Portrait of a graduate: Meet Sarah Cheung, BSc ‘15 (Psychology)


Sarah Cheung (centre). Photo credit: UBC Student Communication Services

Sarah Cheung graduates today with a B.Sc. in Psychology. She was diagnosed with Type 1 Spinal Muscular Atrophy when she was nine months old and was a Torchbearer for the 2010 Paralympics. Sarah recently sat down with UBC Access and Diversity to reflect on her time at UBC and to discuss what the future holds for her:

“Although I was born with a life-threatening condition called Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA), I have never let my physical limitations dictate my goals and ambitions, and I am graduating with a B.Sc. in Psychology. From my time at UBC, I have volunteered over 500+ hours in the Social Cognition and Emotion Lab as a Senior Research Assistant, worked as a Project Coordinator for the Social Integration Study with PhD Student, Ashley Whillans, and was a Lab Manager for Dr. Frances Chen’s Social Health Lab. Along with my research work experience, I published my first research journal article, “Who Reaps the Greatest Rewards from Charitable Giving?” in the University of British Columbia’s Undergraduate Journal of Psychology. I am also the 2014-15 recipient of the Psi Chi Goldsmith-Whillans Award for Outstanding Student Leadership.”

“Aside from my involvement at UBC, I have also been heavily involved in my community as an advocate for other individuals with life threatening illnesses and/or disabilities like myself. Currently, I am a trustee for Families of Spinal Muscular Atrophy Canada where I offer peer support, counseling and mentorship to newly diagnosed individuals with SMA and their families, while also advocating for funding for new clinical research studies. In the future, I hope to pursue further studies in Pharmacology or Counseling Psychology.”

Congratulations Sarah on your achievement!