Profile: Carmen Kwok

Student Services Lead to Student Success

Carmen Kwok, Second Year MScFN Student

Personifying Brescia’s “Choose to Lead”

By Ashlan Potts

carmen-kwok-photoIt’s no secret that Brescia develops BOLD women, and Carmen Kwok is no exception. In her second year of Brescia’s competitive Food and Nutrition Master’s program, Carmen is being awarded the Dietitians of Canada Business and Industry Network Award and is the first of our students to be honoured in this way. This prestigious award is bestowed upon only one recipient annually, and is an acknowledgement of influential project work in the business and industry field. In addition to the award, Carmen is invited to sit on the executive board of the influential Dietitians of Business and Industry group – a great opportunity to help make a difference.

As part of her internship, Carmen spent eight weeks at Compass Morrison, a global leader in contract foodservice and support services. Carmen joined Compass at a very intensive time due to the implementation of a new operating system, “Steamplicity”. Carmen demonstrated high stamina, great resilience and leadership, and was a key player in the challenging but successful transition for Compass.

Another unique aspect of Carmen’s story is that of her preceptor, Dahlia About El Hassan. Preceptors are dietitians that teach, instruct, supervise, and serve as role models for interns (like Carmen) for a set amount of time in a formalized training and evaluation program. Dahlia is a successful Brescia MScFN graduate, who was hired by Compass Morrison within six months of graduation as their Operations and Business Systems Support Manager. It was evident early on that this was a great match between Carmen and her preceptor, as both women display courage, confidence, and initiative in the work that they do.

Brescia’s internship co-ordinator, Kayla Glynn, helped to put Carmen’s Masters Program experience into perspective: “While we allow students to choose their own placements, they are still required to meet their competencies. We ask them to stretch themselves, to really embrace Brescia’s vision of Choose to Lead”. She mentions that Carmen was actively involved in structuring her own learning, and was careful to choose placements that would challenge her, and diversify her experience. When engaged in a placement, Carmen is always willing to “look beyond the white space” of a job description, meaning she always goes above and beyond what is expected of her in order to reach her full potential. Her placements are not the only place that she is showing initiative – Carmen is also proving to be a pioneer in research, with her interesting and innovative research project on how the built environment in urban design affects children’s health.

Carmen is a testament to the high calibre of students developed through Brescia’s Masters Program. Her success in her work offers recognition to her as an individual, but also to the program. With such a well rounded learning experience, I believe that the Brescia community will enjoy following the progression of her career, her research, and her amazing contributions to the field.