Word from the Director

Christopher Fennell

As a New Brunswicker, I come from a culture that is rich in storytelling, one that places great value on people’s tales and narratives. It is therefore perhaps no surprise that I was drawn to the field of psychology. After all, we are a discipline devoted to the study of how people (and other animals) think, act, and feel. We are fascinated by the why and how of the behaviours of ourselves and others: the protagonists of the stories that surround us. We care about the story of a father bonding with his newborn baby. The story of a boy getting help to overcome his school anxiety. The story of a young adult who is facing barriers to mental health access that stem from systemic racism. The story of an undergraduate student confronting academic challenges while retaining her optimism for her career goals. The story of two young women on a journey of building a loving relationship. The story of a cancer survivor who is afraid of her disease recurring. The story of a homeless man reaching out for help from his community and the people who are reaching back. The story of a senior who is starting to notice that she is forgetting things more and more. The researchers and clinicians here at the School of Psychology deeply care about the stories of all those people. For over 75 years, we have devoted our research enterprise to exploring the issues above, amongst many, many more. We are excited and proud to share those research stories with our undergraduate and graduate students in both official languages via our teaching in the classroom and training in our labs and clinics. Indeed, bilingualism is a core value of our School: students have the option of taking all compulsory and most optional courses in either English or French. Another core value of our School is our commitment to research. Undergraduate and graduate students will obtain career-relevant skills in our state-of-the-art research laboratories. Students can build their career network via our own deep research connections with major hospitals, community organizations, and government. Our comprehensive range of programs and courses allows students to tailor their education to their own needs and goals. At the Undergraduate level, we offer Honours B.A. and Honours B.Sc. programs as well as a Major and Minor in Psychology. At the graduate level, we offer a fast-track combined M.A.─ Ph.D. degree in an Experimental Psychology program as well as a Clinical Psychology program accredited by the Canadian Psychological Association. Students are part of a large and vibrant community of over 2,300 Undergraduates, 200 Graduate students, and 50 full-time professors in Psychology. We are also a community that highly values the mental health professionals amongst our ranks and holds firm to our commitment to promote mental health here at the University of Ottawa and beyond – for all members of our society.

On behalf of our vibrant community of professors, staff, researchers, and students, I invite to you come and share and build your story with us.

Christopher Fennell

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