Students

 

Michelle St. Pierre

Michelle is a doctoral student in clinical psychology and a Vanier Canada Graduate Scholar. She received her M.A. in clinical psychology in 2018. Her thesis sought to identify differences in pain perception between cannabis users and non-users. Her dissertation seeks to validate a naturalistic cannabis administration protocol. Michelle is active in drug policy reform and is a Strategic Advisor for the Board of Directors for Canadian Students for Sensible Drug Policy. Follow her on twitter @ms_st_pierre

 

Sarah Daniels

Sarah completed her Bachelor of Arts with Honours in Psychology at the University of British Columbia, Okanagan campus in 2017.  Her Honours thesis examined the efficacy of Yoga Nidra in decreasing problematic substance use in young adults. She is currently working towards her Doctorate in Clinical Psychology. Her current research interests include the use of cannabis in yoga, as well as prenatal cannabis use. She is quite active on campus as an executive member of the UBC Okanagan branch of Canadian Students for Sensible Drug Policy, as well as president of the UBCO Yoga Club. Outside of school, Sarah is an avid yoga educator, leading teacher trainings and classes with a focus on yoga as a complementary practice to support mental health. In addition, she enjoys snowboarding, paddleboarding, aerial yoga, hiking, and hanging out with her cat. Follow her on twitter @daniels__SEA

 

Tatiana Sanchez 

Tatiana completed her B.Sc. with Honours in Psychology from McGill University in 2016 and her M.A. in Clinical Psychology at UBCO in 2019. Her research focuses on the effects of cannabis legalization on the social approval and perceived prevalence of use of cannabis in high school and university students. She is also active in the community as a volunteer with HOPE Okanagan – an organization which conducts nighttime outreach for homeless women in the Okanagan, and Options for Sexual Health – an organization that provides sexual health education and accessible healthcare in the community. In addition, Tatiana is a member of the Radical Action with Migrants in Agriculture (RAMA), a collective which advocates for Latin American and Caribbean migrant farm workers to build a radically inclusive and more socially just community. In her spare time she likes to try out new recipes, read poetry, and explore the Okanagan. 

 

Joey Rootman

Joey Rootman is a Doctoral student in the clinical psychology program at the University of British Columbia – Okanagan Campus. He moved to the Okanagan after completing his undergraduate education in Psychology at the University of British Columbia – Vancouver campus. Joey’s primary research interest surrounds the use of Cannabis as a substitute for other, more harmful, drugs, but he has contributed to projects across a diverse array of psychological research from neurobiology to human sexuality. Outside of the lab, Joey is heavily involved with Canadian Students for Sensible Drug Policy and loves to combine his interests in photography and music by occasionally working as an event photographer. 

 

Tashia Petker 

Tashia is a PhD student in the Clinical Psychology program at UBCO, where she is researching the therapeutic uses of psychedelics to help people with addiction. She is passionate about improving currently-available addiction treatments using innovative approaches, and recently evaluated the effectiveness of yoga in a residential addiction treatment program for women. She completed her MSc in Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour at McMaster University, where her thesis explored the relationships among ADHD, cannabis use and cognitive functions. Tashia has also contributed to research on assessing impulsivity in correctional settings, gambling and binge eating disorders, and changes in binge-drinking and cannabis use across young adulthood. Her favourite non-school activities include DJing, rock climbing, hiking, and bird-watching. Follow her on twitter @tashiapetker

 

Christopher Nelson

Christopher is a first-year M.A. student in the Clinical Psychology program at the University of British Columbia Okanagan supervised by Dr. Zachary Walsh and Dr. Maya Libben. His undergraduate research completed at the University of Florida investigated the relationship between collective effervescence and musical experience. His master’s research, completed at the University of Central Florida, continued his undergraduate research with the development and validation of an original psychometric tool evaluating collective effervescence during live music events. He also examined the clinical potential for cannabidiol (CBD) as a treatment for anxiety and anxiety disorders using meta-analytic procedures. Christopher has completed practicums facilitating a neuropsychological treatment group for people with aphasia at the University of Central Florida’s Communication Disorders Clinic as well as administering neuropsychological assessment with Orlando Health Neuroscience and Rehabilitation Institute Neuropsychology Group.

 

Sherry Hanna

Sherry is currently in the 4th year of her Bachelor’s of Science degree working towards her Honours in Psychology.  She is an avid learner and devotes much of her time to the pursuit of knowledge. She has conducted studies on open educational resources, adolescent substance use prevention and currently, the typologies of cannabis users.  She intends to pursue graduate studies in order to continue her research on drugs and substance use. Sherry’s greatest out-of-school passion is spending time with her family playing in the Okanagan’s endless outdoor playground (hiking, biking, swimming, boating, camping, snowshoeing, etc).

 

Lucas Standing

Lucas is a 4th year undergraduate pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with a Minor in Sociology. He is currently working towards completing his Honours thesis under the supervision of Dr. Walsh and Michelle St. Pierre. Lucas’ research project is a cross-sectional study examining therapeutic intent and caregiver communication among psychedelic users.

As the President of the Canadian Students for Sensible Drug Policy Okanagan Chapter, Lucas advocates for evidence-based drug policies that reduce drug-related harms and stigmas. He previously worked as a harm reduction specialist for Campus Health’s Harm Reduction Team where he helped develop and provide drug checking services. Lucas’ interests include playing the guitar, practising mindfulness meditation, and veganism.

 

Whitney Evans

Whitney is a 4th year Bachelor of Arts student pursuing a Major in Psychology. Whitney’s research focuses on therapeutic psychedelic use, particularly in Indigenous Psychedelic technologies. Whitney is also an advocate for respectful Indigenous-based research. Currently, Whitney is completing a directed studies ship under the supervision of Dr. Walsh that will detail the importance of using an Indigenous research paradigm in therapeutic psychedelic research. Whitney has applied to the Master of Social Work program for the fall of 2022. Whitney’s future educational goals include attending the Clinical Psychology Doctoral program at UBCO. Whitney can be found outside of work and school, connecting with culture, practicing sustainable living, spending time with her family, and travelling.

 

Sonali Kuber 

Sonali is starting her Masters of Social work at UBCO in September 2022 and completed a directed studies project in the lab during her undergraduate degree. Her area of focus is a qualitative study about Ganja Yoga with PhD student Sarah Daniels researching perceptions and motivations of Ganja Yogis compared to Non-Ganja Yogis. Additionally, she is the Vice-President of the Okanagan chapter of Canadian Students for Sensible Drug Policy and seeks to continue developing her skills clinical research. Outside of the lab you an find her with her dog Myla, or making art.

Jordy Cates
Bio coming soon!
Ifunanya Okwuobi 

Ifunanya (ee-foon-eye-ya) is a 4th year Bachelor of Science student at the UBC Okanagan completing a major in Psychology. Ifunanya’s research is centered on cannabis and pregnancy. She is completing a directed studies project under the supervision of Dr. Walsh and Sarah Daniels. The research intends to characterise public perceptions held regarding the use of cannabis during pregnancy and identify the factors that influence these beliefs. Outside of school and the lab, Ifunanya spends time volunteering with the Central Okanagan Community Food Bank. She is also an avid reader and baker, a novice boxer and a fashion and design enthusiast. In the future, she aims to pursue a doctorate in clinical neuropsychology with a special interest in children and adolescents.


Lab Alumni

Crosby-150x150

Kim Crosby – 2020

Kim completed her Bachelor of Arts with Honours in Psychology from the University of British Columbia – Okanagan in 2013. She successfully defended her Master’s Thesis in the fall of 2015 and is currently pursuing a Doctor of Philosophy in Clinical Psychology under the supervision of Dr. Walsh. Her research interests include medical and recreational cannabis use, problematic alcohol use, personality, and intimate partner violence. Kim is currently out on internship in Edmonton, Alberta.

 

P.-DrewDeClerke5-300x200

Drew DeClerck  – 2020                                                                                                                                                                                                                  
I am currently working towards my Ph.D. in clinical psychology with Dr. Susan Holtzman as my supervisor.  My areas of research include examining the role of medical cannabis for patients diagnosed with PTSD; investigating the relationship between exercise, depression, and relationship satisfaction; and understanding the role of text based communication in close relationships.

I received my M.A. in clinical psychology from UBCO in 2016, and my B.A. in psychology from the University of Calgary in 2011.  During my undergrad I completed two research driven independent studies in central Alberta.  The first of these studies examined student nurses perceptions of gerontological nursing before and after a geriatric placement.  The second study examined the potential of assistive technology for persons with disabilities to improve independence and quality of life.

Tyler Arnold – 2020

Tyler is in her fourth year of her undergraduate degree working towards her B.A. in Psychology with Honours under the supervision of Dr. Walsh.  Her research project is a systematic literature review of Canadian Family Law cases that involve cannabis use and parenting.  She is also one of the directors of the Women’s Resource Centre as well as part of the Canadian Students for Sensible Drug Policy. Her interests outside of academia include weight lifting, snowboarding and going to the dog park.

 

JAstraea-Loki-4-1-360x270ennifer Langille – 2019

Jennifer is a fourth year PhD student in the Walsh Lab.  Her dissertation research is on the relationships between social support and mental health in people who have had abusive intimate partners.  Her clinical interests include Greenberg’s emotion focused therapy, motivational interviewing, programs for offenders, and therapeutic approaches for PTSD.  She completed a Master’s in Clinical Psychology at the University of Regina in August 2010, with a clinical focus on treatment for sexual offenders. Her Master’s thesis examined women’s perceptions of police response to intimate partner violence.  She completed her Bachelor’s of Applied Arts (Honours) at Kwantlen Polytechnic University in 2007. In her spare time, Jennifer can be found reading sci-fi, spending time with her family (including the cats!), teaching friends vegan cooking, or running random heroics on her mage.

 

Timothy Nemet – BSc, 2019

Timothy is completing the final year of his undergraduate degree, and is working towards a Bachelors of Science in Psychology with Honours under the supervision of Dr. Walsh, and Michelle Thiessen. Timothy has previously completed a research study with Dr. Walsh on the relationship between cannabis use and intimate partner violence. Currently he is working on an honours study that further examines that relationship. His research interests include psychopharmacology, cannabis use for therapeutic and recreational purposes, intimate partner violence, and positive psychology.

 

AveryWalshLabPic_UsableAvery Sapoznikow – BSc, 2017

Avery is in the final year of his undergraduate working towards a Bachelors of Science in Psychology with Honours under the supervision of Dr. Walsh. Avery has previously completed an independent research study with Dr. Walsh on the Amazonian psychedelic tea Ayahuasca, which is in the process of being submitted to an academic journal. Currently, he is working on a study regarding cannabis use and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). His research interests include psychopharmacology, psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy, cannabis use for therapeutic and recreational purposes, and treatments for substance use disorders.