I am a Health Policy PhD candidate in the Department of Health Research Methods, Evidence, and Impact (HEI) at McMaster University. My thesis looks into the phenomenon of vaccine hesitancy in Ontario and how policymakers are making sense of the use of social media to strengthen public confidence in vaccines. The 3-part thesis has the following components: first, I used social network analysis (e.g., ERGM) to model and analyze the factors influencing vaccine sentiment on Twitter; second, a mixed methods content analysis and cross tabulation was carried out to analyze whether pro- and anti-vaccine users exhibit pronounced differences in behavioral attributes (e.g., health-seeking behavior, platform-specific sharing practices, emotion); third, I conducted a case study using in-depth interview with key informants in immunization policy-making coupled with document analysis to understand the barriers and opportunities to increasing public confidence in vaccines using social media in Ontario.

I obtained a Bachelors of Science in Nursing (summa cum laude) and MSc in Public Health Policy and Management from National Taiwan University, and obtained graduate certificates in Global Health and STI/HIV prevention from the Department of Global Health in the University of Washington, Seattle, USA. I am a Registered Nurse in the State of Washington since 2011 and Taiwan since 2008. I have worked for the Ministry of Science and Technology of Taiwan, CDC-Taiwan, and have volunteered in the US, Poland, and Thailand with organizations such as the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA), the Hepatitis-C Outreach Program, King County Harm Reduction Program, Timmy Global Health, and Ban-Hom-Hug HIV/AIDS orphanage.

I freelanced as an English-to-Chinese translator/interpreter for clients in medicine, nursing, neuroscience, and public health. I was a singer/songwriter, my songs are frequently featured in commercials for companies like Häagen-Dazs, Taiwan High Speed Rail, BenQ, Watsons, Toyota, Levis, and many beverage and apparel companies. When I’m not writing my thesis, I enjoy learning new languages, tinkering with Ableton and Sonic Pi, backpacking, and cooking up a good dish. Thanks for visiting!

-Melodie