IRC Member in 2021-2022

My name is Rachel Coopsie, my pronouns are she/her, and I am a Huu-Ay-Aht citizen from where we now call Vancouver Island. I am also settler-Canadian with German/Irish ancestry on my father's side. Currently, I study full time at Simon Fraser University in the Department of Psychology where I am learning more about close relationships as well as abnormal psychology and clinical treatment. I would like to take the knowledge and skills attained here and put them towards providing accessible and comfortable counselling options to primarily Indigenous and marginalized persons who may not feel as comfortable with a settler-Canadian counsellor and would prefer to work with an Indigenous counsellor. 

What motivated you to pursue a BA in Psychology?

I discovered the field during a particularly vulnerable part of my childhood and I have always found something within psychology that can help me interpret the intergenerational trauma, the behaviours, the treatment that I see and receive that I may not initially understand. Psychology, to me, acts as an interpreter between myself and others and ultimately makes me a more empathetic person. Becoming a professional in empathy sounds like a phenomenal career path to me.

What are you enjoying most about your studies at SFU?

What I enjoy most about my experiences at SFU is how easy it is to form connections with those around me. More often than not, other students in my classes are open and willing to make new friends, become new study partners, and share their academic experiences with me. I also thoroughly enjoyed how engaging the university is, with activities being planned through departments and especially the Indigenous Student Centre and the numerous events they have planned. Overall, SFU has been overwhelmingly warm and inviting as a university.