Lucille Rossiter, originally from St. John's, Newfoundland, completed her undergraduate degree at Acadia University and has pursued graduate work in Clinical Psychology at the University of Regina, Saskatchewan.
During her graduate training, she had the opportunity to be involved with various projects investigating women's issues, including work with the Canadian Military. This experience was invaluable as it provided her an opportunity to learn about the treatment of women in male dominated occupations and the hurdles that women must overcome to reach their professional goals.
One of Lucille's clinical areas of interest is in the prevention and intervention of eating disorders. She completed a clinical practicum at an eating disorders clinic in Newfoundland, working with women with anorexia and bulimia. Her current dissertation is in the area of familial functioning and Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS). Her research will explore the psychological effects of having a child with FAS on the parents/guardians and siblings of children with FAS in natural, adoptive and foster care families.
Lucille Rossiter spoke at the AGM in October 2002. A 31 year old from Newfoundland, she was refreshing as she recounted her research, and told us about herself. She spoke about her fetal alcohol research and about her research on how to integrate women into submarine service. She was a warm speaker, who now lives on the prairie and misses her home: “Oh my heavens, where is my water and rock!” She said, “Your organization is inspirational and I commend all of you for your philanthropy and continued support of feminist issues. “ She left us with words from her mother:
“Love is that condition in the human experience so profound that it allows one to survive and better than that to survive with passion and compassion and style. I treasure the love of family, a priceless gift of comfort and courage.”
Alison Bell after several years of intense personal, professional and academic preparation, in May of 2001, began a Masters degree in Counseling Psychology at the University of British Columbia. She is continually intrigued and compelled by human nature, and the way that people feel, behave and interact with their environment - with the people around them and also their cultural surroundings. It is this intense curiosity, and a desire to help people as they struggle with this interaction, which has led her to pursue Counseling Psychology as a profession.
Her desire to work with and contribute to the lives of individuals is reflected in her many years of community volunteer experience. She has coached BC Special Olympics for the past 10 years, an experience that has taught her to appreciate the unrelenting spirit, courage, determination and integrity of those faced with challenges. Over the past two and a half years she has also had the opportunity to work with the Simon Fraser University crisis line as a volunteer. Immediately after training, she was asked to assume the position as coordinator of the line, a position she continues to hold.
The study of Disordered Eating is another of Alison's passions. She says that this is a struggle that is prevalent among both adolescent and adult women. She intends to commit herself both personally and professionally to counseling, psycho-education and prevention in this field.
Alison's greatest accomplishment and most significant life experience, however, is that of being the single mother of her four-year-old son, Evan. She confidently feels that fulfilling her own potential will contribute to her life and character as well as to his well being.
Robin Kirkpatrick is enrolled in a Master of Social Work Distance Education Program, focusing on the area of women’s abuse.
Previously, Robin worked in the area of child welfare, where she saw a high incidence of family violence and the oppression of women. Working in the Children's Residential Unit, she witnessed several foster home placement breakdowns because of the aggressive nature of the children in care, who had lived with family violence.
The Master of Social Work program has broadened Robin's opportunities, to allow her to work at the Community Mental Health Center, where she works on the Acute Team, mostly with women in crisis. The women she works with often express feelings of hopelessness to the point of wanting to end their lives, which prompts her to focus in a counseling process which seeks out their strengths and abilities, resulting, in her own words, " I greatly enjoy my work at the Community Mental Health Center and find it very rewarding to assist women in crisis."
Robin and a fellow student were greatly concerned with high incidence of family violence and jointly completed their field placement in this area. It was determined, through their research, that there were no treatment groups for children, who had witnessed family violence, in the Greater Saint John area. To sustain long-term change for the children and create a process of empowerment, a parent component was also developed to enable the parents to learn the same information as the children, and to reinforce that learning at home. Hence, the family violence treatment program, "New Beginnings" was born.
Holly Cormier is a third year doctoral student registered in the Counseling Psychology program at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) at the University of Toronto. She is currently in the pursuit of establishing a career in counseling psychology and specializing in areas relating to women's mental health. It has been through her own experiences and struggles during adolescence and childhood that she came to recognize the crucial nature of work in areas of women's mental health. Having battled with issues such as anorexia nervosa, sexual abuse, a gradual loss of self esteem, a loss of a sense of self, power and agency, she has a unique and emotionally connected insight into the urgencies that face many females in today's society.
Since she progressed from her Master's to the Ph.D. Program, her dedication to this field has only intensified. Her interests have been well nurtured by the faculty as well as the social and academic climate at OISE, especially by her doctoral advisor, Dr. Nive Piran, who has continued to influence, nurture and groom her for a career in the field of women's mental health. She engaged her in a very frustrating and painful process, to develop a dissertation topic that was original and genuine to her. "This process", Holly says, " in many ways marks a crucial beginning in my own personal journey and self-exploration of my struggle with my sense of a loss of inner voice, which leads to serious and long-term mental health problems such as eating disorders, depression, anxiety and poor self-esteem".
Through her course work, clinical internships and personal experience she has cultivated skill, passion and dedication in the pursuit of becoming a registered psychologist for licensed practice within Ontario.
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