Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?
I first became interested in becoming a psychologist when I began volunteering in St. Paul’s Hospital’s psychiatric units as a member of their animal therapy program. In order to work with that client population professionally, I knew I would need extensive education and training. Subsequently, I decided to undertake a master’s degree, followed by a PhD.
Why did you decide to study at UBC?
I decided to study at UBC because the Counselling Psychology program prepares its students to be excellent researchers as well as clinicians. I know that when I graduate I will be able to avail myself of career opportunities in research or practice and that I will be well trained for both.
What is it specifically, that your program offers, that attracted you?
I was fortunate enough to work with Dr. Daniel Cox during my master’s at UBC. He was instrumental in helping me to become a better researcher, and I knew that I wanted to continue working with him during my PhD.
What was the best surprise about UBC or life in Vancouver?
I think you will be hard-pressed to find another university campus with such natural beauty that is also within a spectacular city. It's the best of both worlds.
What aspect of your graduate program do you enjoy the most or are looking forward to with the greatest curiosity?
I am looking forward to my internship placement in the fourth year of my program. It is one of the most intensive training opportunities that psychologists receive, and I am eager to learn from experienced psychologists and grow my clinical skills.
What do you see as your biggest challenge(s) in your future career?
Conducting research and providing therapy that advocates for the dismantling of systemic injustices that impose on our clients’ and communities’ wellbeing.
How do you feel your program is preparing you for those challenges?
My program has taught its students about counseling psychology's history with, and commitment to, equity, inclusion, and social justice. As a result, our students ensure that these principles are at the forefront of our learning and training by holding our faculty, supervisors, and program accountable.
What aspects of your life or career before now have best prepared you for your UBC graduate program?
The work experience that I had prior to my graduate program taught me how to work effectively with others, manage my time well, and advocate for my needs. These skills have helped me immeasurably throughout my graduate program.
What do you like to do for fun or relaxation?
I enjoy birding, classic movies, riding my motorcycle, dancing flamenco, and traveling the world with my husband.
What advice do you have for new graduate students?
Avail yourself of opportunities to meet other researchers and faculty and let them know you're keen. You never know what opportunities might open up to you.