Agency and identity development are central tenets of my scholarship throughout my graduate and academic career and play a key role in how I shape and understand my own identity – as a woman, an academic, and person with a disability. Living with heart failure for 15 years (diagnosed in 2005) and as a two-time heart transplant recipient (2014, 2018), both my lived experience of medical disability and scholarship in agency and learning technology reveals a significant relevance to translational research (TR) across education, science, health, and medicine. Along with a series of empirical approaches in my work, I use narrative inquiry, including autoethnography, to enable me to bridge my experience and expertise across seemingly disparate domains. As a faculty member at UBC, I continue to advance interdisciplinary scholarship by engaging in fundamental questions about the nature of scientific inquiry across disciplines and elicit its impact on the democratization of knowledge and promotion of human agency.
The trajectory of my interdisciplinary scholarship in translational research, applied design and learning technology is designed to advance knowledge with particular emphasis on:
- Human agency and the power to act and persevere in the presence of internal or external constraints;
- Personal autoethnographies as a tool for educating about lived experiences and life choices;
- Democratization of knowledge structures and learner agency through technology;
- Perceptions of virtual immersion and reality and its psychosocial impact on learning; and the
- Critical examination of technology and learning environments in applied design, STEM, health and medical education.
My program of mixed methods research is designed to contribute foundational scholarship concerning human agency and the accessibility of knowledge structures through technology with respect to an individual’s: (i) capacity to understand and reflectively evaluate intention, reason, and motivation, (ii) desires, beliefs, memories, perceptions, and other mental events, and (iii) action with intention. A hallmark of the trajectory of my funded research projects is to contribute evidence concerning the psychosocial impact of learning technologies for / of / in science, technology, engineering, math (STEM) and health education. My research program has resulted in a significant record of funding primarily from federal tri-councils, peer reviewed publications across several fields, and educational software applications such as Falling Skies v2.0 (2019, UBC) and Silence of the Bees (2011, Harvard).