Research Topic: Noticing nature: Individual and social benefits of a two-week photography intervention
Research Location: UBC Okanagan
Research Supervisor: Dr. Mark Holder
I am a well-being researcher with two main streams of research interest. First, is a particular focus on how experiences in nature enhance numerous aspects of our individual and social well-being (e.g., happiness, spirituality, vitality, meaning in life, connectedness, prosocial behaviour). Second, is examining kindness and happiness in children and adolescents (e.g., their conceptualizations of kindness and happiness). Within these areas of focus, my research aims first to examine the pattern of relationships among different facets of well-being and different situations, and second, to develop and validate well-being interventions based on my scientific research. In addition to my collaborations with researchers from different faculties at UBC (i.e., Psychology, Education, Economics), I also regularly collaborate with researchers from other universities within Canada (e.g., MacEwan University in Edmonton, Carleton University in Ottawa). I recently began collaborating with researchers in the UAE, the Netherlands, Russia, and Japan on cross-cultural studies examining a number of questions concerning meaning in life, nature connectedness, and well-being.
Home Town: Edmonton, Alberta
Faculty/School: Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences
Program: Doctor in Philosophy in Psychology
Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?
I don't think it was a decision so much as it was a calling. I truly love doing research and am energized by every aspect of it-- from contemplating research ideas and designs, discussing theoretical frameworks, and carrying out the research, to analyzing the data, writing manuscripts of research findings, and presenting papers at conferences. I also very much like, giving course lectures and helping students to achieve their academic goals in whatever way I can.
Why did you decide to study at UBC's Okanagan campus?
I was very strategic when applying to graduate schools, and I invested a great deal of thought, time, and energy into researching programs and meeting with potential supervisors. I was fortunate to have a choice of offers. Ultimately, studying with Mark Holder at UBC Okanagan was the best fit for me with regard to supervisor (of course) and program. The Experimental Psychology / Psychological Science program here is very unique with its dual emphasis on research and preparation for a career in academia. For example, the comprehensive requirements for the Ph.D. include developing upper-level undergraduate psychology courses and writing a major research grant, in addition to, of course, research.
What impact do you hope your research will have?
I hope that my research helps to reintegrate nature into mainstream psychology, into mainstream positive psychology, and into the tool kits of mental health professionals. I hope that my research on kindness and happiness in children contributes to an increased understanding of children's unique perspectives. Lastly, I hope that my research can inspire other researchers to continue exploring and expanding these lines of research.
Last reviewed 11/20/2015 2:39:40 PM