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SFU Student
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“I’ve been interested in Psychology for as long as I can remember. My aunt was a mixed methods researcher and clinical professor at The University of Memphis and I remember being in her lab, thinking ‘this is the coolest job ever’. Last year, I decided to go back to school and pursue that dream. I reached out to Dr. Aknin about our similar research interests and after visiting the university, it was history!

In Dr. Aknin’s lab, my main project is a prosociality and transitions project, where we are considering the intersections of stressful life events, prosocial behaviors, and well-being outcomes. I’m also leading a project on prosocial recollections, and helping out with research on gratitude and sharing. All of this is deeply meaningful to me on a personal level as I grew up with these concepts – that it’s our job as humans to support one another and be kind to all things. I want to create research that’s not only translatable but also altruistic and helpful at its core.

Make sure that you are coming into a program that reflects who you are and what you love. The most rewarding parts of school so far have not been the grades, but the fact that everything that I’m doing is foundational to what I see as my life’s purpose. Because of that, when I struggle or have imposter syndrome, I remind myself that I’m here for a bigger reason. That reason carries me through the mud.”

Tiara Cash is a graduate student in the Social Psychology program at SFU. Aside from her involvement in Dr. Aknin’s lab, she is engaged in volunteer and organizational work around a framework that she created called Equitable Mindfulness. This work aims to present the concept of mindfulness and self-awareness for all, while also consciously breaking down barriers to inclusive and equitable practices in communities, organizations, and higher education.

This post was originally posted on the SFU Psychology Instagram on February 1, 2021.