Writer, Author, and Instructor of Psychology (University of British Columbia) / Blogger @ The State of Us
Supporting academic and public discourse in the psychological and social sciences. Specializing in (1) educational development and leadership; (2) writing, editing, and content creation; and (3) individual, group, and community consulting.
Writer, Author, and Instructor of Psychology (University of British Columbia)
Supporting academic and public discourse in the psychological and social sciences. Specializing in (1) educational development and leadership; (2) writing and editing; and (3) individual, group, and community consulting.
Welcome! I’m a writer, author, and lecturer in psychology at the University of British Columbia. I received my PhD in Psychology in 2013 (UBC), with a specialization in health. I currently lead undergraduate courses in personality, health psychology, the psychology of death and dying, and gender. In addition to my teaching and research activities, much of my time is now dedicated to writing and authorship in the field. I am particularly concerned with the state of science literacy today, and it is one of my goals to support and promote a stronger connection between public discourse and scientific literature (with a focus on psychology and social sciences). I want to help us understand who we are; why we do the things we do, why we keep making the same mistakes, and how we can move forward together successfully.
I’m also a feminist and vocal defender of equality. To this end, I try hard to be an ally to those who are marginalized or otherwise disenfranchised, whether they be other members of the LGBTQ+ community, BIPOC, people living in poverty, or those suffering from illness or addiction. I consider myself an environmentalist, having had a great affinity for nature and nonhuman life since my early childhood. I like to approach every situation with reason and compassion, as well as an awareness of ‘the bigger picture.’
News and Updates
2020: The 2nd Canadian edition of our personality textbook, Personality Psychology: Domains of Knowledge about Human Nature (by Larsen, Buss, King, & Ensley), was published in 2020! This edition includes updated research, a closer look at cultural identity in Indigenous peoples of Canada, and much more.
The 2nd Canadian edition of our health psychology text, Health Psychology: Biopsychosocial Interactions (by Sarafino, Smith, King, & DeLongis), was published in the same year. This edition includes a brand new chapter on psychosocial factors in aging and dying.
Nov. 26th, 2019: I’m excited to share that I was the recipient of the 2019 Knox Master Teaching Award for excellence in teaching! “Each year, the Department of Psychology recognizes the contributions to teaching and learning made by two outstanding individuals in the department through the Knox Teaching Award. This award celebrates psychology faculty and lecturers whose teaching practice is exceptional and inspires student learning.”
Asking the big questions...
I offer a variety of educational and consulting services aimed at helping individuals and groups better understand their relationship to the world. To find your place here, I believe it’s necessary to seek answers to some of your biggest questions in life. The questions are infinite, of course, and they can be approached either personally or collectively. Here are a few that I consider to be of paramount interest to our collective experience here:
What is the role of the individual in society, and in the world at large? What is our relationship to the natural world? Will we (can we) ever live in harmony with nature?
To what extent are growth and development possible while attempting to maintain elements of the past? In other words, how do we move forward without leaving everything behind?
What is it going to take to make this work? Can we actually learn how to get along in a way that contributes to global health and development?
Can we learn how to better ourselves in ways that also better others? Can we use our personal agency for purposes of communion rather than to simply gain further agency?
Where are we headed, and in what ways are we in this together? What does positive growth look like?
While I believe in the importance of self-reflection and inner discovery, I also believe strongly in the importance of communion and the maintenance of community and society at large. I am somewhat critical of the self-help industry for placing too much emphasis on the self to the exclusion of others. In reality, we are all in this together. We need to do more to consider those around us; and to learn how to be more compassionate, empathetic, and charitable.
Consider this: Some suggest that in order to love others, you must first learn to love yourself. I would challenge you to consider the possibility that by loving others, and by being kind and compassionate, you may learn how to love yourself.