Chelsea Canedy began her time at Northeastern on a pre-med track, taking classes in biology and neuroscience, but she quickly discovered interests in policy reform and social justice. Her combined major in biology and political science brought together her advocacy work with her knowledge of healthcare and helped her move toward the ultimate goal of fostering equity in the healthcare system. Soon after graduating in May 2018, Chelsea secured a project coordinator position at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, whose mission is to improve healthcare and impact population health positively in different regions around the world.
Through the variety of global opportunities offered at Northeastern, Chelsea developed her multidisciplinary interests further. In the summer of 2017, she joined Thomas Vicino, Professor of Political Science, Public Policy, and Urban Affairs and Christopher Bosso, Professor of Public Policy and Urban Affairs, in Japan for the Dialogue of Civilizations program “The Twenty-First Century City: Tokyo and Kyoto.” She learned about politics, culture, and globalization in Japan through the lens of the daily and long-term challenges that the city government of Tokyo, one of the largest cities in the world, faces. She and her fellow students had opportunities to meet with city hall officials, Toyota and Mitsubishi executives, and other leaders in policy and business.
Chelsea’s first co-op, as an international project coordinator for the Harvard School of Public Health, gave her direct experience with global healthcare challenges, as she assisted in managing a CDC-funded grant to provide HIV and AIDS resources to the country of Tanzania. Later, Chelsea worked with Phil Brown, University Distinguished Professor of Sociology and Health Sciences, on a research project examining perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) that have leaked into groundwater sites across the United States. On this project, Chelsea was inspired by engaging in policy advocacy and making valuable connections with activist networks.
As a member of the Northeastern Student Government Association (SGA), Chelsea learned about policymaking at the micro level as well. Through her time at the Progressive Student Alliance (PSA), she became better acquainted with Northeastern student concerns. Together with other students, Chelsea founded Students Against Institutional Discrimination (SAID), an advocacy student group that focuses on racial and social justice for marginalized students.
Chelsea aspires to pursue a doctoral degree in medical sociology in order to study often overlooked dimensions of healthcare, including racial disparities. Her story at Northeastern highlights a journey to find new ways of looking at the world and taking social action against injustice.
You can read more about Chelsea’s path in our pathways feature.