Grad student profile Kate Humphrys

Kate HumphrysMaster’s candidate, Applied Health SciencesSupervisor: Terry Wade and co-supervisor Erin SharpeResearch project title: “Engaging youth in the process of their own health: Addressing the psychosocial factors of cardiovascular health”Recent recipent of a 2010 Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Canada Graduate Scholarships Master’s AwardsHometown: Ottawa/KingstonKate Humphrys’ research focuses on youth participation in health promotion projects. She is part of the HBeat research team that is studying the social determinants of child hypertension. The project is led by her supervisor, Prof. Terry Wade, who is a Canada Research Chair in Youth and Wellness.Who do you hope to help and how?As part of the HBeat study, I’m working with a group of grade 8 students from the Niagara region to implement unique heart health projects in schools. My research examines the process of agency development in a group of students who participated in a peer health leader training program, organized as a five-day leadership camp held at Brock in July 2010.I believe that young people are crucial stakeholders in health and should be better engaged and involved in the process. I hope that my research will ultimately help young people, their communities and all health promotion teams. I hope that this research will identify sustainable and novel ways of involving youth in health that will allow more effective health promotion projects and long-term benefits for all youth participants.How did you become interested in your area of research?My work as an educator has confirmed my long-held belief that young people are capable of any challenge put in front of them! Working in international development, outdoor and experiential education and public health have all contributed to my interest.What made you decide to pursue your graduate education at Brock?The opportunity to work with the HBeat team on such a unique project was a major contributing factor. The Faculty of Applied Health Sciences was also a strong fit as it allowed me to draw from experts in both Community Health, and Recreation and Leisure Studies.How would you describe your graduate experience to a student who is thinking about studying at Brock?The MA in Applied Health Sciences is a fantastic program. The diversity of research occurring in the Faculty is inspiring. The research methods courses (5P17 & 5P07) that I took were both extremely well taught, and I benefited from the flexibility of taking an elective course at the graduate level in Child and Youth Studies. I have also had great opportunities to get involved in the community, including working on a project with the YMCA of Niagara.What are your other interests/hobbies/activities?As much as possible I love to be outdoors and active. I enjoy canoeing, white water paddling, cross-country skiing and hiking. I am a volunteer with Big Brothers, Big Sisters and I played on an Ultimate frisbee team with Brock. Since my move to Niagara, I have recently developed a new love for Ontario wine.

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