Chelsi Major

November 11, 2020
Chelsi Major
Master of Education in Developmental Psychology & Education (DPE), Class of 2018

Current place of work:
Sunnybrook Research Institute (Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in the Hurvitz Brain Sciences Program)

What is your current role?
Clinical Research Coordinator

What led you to this program?
Having completed my undergraduate career and working within Child and Youth Care programs, I recognized the amount of weight research holds when wanting to enact systematic change. I was drawn to this program as I had little research background during my undergraduate career and I knew OISE would provide me with theory, knowledge and experience. In addition, I knew obtaining a higher degree from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) at the University of Toronto would advance my career goals as well.   

What was your biggest take-away/learning from the program?
My biggest-take away was the importance of building professional connections and establishing mentor relationships. During my time at OISE, I was able to explore different avenues of research with experts in the field. I worked/volunteered in a variety of labs, from assessing the effects of receiving a child care subsidy for low income children and their families in Dr. Perlman’s Lab to implementing/evaluating a family program to promote healthy child outcomes and prevent abuse recurrence for young child victims of domestic violence exposures within Dr. Scott’s Lab. Connecting with professors after classes also allowed me to complete a graduate assistantship with Dr. Volpe in traumatic brain injury prevention programs and have him as a mentor within my career.

What did you enjoy about the program?
I really enjoyed the variety of classes offered! It allowed me to specifically select classes within the area I wanted to study to advance my career. I also loved how this program has a blend of students from different professional backgrounds. Having interprofessionalism within the classroom allowed for diverse professional perspectives, creating a well-rounded view of my own work and its impact.

How has this program/ your profession impacted you? 
This program has impacted my profession on many levels. At the individual level, it provided me with the confidence to voice my thoughts within an interprofessional group and with presenting my own work. Within my career, it has opened up job roles which would not be accessible if not for my Masters in Education. Furthermore, in an age of social media and fast information, my research career has taught me how it is now more imperative than ever to have validated and reliable evidence as a foundation for prevention and intervention programs.

What would you say to a current student?
I would recommend this program to whomever wants more opportunities within research and practice. Once in the program, I would advise students to look for avenues both academically and socially. During my time at OISE I worked in many labs that were offered and it provided me with network opportunities and chances for publishing. Recently, a textbook chapter I wrote during my time at OISE got published by Springer International. I would recommend those looking to advance their career at any stage, to apply for this program.

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