Emmerson Pollard

From undergraduate research to an honours thesis: Emmerson Pollard

June 2, 2022

Meet your 2022 valedictorians

Emmerson Pollard, who is co-valedictorian for the Faculty of Social Sciences, is graduating this June with a Bachelors of Arts, Honours in Psychology. She plans on starting a Master of Public Health at the University of Victoria this September.

As part of our series highlighting VIU’s 2022 valedictorians leading up to convocation on June 23 and 24, we caught up with Emmerson to learn why she decided to attend VIU and what she loved most about her experience.

Can you share a highlight from your time at VIU? 

I chose VIU for the small class sizes. Another highlight was participating in research! I had the opportunity to work as a Research Assistant in the Nursing and Psychology departments. I have been a member of the Resilience Research Lab for two years. I also completed the Community-Based Applied Interdisciplinary Research Program (CBAIR) at VIU and loved conducting research for a non-profit alongside a group of students with diverse experiences. Overall, I was able to gain lots of experience in research at VIU throughout my degree and had amazing support from many faculty members that helped to shape me into the academic I am today. 

What are you most proud of achieving since you began your studies? 

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

What is one thing your fellow students may remember about you after graduation? 

My involvement in my faculty. I have been a work op student for Dr. Elizabeth Brimacombe, Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences, for two years and in that time have helped host several student events. Through my work-op I created the Social Sciences Student Newsletter, which has been passed on to a new student to continue after I graduate. 

What advice would you give students following a similar trajectory as yourself? 

Take every opportunity that you can and when you run out of opportunities, make your own! 

Can you give us three random facts about yourself? 

  • I have been riding horses since I was five years old and right now I barrel race.
  • The only vehicles I’ve ever owned have been Toyota Pickup trucks.
  • In my free time I like to dirt bike.

 What’s next for you? 

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

Related Posts

Got an article idea for the blog? Email students@viu.ca.

Sign up for our blog