From Undergraduate Research to Honors Thesis: Emmerson Pollard | Vancouver Island University

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Emmerson Pollard, co-major of the faculty of social sciences, will graduate in June with a bachelor of arts degree with a major in psychology. She plans to start a Masters in Public Health at the University of Victoria in September.

As part of our series highlighting VIU’s 2022 valedictorians leading up to convocation on June 23-24, we caught up with Emmerson to find out why she decided to attend VIU and what she liked the most. of his experience.

Can you share a highlight of your time at VIU?

I chose VIU for the lower grades. Another highlight was participating in the research! I had the opportunity to work as a research assistant in the departments of nursing and psychology. I have been a member of the Resilience Research Lab for two years. I also completed the Community Applied Interdisciplinary Research (CBAIR) program at VIU and loved conducting research for a nonprofit alongside a diverse group of students. Overall, I was able to gain a lot of research experience at VIU throughout my studies and I had the incredible support of many faculty members who helped me to become the scholar that I am today.

What are you most proud of since you started your studies?

The completion of my honors thesis. My project aimed to study resilience, relationship satisfaction and stress among Canadian firefighters. A total of 265 firefighters from across Canada participated. My project won a VIU REACH Award and the Meritorious Award for Best Poster at CREATE – VIU’s largest showcase of student research and creative activity. My project was also featured in the newsletter of the Canadian Psychological Association.

What’s one thing your fellow students might remember of you after you graduate?

My involvement in my faculty. I was an internship student for Dr. Elizabeth Brimacombe, Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences, for two years and during that time helped organize several student events. Through my work, I created the Social Science Student Bulletin, which was passed on to a new student to continue after graduation.

What advice would you give to students following a similar trajectory to you?

Grab all the opportunities you can and when you run out of opportunities, create your own!

Can you give us three random facts about yourself?

  • I’ve been riding since I was five years old and I’m currently barrel racing.
  • The only vehicles I’ve ever owned are Toyota pickup trucks.
  • In my free time, I like to ride a mountain bike.

What’s next for you?

I will be starting a Masters in Public Health at the University of Victoria in September.

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