Research done on volunteering is often disconnected from the realities and challenges of volunteers and organizations in real-world contexts. At the same time, volunteering organizations often don’t have as much insight into the specific experiences of volunteers, such as factors that would enhance accessibility and volunteer satisfaction, and thus cannot intervene upon these factors to make volunteering more accessible. Through the Public Scholars Initiative, Julia Nakamura hopes to gain further insights to the meaningful work that the Canadian Red Cross is doing and support their efforts to promote volunteerism and well-being!
Julia Nakamura, a PhD student in UBC’s health psychology program, was recently named a UBC Public Scholar. UBC Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies established the Public Scholars Initiative (PSI) to support UBC doctoral students who wish to make purposeful contributions to the public good through collaborative, action-oriented, and/or creative forms of scholarship in their dissertation work.
“I am incredibly honoured to be joining this year's PSI Cohort! I am very grateful to my supervisor, our collaborators, and our lab for their important roles in this work. Being a Public Scholar means that I get to join an incredible network of researchers who meaningfully conduct, disseminate, and translate their research outside of academia. I look forward to working with the Canadian Red Cross to enhance accessibility, equity, and benefits of volunteering across Canada.”
Julia currently works in the Social Health Lab (PI: Dr. Frances Chen). Her overarching goal is to build a program of research that informs policy and intervention work to improve population health and well-being. Julia engages in multiple translational science efforts with non-academic partners, including the Canadian Red Cross, United Way Worldwide, IDEO, and the Consortium on Analytics for Decision-Making.
“My research integrates theories and perspectives from health psychology, epidemiology, biostatistics, and translational science to identify, understand, and intervene upon the dimensions of prosocial behaviors (e.g., volunteering, helping behaviours, charitable giving ) that improve health and well-being.”
Julia joined UBC Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies for a Q&A on her research, why she is pursuing a graduate degree at UBC, and how her work contributes to the greater public good.
Join us in congratulating Julia!