Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?
My interest in older adult care began when I volunteered at a long-term care facility 15 years ago where I saw the significant need for healthcare interventions to support the aging population. Subsequently, working as a staff clinical nurse at patients’ bedsides for nearly 6 years, it continued to bother me as to why older adults continued to be hospitalized for things that could for the most part be prevented if intervened on early enough. These experiences form the foundation of my ongoing passion for research related to aging. Older adults are a population that is continuously neglected in healthcare, and I want to make a difference in the care they receive to help them remain living independently in their own homes and communities for as long as possible. I knew the best way to do this was to pursue graduate education.
Why did you decide to study at UBC?
I have always lived in Vancouver but had never seen or explored the campus of UBC prior to beginning my graduate education. I was blown away with not only the physical beauty of the campus, but also the tremendous support of the faculty at the School of Nursing. After completing my Master of Science in Nursing and Master of Public Health degrees at UBC, there was no question as to where I wanted to pursue my PhD in Nursing.
What is it specifically, that your program offers, that attracted you?
The UBC School of Nursing is a world-renowned centre for research and training. Its reputation in producing and training highly successful nurse scholars with a strong foundation of course work ranks it as one of the top universities worldwide. What attracted me to the PhD in Nursing program at UBC is the expertise and outstanding accomplishments of the nursing faculty both locally and internationally. The faculty are recognized leaders in their fields of research, and I knew that I would receive excellent mentorship and guidance in gaining the skills necessary to succeed in my research career at the UBC School of Nursing.
What was the best surprise about UBC or life in Vancouver?
What continues to amaze me about life in Vancouver is that there is never a shortage of new areas to explore. It truly is the most beautiful place in the world and it’s easy to forget that when you’ve grown up here. Life at UBC and in Vancouver really reminds me of how lucky I am to have lived here my whole life.
What aspects of your life or career before now have best prepared you for your UBC graduate program?
My previous research and work experiences provide a strong foundation for my doctoral program. I completed a dual Master of Science in Nursing / Master of Public Health degree at UBC where I gained significant experience as a research assistant, a teaching assistant, and built lasting relationships with faculty who have continued to be incredibly supportive in helping me now pursue my doctoral education. They have provided me with endless opportunities to engage in scholarship activities to help me gain the necessary skills and experience required for a career in health research.
What do you like to do for fun or relaxation?
Spending time with family and friends and taking some time away from my studies has always helped re-charge and energize me. I also like to bake, listen to music, and spend time on personal fitness. Exploring the beautiful beaches and calming oceans and going for walks in Vancouver’s quiet neighborhoods is also great for relaxation and winding down.
What advice do you have for new graduate students?
Some advice I would give to new graduate students is:
- Take advantage of the numerous opportunities at UBC to collaborate and engage with faculty in their research and scholarship
- Stay connected with your graduate cohort; they offer valuable support and probably understand your experience as a graduate student better than anyone else
- Take time to enjoy the beautiful campus of UBC and all it has to offer
- Graduate education can be consuming and physically and mentally demanding, but don’t forget to take time for yourself and your own mental health