With a strong background in outreach work influencing her studies and her social justice focus, along with her graduate studies in social psychology, Dys-Steenbergen’s work with the United Way aims to research and better understand belonging, connection, and well-being in select neighbourhoods in Vancouver.
Using a bottom-up approach to her three-pronged research strategy, Dys-Steenbergen hopes to strengthen the case for theory that more diverse neighbourhoods have the potential for a stronger sense of belonging and well-being as they have more resources to offer, which can lead to a stronger shared group identity.
While internships are often more associated with the practice of clinical psychology, they are less often found in the field of social psychology. Dys-Steenbergen, with the support of her supervisor, Steve Wright, will be applying this internship as credit towards the comprehensive exam portion of her doctoral degree. Aiming to start this research at the end of summer, early fall, Dys-Steenbergen will be bringing her extensive background and interest in intergroup relations and collective identity to the United Way – Mitacs internship.
“I’m looking forward to being involved with an organization like the United Way to learn more about how they apply their values on the ground, with their communities.” notes, Dys-Steenbergen.
In terms of what she envisions for herself upon completing her degree, Dys-Steenbergen would love to be able to continue engaging in research and educating while also being able to be directly involved with communities. “It would be great to work with an institution like SFU, as it has a focus of engagement with the community as a part of its mandate.”