Mackenzie Sharkey 3rd Year Bachelor of Arts (Bio-Psychology) Student, Research Assistant

During this summer of 2018, I am working with the Psycho-Social Ethnography of the Commonplace research group as a research assistant to Drs. Poulin and Gouliquer. I am grateful for this opportunity as it will provide me with valuable knowledge about the workings of qualitative research and the P-SEC Methodology. With this new knowledge, I plan to further my awareness on marginalised groups and the problems they face in hopes of creating a positive impact on/in someone’s life.

In the Fall of 2018, I will be entering my third year of a Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of New Brunswick (UNB), with a major in Psychology (Neuroscience specialisation) and a minor in History. Once I complete my undergraduate degree, I plan to enroll in a Master’s of Arts program to study the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) on soldiers’ brains post-war. This field of study interests me a great deal, having grown up in a military community.  Growing up, I was constantly surrounded by soldiers who were returning home in order to recover from the various negative cognitive, behavioural, and physical effects that are associated with being at war. I am fascinated by this rehabilitation phase and want to understand how their recovery is different than their fellow soldiers who are also returning from war, but not suffering from PTSD. What is the impact on the brain of soldiers affected by this condition? How are their cognitive functioning (e.g., memory, intelligence, reasoning) changed? I recently returned from Italy (through UNBs Travel Study Program), which consisted of learning about the Italian campaign during the Second World War, I am excited to continue my research in the coming years.

Besides the effects of PTSD on a soldier’s brain post-war, my research interests include other mental health sectors. More specifically, I am interested in childhood anxiety, depression, and schizophrenia, and their effects on a person’s wellbeing, physiology, and brain functioning/development.