Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?
After completing my master's, I found that I had many more unanswered questions than answered ones. With this, pursuing a PhD was the next best decision in unpacking some of the topics I was grappling with. I am also very fortunate to thoroughly enjoy learning, have the capacity to take on a PhD program, and be supported by mentors throughout the process.
Why did you decide to study at UBC?
I've been curious about living in Vancouver for as long as I can remember. Graduate studies is an excellent opportunity to try living somewhere else, and the nursing program at UBC is highly regarded.
What is it specifically, that your program offers, that attracted you?
I wanted to study with faculty that were engaged in community-based, health promotion research that is framed by social justice and health equity. Many of the UBC faculty members had written articles that helped to shape my practice, research, and ways of the world. It is an amazing privilege to work alongside people that have inspired me throughout the journey.
What was the best surprise about UBC or life in Vancouver?
I grew up on a farm and really like the space and quietness that brings. I was nervous that Vancouver would feel more like a big bustling city, but each of the neighbourhoods has a smalltown vibe which I really like. It seems like even if you are on a busy or noisy street, you can easily head one block over and find solace in nature - or the beauty of your neighbours' yards.
What aspects of your life or career before now have best prepared you for your UBC graduate program?
I am still a practicing Registered Nurse and had about eight years of direct patient care experience before starting a graduate program. Nursing has been an amazing career to foster curiosity and continued learning. It has also helped me stay grounded in the community and helped me to stay connected to the real-life impacts that research can have.
What do you like to do for fun or relaxation?
I am a big knitter. I love the rainy days in Vancouver to get cozy with an audiobook or podcast and get lost in knitting.
What advice do you have for new graduate students?
As a new graduate student, I was told to expect to have at least one existential crisis in your program. To tackle some of the big questions and feelings that you will (likely) experience, finding a supportive community is invaluable to helping you get more comfortable with some of the tensions of the topics that you'll be deep-diving into.