Q: Tell us a bit about yourself. Where are you from?
A: I grew up in Northern Ontario and moved to Ottawa for my undergraduate university studies. I then worked several years as an Occupational Therapist before pursuing my Masters of Public Health in Hamburg, Germany. I am now completing my PhD at the University of Ottawa under the supervision of Mary Egan and Claire-Jehanne Dubouloz.
Q: What compelled you to pursue stroke research?
A: As an Occupational Therapist, I frequently worked with individuals who had experienced acquired brain injuries such as strokes. Strokes can impact so many aspects of peoples’ lives, and the idea that I could participate in finding solutions to their difficulties motivated me to pursue stroke research.
Q: What is the focus of your research?
A: Through my research, I hope to help us better understand how social determinants of health impact the rehabilitation outcomes of stroke survivors. I am particularly interested in understanding how living in a low-income situation and belonging to a linguistic minority group influence a stroke survivor’s return to meaningful activities of life (a.k.a. participation).
Q: At what stage are you in your research, and what are your future plans?
A: I am currently in my third year of the PhD program with the School of Rehabilitation Sciences. I am working through the ethics process, and I will begin recruiting participants in the next few months. Following my PhD, I hope to have the opportunity to continue researching the influence of social determinants of health on rehabilitation, and to find solutions to reduce existing health inequities.
Q: How do you and others benefit from being part of the National Trainee Association?
A: Being a part of the National Trainee Association has broadened my understanding of stroke research. Through my participation in NTA events, I have been able to exchange ideas with other researchers ideas and learn how my project fits into the bigger picture.
Q: What other interests do you have?
A: I enjoy camping with my family, travelling, music, gardening in my 10×50 square foot garden, knitting (and buying yarn), as well as reading with a nice BIG cup of coffee.