores the experiences of individuals who have used London’s temporary overdose prevention facility.

Fun Fact

Shamiram is fluent in three languages, English, Assyrian, and Arabic.

In her limited spare time, Shamiram enjoys volunteering as a community advisor at London’s Inter-Community Health Centre, going to the gym, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, cooking and spending time with family and friends. Shamiram enjoys playing board games, including her favorite, Settlers of Catan. Shamiram also enjoys travelling and hopes to learn how to play the guitar, and sing after she graduates.

Shamiram chose to study at FIMS because it offers an interdisciplinary learning environment, where she can read, learn and interact with academics from various disciplines. She believes that these factors are a great asset, and hopes they will help her graduate this year.


Profiles in the Meet Our Students section are written by students in the Master of Media in Journalism & Communication program, who are enrolled in MMJC 9604 - Professional Writing.