Rachel Ma

Rachel Ma


Program Bachelor of Science in Food, Nutrition and Health
Major Food, Nutrition and Health
Hometown Burnaby, BC, Canada

Because of the small and friendly community in LFS, Rachel has gotten involved in many different activities and student groups, all while being able to study what she loves. The flexibility of the Food, Nutrition and Health major in the Bachelor of Science in Food, Nutrition and Health degree offers Rachel the opportunity to explore electives outside of LFS to supplement her learning in nutrition. Some of her favourite non-LFS courses are Psychology courses, which Rachel finds help her to better understand sociocultural perspectives in her FNH classes.

What are three adjectives that describe you?

Compassionate, introspective and resilient

Why did you choose to come to LFS at UBC?

Beyond its reputation for academic excellence, research efforts and diverse international community, I chose UBC because it is an institution committed to tackling current and global issues. Being in LFS has taught and continually challenged me to employ systems-thinking when discussing topics that I care deeply for, such as food security, public health and sustainability. I feel supported in an integrative and collaborative learning environment with driven individuals who are dedicated to making a positive impact in our community.

What is one resource that has helped you during your time in LFS, and why should others be aware of it?

UBC Student Assistant Program (SAP) is a confidential and resourceful mental health service that all UBC students are able to access. Their 24/7/365 phone lines connect you with a trained counsellor to meet a wide range of health and wellness support for students. As much as it is important to prioritize academics and involvements, I strongly believe that nurturing our mental health is a vital element for success as well.

What motivated you to get involved on campus?

Coming to UBC, I was a very academically-focused individual. But it was this tight-knit Faculty that provided me the inspiration and opportunities to contribute as a student leader in the LFS Undergraduate Society (LFS|US) and as a Senior Orientation Leader for Imagine UBC (I am beyond excited to represent LFS and welcome all our new students), as well as in my local community. I also look forward to being part of the LFS ACE (Academic and Career Engagement) Team this year to support student development. Through work and volunteering, I have been able to leverage the knowledge and theories that I learn in class into practical use. My extracurricular involvements, such as the LFS Mentorship program and volunteering at Agora Cafe continue to offer me new perspectives and the space to cultivate versatile leadership, organizational and communication skills.

Although not really a factor in 2020, how do you normally make the most of your commute?

I have been a commuter student since day one, which poses two major challenges – time management and staying connected with my peers. However, it was also through this experience that I learned to effectively prioritize my time and mindfully dedicate my efforts to causes and organizations that I am most passionate for. I often spend my mornings on the bus eating breakfast, listening to music and reading, and there is nothing like taking a bus nap after a long day of classes on campus! I'm learning how to adapt to an online learning environment just like everyone else this year, though. I'm checking out Keep Learning UBC for tips and support to ensure I can be just as successful and engaged in my classes this year.

Interested in studying in the Faculty of Land and Food Systems? Learn more here!