Global air pollution continues to present devastating effects to both the environment and human health. Western alumna, Sunny Uppal, BSc’08 (Honors Biology), MPH is working for the Climate Change Division at the International Affairs Branch of Environment Canada. His role focuses on fostering international partnerships, collaborating with Canada's diplomatic missions on climate change issues and serving on the Canadian delegation for UNEP's Climate & Clean Air Coalition (CCAC). His previous role focused on international negotiations, where he was responsible for contributing to Canada’s positions and obligations under international environmental agreements, such as the UNEP's Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants and the UNECE’s Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution (LRTAP).
His experience at Western was formative in the path his career has taken, “My years at Western were extremely influential in developing my interest in international environmental and health issues. I fondly remember taking a class with Dr. Charles Trick, focusing on Environmental Health, and immediately knowing that this was an area I had to continue my education in. It’s still unreal to me that a few years later, I furthered this through studying at Columbia and applying it every day at the UN.” Sunny also states that he will always have an attachment to Western, “Western was where I spent my most formative years. To top it off, my younger brother completed his undergraduate degree here, and is currently completing his Master’s in International Relations at Western. It’s truly a family affair.”
Uppal was born and raised in Markham, Ontario, Canada. He received his Bachelor’s degree from Western, and his Master’s in Environmental Health Policy from Columbia University. He has been honoured with numerous awards and scholarships including the $70,000 TD Canada Trust Scholarship for Outstanding Community Leadership (Canada’s largest undergraduate scholarship), the Canada Millennium Excellence Award, the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health Teaching Assistantship and the International House New York Outreach Grant.
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