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Student Profile: Rashmi Weerasinghe

Clinical Psychology, Clinical Neuropsychology Track master’s student in the Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences

February 11, 2021
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Hi! My name is Rashmi Weerasinghe. I received my B.Sc. from the University of Toronto in 2018, after which I moved to BC. Currently, I am an MA candidate in the Clinical Psychology program at SFU, specializing in Clinical Neuropsychology. I work under Dr. Wendy Thornton's supervision in the Cognitive Aging Laboratory.

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO COME TO SFU?

I chose to come to SFU for a variety of reasons. Firstly, the Clinical Psychology program at SFU has a stellar reputation among the other programs in Canada. It's productive research output and vast opportunities for clinical training were especially enticing. Moreover, the Clinical Psychology program at SFU was one of the few programs across the nation that offered specialized training in Clinical Neuropsychology. Given that I hope to practice neuropsychology in the future, I knew that joining SFU's program would provide me with exposure to the field. On a more personal note, I figured that leaving my home town would introduce me to a variety of opportunities for self-discovery that I may not obtain otherwise. I understood the importance of gaining exposure to a diverse array of cultures, populations, and research practices if I want to become an effective neuropsychologist.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR RESEARCH OR YOUR PROGRAM TO A FAMILY MEMBER?

My program consists of multiple components. In addition to the course work you have to complete, there is also a research project you must conduct. Moreover, you must obtain clinical experience by working with clients in SFU's Clinical Psychology Centre and completing practicums at private practices and hospitals in the area. If you wish to gain more research experience, you can also conduct various side projects (permitted they are approved by your supervisor) and present your work at research conferences!

WHAT ARE YOU PARTICULARLY ENJOYING ABOUT YOUR STUDIES/RESEARCH AT SFU?

I particularly enjoy the stream of research/clinical practice I chose to specialize in (ie. Clinical Neuropsychology). Learning about the brain and conducting neuropsychological assessments fascinates me! I also enjoy conducting therapy with clients, as it is rewarding to know that you are making a difference in someone's life.

HAVE YOU BEEN THE RECIPIENT OF ANY MAJOR OR DONOR-FUNDED AWARDS? IF SO, PLEASE TELL US WHICH ONES AND A LITTLE ABOUT HOW THE AWARDS HAVE IMPACTED YOUR STUDIES AND/OR RESEARCH.

In 2019, I received the British Columbia Graduate Scholarship and the Dean's Graduate Fellowship. In 2020, I received the Canada Graduate Scholarships-Master's Program award. These awards have helped me devote more time to my research and clinical practice.

Contact Rashmi: rashmi_weerasinghe@sfu.ca