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Stephanie Amoah, Hons. B.A. Aging and Society & Health and Society '21

Meet Stephanie Amoah Combined Honours Bachelor of Arts Health & Society and Aging & Society '21

Meet Stephanie Amoah, Combined Hons. B.A. Aging & Society & Health and Society '21. Stephanie has always been keen on helping others and now, she has plans to pursue a career in gerontology. Read more about her road to convocation.

Jun 17, 2021


"My time at McMaster was about seizing opportunities and realizing that life is not a linear path. There are a lot of ups and downs and it is really important to stay present and understand that everything will work out in the long run."


What made you want to pursue an education in this field?

When I was about 15 years old, I volunteered at St. Joseph's Healthcare in Hamilton. I worked in the Cardiac Care Unit with older adults and had a lot of patient interactions. I helped patients at mealtime, and during their exercise times and even did some therapy activities with them. That was my introduction into gerontology. There was one patient who stood out for me, it was a gentleman who had been in the hospital for an extended time. I spent the most time with him, and I also worked with this team and learned about what went into creating his discharge plans. I saw that integration of care in the hospital setting for the first time and it sparked my interest in pursuing a major in health and aging.

How has your time at McMaster changed you?

My time at McMaster was great; it was a truly enriching experience. My experience as a student at McMaster helped to shape my character a lot and changed how I express myself. I came into the university as a shy 17-year-old with no friends. None of my high school friends had come to Mac. During my program, I slowly became more involved in the community in McMaster and in Hamilton and I found some clubs that I really loved. I found my voice, my people, and my passions. This was all because of some of the activities that I undertook and some of the roles and responsibilities that I had while at Mac. 

You were also heavily involved with the Health, Aging & Society Student Association (HASSA). How did you get involved there?

I worked with HASSA for about two years. In my third year, I joined as the Academic Coordinator. My responsibility was to ensure that students were doing well academically and socially. So, I would help plan events and encourage networking between students, professors, alumni, and working professionals. I really enjoyed being a part of that association. From there, I went on to be the President in my final year. As President, I oversaw the operations of the society, while maintaining a strong relationship with the McMaster Social Sciences Society and  Health, Aging, and Society department which was a learning curve as we transitioned online. The HASSA team worked collaboratively and learned quickly about hosting events and meetings via ZOOM. I also learned a lot more about scheduling, timing, and accessibility. As a team, we were all able to develop critical digital literacy skills which will be useful in the future.

What was behind your decision to become president of HASSA?

As the Academic Coordinator, I was able to witness the inner workings of what it takes to support a student association. I was also able to observe how the previous president flourished in her role and led the organization. It made me realize that this was something that I could do and made me consider how I could adapt to the role and make the association even better for everyone. I wanted to step outside of my comfort zone and challenge myself.

What was your favourite memory at McMaster?

It was during Welcome Week in my first year. I had come from a big high school but all of my high school friends went to other universities. So, I was by myself. I was also going to be living at home in Hamilton and commuting to school, so it was important for me to put myself out there. During Welcome Week all the incoming Social Sciences students were directed to a large lecture hall for the Faculty orientation, and I had no one to sit with. I remember scanning the whole hall. I eventually took up a seat next to a girl and started talking to her. It turned out that she was in my program and we ended up being close friends over the next four years. We took most of the same courses and she became a pillar for me, and she helped me when I would become stressed out by classes. That is an important memory for me because it was my first memory of making a friend in university.

Do you have any advice for your first-year self?

I would tell myself not to self-reject. There were a few opportunities I had while at McMaster where I wanted to do it and I thought about doing it but something in my head would always say no. I had to shift that thinking from why me to why not me? And I truly stepped into that mantra in my upper years. 

What were your favourite courses?

My placement course (HLTH AGE 3BB3) with Geraldine Voros. She was also my favourite professor. She taught one of the first-year health and aging courses that I took as well, so I was introduced to her early in the health and aging degree. I was placed at Compass Community Health which is now known as Pathways to Education. I was an after-school program tutor and mentor for high school students in a college bridge program. I would go in once a week and help students with their homework and socialize with them. I helped students with their Social Studies homework and English homework, and I helped some English as a Second Language students as well. It was a fulfilling experience, and it was great to apply what I have learned in the classroom to a real-world situation.

Do you have any plans for after graduation?

Right now, I am planning to continue my studies in health and aging. In the fall, I will pursue my passion at Brock University as a part of the Masters of Applied Gerontology program. Long-term, I see myself working with older adults, especially in the field of medicine. For summer, I am hoping to spend some much-needed relaxation time with my loved ones, walking, enjoying nature, and being near the water.