Sean Locke, PhD
Canadian Diabetes Association Post-Doctoral Fellow
Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research Post-Doctoral Fellow
Sean completed his doctorate in the College of Kinesiology at the University of Saskatchewan. Here at UBC – Okanagan Campus, his main role is to coordinate a community-based initiative to help individuals diagnosed with prediabetes make lifestyle changes to reduce their risk of progressing to type 2 diabetes.
Sean’s independent research program has explored the unhelpful thoughts that we have when deciding to exercise. For example, sometimes we feel too busy, and automatically think, “GAH! There’s just not enough time in the week to exercise!!” This thought has truth to it – you are busy – but you may have automatically jumped to the conclusion without considering the whole situation. Maybe you are busy, but not as busy at you feel? Maybe you are really busy, but could still find 20 minutes here or there? The point is, did you really think through the decision? Sean continues to explore how these exercise-related cognitive errors cause us to disengage from exercise.
Fun fact 1: Sean’s favourite painting is Salvador Dali’s, The Persistence of Memory.
Fun Fact 2: In 2010, Sean helped to create and coordinate a meals program in Windsor, Ontario to bring food to those struggling with food insecurity and poverty. Thanks to numerous volunteers, the program (now called Feeding Windsor; http://www.feedingwindsor.ca) has ramped up to serve about 15,000 meals per year.
Elena Ivanova, PhD
Elena completed a PhD in Clinical Psychology at McGill University. Elena’s main research interests are to integrate cognitive-behavioral techniques into exercise interventions with the goal to increase the physical activity levels of low active but otherwise healthy adults and clinical populations.
Her research work in the Diabetes Prevention Research Group is to optimize the delivery of a community-based exercise intervention that aims to reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes for adults in the community.
Elena enjoys traveling to new places, relaxing with friends, and trail running.
Corliss Bean, PhD
Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research Post-Doctoral Fellow
Corliss completed her PhD in Health Sciences at the University of Ottawa. Corliss’ main research interests are surrounding the development and evaluation of community-based programs, particularly related to sport, exercise and physical activity. Corliss is heavily involved in research within the community and has worked with organizations at the local and national levels to develop curriculum and evaluate programs.
Her current research in the Diabetes Research Prevention Group involves understanding women’s experiences throughout their participation in a community-based lifestyle counseling program for individuals who are living with prediabetes.
Jessica Bourne – Research Coordinator
Lover of all things British, Ms. Bourne takes care of us all in the laboratory and maximizes productivity like nobody’s business. Since joining the team in April 2012, she has single-handedly whipped us all into shape whilst teaching us the true meaning of Guy Faulkes “celebration”. Jess combines her incredible (slightly obsessive) need for organization and tidiness with a Masters of Science degree in Exercise Psychology earned from UBC Vancouver to superwomanly conquer all research challenges.
Tineke Dineen, MSc – Research Coordinator
Tineke completed her Honours Bachelor of Science in Human Kinetics at the University of Guelph before pursuing a Master of Science at Wageningen University in the Netherlands. Her main research interests revolve around adherence and maintenance to physical activity programs for individuals with diabetes. This led her to completing an internship at the University of Calgary and she enjoyed it so much she stayed for another 2 years, working with Dr. Ron Sigal at the Clinical Trials Unit as a kinesiologist and research coordinator for an exercise study for individuals with type two diabetes.
Tineke has now joined the DPRG and is excited to contribute her knowledge and experiences as a research coordinator to this group! She is also eager to help out with the Small Steps for Big Changes Program!
When not in the lab Tineke enjoys making the most of living in the beautiful Okanagan valley and can be found on her bike exploring the landscape, hiking the nearby trails or skiing at Big White!
Megan MacPherson- MSc (OT), PhD Candidate
Megan completed her Bachelors Degree in Honour’s Psychology at UBC followed by her Masters Degree in Occupational Therapy at Queen’s University. Megan’s research interests center around the impact of smartphones, mHealth apps and other technologies have on individual’s activity level and health behaviours.
Megan’s work in the DPRG focuses on the investigation and optimization of technology-related physical activity interventions. The overarching goal of Megan’s work is to determine how to best utilize technologies to positively impact physical activity and health behaviours in a variety of populations.
In her down time, Megan enjoys reading, exercising and relaxing with her partner.
Jodi Langley – Masters Student
Jodi enjoys taking risks, whether it be swimming with sharks, or jumping off a cliff, she loves to keep her family and friends on their toes! Jodi is a recent graduate of the kinesiology program at Acadia University in Nova Scotia. She is now completing her Master’s with both Dr. Mary Jung and Dr. Jonathon Little in the Small Steps for Big Change community project. As a retired track and field athlete Jodi is now exploring new forms of physical activity for herself and taking advantage of all the outdoor activities Kelowna has to offer. Jodi has volunteered with many physical activity programs at Acadia University and is looking forward to using her experience to help implement physical activity programs into the City of Kelowna.
Kaela Cranston, Master Student
Kaela graduated with her BSc Honours degree in Psychology from Brandon University, where she played five years of basketball. She decided to leave the prairies to pursue her Master’s with Dr. Mary Jung, and will be doing research in the Small Steps for Big Changes project. In her free time, Kaela enjoys being active outdoors, exploring new places and adventures in BC, and spending time with family and friends.
Veronika Zarnoch –Undergraduate Research Assistant
Veronika is currently working through her BA in Psychology. Her research interests revolve around making mental health care more accessible, through an integration of physical, mental and community health. Outside of the lab, Veronika is a yoga teacher who encourages healthy workplaces, and enjoys exploring local food systems in quest of life cycle sustainability. Veronika’s biggest fan is her Giant Schnauzer- Liberty, with whom she spends much time exploring.
Alissa Smith – Undergraduate Research Assistant
Alissa will be finishing up her last year of her undergraduate degree with a BA in Psychology this fall. Throughout her degree she has fallen in love with Health Psychology and hopes to pursue further education at a graduate level within the specialization. When she’s not in the DRPG, you can find her volunteering in the Health Psychology Lab, being a Teaching Assistant within the Psychology Department, or organizing events within the Psychology Course Union. Outside of campus, Alissa loves to explore the outdoors, experiment with healthy cooking/baking and spending quality time with friends and family!
Alysson is a first year Medical Student in the Southern Medical Program. She did undergraduate courses in Biology most recently at Lakehead University while competing on the National Cross Country Ski Team. She is passionate about using lifestyle changes to improve health and is excited to be involved in the Small Steps for Big Changes Program.
Skylar Schmidtke is a fourth year undergraduate at UBCO, working towards a major in psychology and a minor in creative writing. Skylar is interested in the psychology of health and fitness. She has been working on a directed studies project assessing the use of health claims on alcoholic beverages. Come graduation, she hopes to continue her education through enrollment in a graduate program, specifically in the field of health and nutrition. She is currently volunteering on a research project, coding food logs for a national study assessing daily calcium intake of Canadian families. In her spare time, Skylar enjoys reading, weightlifting, and anything Taylor Swift!