It’s the start of a new academic year, where we welcome the new PhDs and the PhD veterans amongst us back into the fray of research and tutoring. Navigating the year ahead requires the ability for us all to be able to communicate with the school. And for this, we have the PGR Reps, who represent each discipline within our diverse research topics at the SHiSS. Every year we have a “changing of the guard” and so it’s time to welcome the new PGR rep team:
Christopher, Sandra, Maria, Rea, Rhea, Elisabetta, Juliana and Lindsay.
Nursing Studies Reps
|I am Christopher, a second-year PhD student Clinical Academic Fellow. I hold degrees in Adult Nursing, Specialist Community Public Health Nursing, and a Master of Public Health. Throughout my career, I’ve worked as a Practice Development Nurse and Health Visitor in Glasgow, and I’ve also served as a Nurse Activity Manager with Médecins Sans Frontières in South Sudan, Sierra Leone, and Ethiopia. Currently, I serve on the editorial advisory board of the Community Practitioner Journal and am a second-year PhD student. My research focuses on exploring parental responses to childhood illness and access to urgent care.
Fun fact: Chris got chat GPT to write this.
|Hello everyone, I am Sandra, a nurse academic based at York University in Toronto, Canada, I am on work leave and currently a second-year PhD researcher in Nursing Studies. I have been volunteering and conducting research in northern Ghana since 2010. My research is focused on the epidemic of high blood pressure in Ghana’s rural adults. My aim is to co-develop an intervention that is feasible, acceptable, and sustainable to treat this epidemic. I am dedicated to turning my volunteer/research work into a project that can make a significant impact on the health of Ghana’s rural population. Since I arrived in Edinburgh in 2022, I’ve taken up hillwalking and exploring Scotland’s breathtaking scenery including the great Gin!!
Clinical Psychology Reps
|I’m Maria, a PhD student in Clinical Psychology, exploring the underpinnings of daily routines as resilience mechanisms. My main interest lies in unravelling the rhythmic balance of stress and resolution in building resilience, zooming in on quotidian processes. My research is partly inspired by professional experiences in an emergency residential service for looked after children. These experiences led me on to a two-year MSc programme in Developmental Psychology and Clinical Practice at UCL and the Anna Freud Centre, where I also had the privilege of serving as an Assistant Child Psychotherapist within the NHS – all experiences that strengthened my research interests further. I then ventured on to Cyprus, where I had the chance to put some of these interests into practice by researching the effects of past childhood adversity on mental health and coping during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In my spare time, I enjoy long-distance running, practicing yoga, disappearing into lengthy novels, writing, and playing with my four-year-old boy, Michael 💙
And here’s a random tidbit: I once achieved a record of 82 keepy-uppies (despite my subpar football skills) ⚽️
|Hello everyone, I am Rea, a Greek living in Edinburgh for the last 3 years and a PhD candidate in Clinical and Health Psychology, currently in my 2nd year. I consider myself an interdisciplinary researcher with interests, degrees and roles ranging from psychology and information communication to Virtual Reality and education. My PhD research focuses on the way children conceptualise infectious diseases, and, as a case study, I use COVID-19 and the co-creation of a VR application for biology education and health information communication.
In the last year or so I have been enjoying rope climbing. I love travelling to new places and trying new (to me) but local flavours, I enjoy cooking, baking, and spending time with friends and family.
Counselling Studies Rep
|I’m Rhea, I’m a psychotherapist, group therapist, educator and researcher from Mumbai, India. My research explores how the dynamics of coloniality (silencing, dominance etc.) play out in counselling training and my interests are at the intersection of politics, psychotherapy, lived experience and trauma. I am on the executive board of the Association of Psychosocial Studies and the International Attachment Network (Indian Chapter) and the 2022 Scholar for the Division of Psychoanalysis, American Psychological Association.
I love animals (especially cats!), travel and spend my time chasing the sun whenever I get the chance! I love pilates, yoga and I used to be a ballerina when I was young. I also love to write!
Health in Social Science Reps
|I am Elisabetta, a PhD student, researching trauma and altered consciousness. I am returning to university after a considerable break since my second Masters. In the intervening years, I had four children, all now adults, wrote four books (4 seems to be a thing with me) and became a regulatory expert, with a specialisation in standards and quality for plant-based medicines, with a focus on medicinal cannabis. I am passionate about drug reform and was instrumental in the down-scheduling of high-dose CBD in Australia. I gave testimony at an Australian Senate Committee that helped to change the law to allow GPs to prescribe high THC medicines without the oversight of a specialist and am hoping we can do the same in Scotland. I am a dual Australian/Italian citizen, with residency in the UK. Based in Edinburgh during the week, and Aberdeen on weekends, I am also a founding director of the Cannabis Industry Council, a board member, Executive Committee Member and Chair of the Standards Working Group, whilst holding down a demanding regulatory affairs job. One weird fact about me is that long, long ago I was Australian Junior Women’s Bodybuilding Champion.
|I’m Juliana, a Ph.D. student in Health and social sciences from Bogotá. My research centres on building bridges across differences – in epistemologies, methodologies, perspectives, the rational and non-rational, the creative and the structured, the human and non-human. I believe these bridges can foster well-being, social justice, and the flourishing of both humans and our whole environment. My principal work context is Colombia, land of many conflicts and a mirror of many other territories. These interests have to do with my own bridges between all versions of who I am and have been: from econometrics professor and quant researcher to backpacking artisan, menstrual rights activist, and creative writer. I love mountains, mushrooms, birds, music, coffee and wine, among many other things. I married Gabriela just recently, have two precious cats, and the best sister in the world, Sofia.
PhD by Distance Rep
I’m Lindsay, a first-year PhD student in the Counselling Studies program. I’m a distance student living in Denver, Colorado in the US.
My research focuses on the lived experience of people who are polyamorous (having multiple romantic relationships simultaneously). I completed my Master’s dissertation on a narrative inquiry of 9 polyamorous adults in the summer of 2023. My current research is a continuation and expansion of this work. I love narrative and stories in all forms and believe they can be a great tool for promoting social justice for many marginalized people and communities.
In my spare time I enjoy hiking, watercolor painting, and dinners out with friends.
If you need to contact us, to raise an issue or have a chat please do so using our shared mailbox PGRRepHealth@ed.ac.uk.
Happy new academic year,
Christopher, Sandra, Maria, Rea, Rhea, Elisabetta, Juliana and Lindsay.