Alumni Stories

Robb Tupper (2021)

What was your undergraduate degree at Acadia? I started my time at Acadia pursuing a Computer Science degree, but in my second year I decided it was not something I wanted to do full-time. I had taken both halves of Intro Psych and found them very interesting, and so I took a chance and switched my major to Psychology. I have loved it ever since!

What are you currently doing? Since graduating with a BSc Honours in Psychology and Computer Science, I returned to Acadia in the Fall of 2021 to pursue an MSc in Clinical Psychology. As a graduate student, I am continuing the research that I conducted with Dr. Joseph Hayes for my Honours’ thesis, related to Terror Management Theory. Longer term, I plan to become a registered psychologist in Nova Scotia, so I can offer counselling services to the public. I am also interested in pursuing a PhD and returning to academia in the future!

How did your experience in Acadia's Psychology program shape your current career path? My experience with Acadia’s psychology program was a huge motivator to continue down this path. My life plan would look very different if not for my involvement in the department. The dedication of our faculty was one of the primary reasons I became interested in research; if not for that, I would not have started down the road of writing my Honours’ thesis and continued to grad school.

What advice would you give to a first-year psychology student? Do not be afraid to forge relationships with each other, and your professors. It sounds daunting, but sending your profs emails, going to office hours, coming out to faculty events, and making connections are some of the best and, in my opinion, most fun things about university. Feeling that sense of connection will be instrumental in supporting you through the hard work ahead.



Sarah Bobbitt (2020)

What was your undergrad degree at Acadia? I completed a double major in Psychology and Biology, with honours in Psychology and the Neuroscience option.

What are you currently doing? I am currently an MSc student in the Neuroscience department at Western University. My research focuses on how children engage with spoken stories, with the ultimate goal of better understanding the experience of listening effort in children with hearing impairments. The Psychology program at Acadia was really instrumental in preparing me for an MSc, particularly in relation to conducting research. I had the opportunity to work closely with my honours supervisor and get firsthand experience in study design and implementation. At larger schools, undergraduate students often don't get to experience such one-on-one mentoring from their professors.

What was your favourite thing about the Psychology program at Acadia? My favourite thing about the Psychology program at Acadia was the professors. I cannot think of a single psychology course I took that wasn't engaging, challenging, and taught by someone who genuinely cared about the students. Being in small classes with professors who are passionate about teaching, both improved my education and allowed me to develop a connection to other students in my program.

What advice would you give to a 1st-year Psychology student? My advice would be to follow your interests and to not worry too much about what you think you "should" do. Acadia is an amazing environment to engage in a wide variety of intellectual and social pursuits, so take your time to try different things. Take that weird elective just for fun—you might find your new passion!



Faith Comeau (2020)

What was your undergrad degree at Acadia and what are you doing now? My undergraduate degree at Acadia was a Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Psychology (Neuroscience option). I am currently a Master of Arts in School Psychology Candidate at Mount Saint Vincent University. I plan to become a registered School Psychologist in Nova Scotia.

What was your experience like in Acadia's psychology program? My experience in the psychology program at Acadia largely applied to what I am studying now. I gained foundational knowledge about learning, behaviour, and psychopathology needed to succeed in a graduate psychology program. I also completed an Honours thesis, which allowed me to apply to my current program, and work towards completing a Masters's thesis. 

What was your honours research project? My Honours research project was a neuroimaging study supervised by, Dr. Anne Sophie Champod. I looked at the behavioural and neural effects of prism adaptation in children. My thesis findings support prism adaptation as a promising experimental treatment option for spatial neglect in children following stroke.

What was your favourite thing about the Psychology program at Acadia? My favourite thing about the psychology program at Acadia was the dedicated faculty. I felt continuously challenged and supported by my professors as both a student and a teaching assistant. They provided me with countless opportunities to build my knowledge base and skill set in unique ways. I would advise a 1st-year psychology student to simply show up to class, and to ask questions! This allows you to get to know your classmates and especially your professors on a personal level, which can open many doors. 

What did you enjoy most about Wolfville? My favourite part about Wolfville was the community support and involvement with organizations such as L’Arche and S.M.I.L.E. It gave me the opportunity to volunteer and become good friends with so many amazing individuals with disabilities. These relationships and experiences are something we will cherish forever.



Sarah Degrace (2019)

What was your undergrad degree at Acadia? A bachelor of Arts in Psychology with Honours.

What are you currently doing? After graduating from Acadia, I began my first year as an MSc in Psychiatry Research student at Dalhousie. Recently, I was fast-tracked into the Ph.D. in Psychiatry Research program. I'm not 100% sure what I want to do after my Ph.D., but I'd like it to involve research in some capacity.

What was your honours research project? My honours thesis, supervised by Dr. Joseph Hayes, examined implicit suicide ideation under an induced state of life-withdrawal. Specifically, I examined unconscious thoughts of suicide in participants exposed to death and failure reminders and looked at self-esteem as a moderator of that effect. The results weren't significant, but I had a lot of fun completing the project and learned so much.

What was your favourite thing about the Psychology program at Acadia? The professors are so friendly, cool, and were willing and motivated to help me learn. The level of attentiveness and kindness I got from Acadia's Psychology professors definitely made my time at Acadia incredible.

What advice would you give to a 1st-year Psychology student? Don't be afraid to go to a professor's office hours and ask for help, introduce yourself, or just for a brief chat. They want to get to know you, and forming that relationship early on is great for getting involved in research later in your degree.

What was your favourite part of Wolfville? Besides how picturesque it is, I loved being able to walk around and see a friendly face pretty much everywhere I went. It made Wolfville feel like home very quickly for me.