Master of Education in Developmental Psychology & Education (DPE), Class of 2021
What are some words of wisdom you would give to a new or incoming student in your program?
A doctoral degree can be a long, and rewarding journey. There will be moments of inspiration and rich learning, and moments of frustration, feeling less than, and questioning yourself. Be sure to intentionally remember and think about your 'why?' as you navigate the journey. What drew you to do a PhD, and the topic you've chosen? What impact will your work have? Reflecting on, and savouring in these questions was a critical strategy for me to push through a long journey that sometimes called me to question my ability to persist.
I've worked as a postsecondary education administrator throughout my PhD program. My current work as Director of Equitable Learning, Health and Wellness at Centennial College offers rewarding opportunities to put my research (focused on mental health and learning within marginalized sociodemographic communities) into practice. I plan to stay in this role in the near future, while continuing to pursue research and scholarship alongside it. In the long term, I am working to keep opportunities open within educational leadership, research, and policy spaces that connect to my central interests and passion areas.
My research interests vary widely and cross a number of research disciplines which inform policy and practice in education. I was seeking a PhD experience that could offer opportunities to engage with interdisciplinary interests in developmental science, including neuroscience, psychology, childhood adversity, child and emerging adult mental health, and postsecondary education policy and practice. As a leading, research intensive faculty of education with a diverse set of program and research strengths, OISE offered a great playground to work at the intersections of all of these interests. The DPE program at OISE enabled me to connect my research background in developmental cognitive neuroscience to my work in postsecondary education leadership. While the focus of my research evolved during my doctoral work, I ultimately studied the relationship between mental health and learning in postsecondary education students, with a focus on risk factors associated with holding marginalized sociodemographic identities, and links to childhood adversity.
Working with and learning from faculty at OISE who were brilliant researchers and skilled practitioners within psychology and education offered an incredibly rewarding PhD experience. My doctoral work has deeply informed and integrated with my leadership and practice work focused on promoting student wellbeing, equity, and learning at both Western University and Centennial College.
I would like to especially thank my supervisor and the committee members who offered a rich and supportive learning environment while pushing me to do research and work that was rigorous, relevant, and impactful. Their mentorship has been invaluable to my scholarly and professional journey. The faculty, along with meeting some brilliant peers and new friends, were highlights of my doctoral journey.