Alumni

UVic Psychology grad Leila Scannell received the Lieutenant Governor’s Silver Medal for her thesis on place attachment.
UVic Psychology grad Leila Scannell received the Lieutenant Governor’s Silver Medal for her thesis on place attachment.

UVic Psychology Success Stories

Patricia Kilshaw: (BA ’96) Communications Consultant

Patricia KilshawPatricia is currently with the BC Pension Corporation providing communications coaching and advice. Her current focus is on the importance of empathy in leadership and customer service to help build sustainable advantages in organizations.

Before joining the Pension Corporation, Patricia was a founding partner and Director of Corporate Affairs at Q5 Innovations, Inc., an organization with a unique business model focused on developing and commercializing innovative technologies. Prior to Q5, she was Associate Vice President of Communications for the global consulting firm FTI Consulting, Manager of Communications for Aspreva Pharmaceuticals and, prior to launching her communications career, a project manager at BC Ferry Services.

Patricia holds a BA in Psychology from the University of Victoria and a Master of Business Administration from Queen’s University. She holds a change management certification, a license to trade real estate and is a qualified Lumina Learning business psychology practitioner. Patricia is also on the Board of the Canadian Public Relations Society, Vancouver Island Chapter as Treasurer. She can be reached at pkilshaw@shaw.ca.

“Personal challenges initially led to my interest in studying Psychology. I was interested in how people relate to one another, how they communicate, how the brain functions and develops and how a greater understanding of human psychology could help us navigate life. Looking back, it was a good decision. Psychology permeates everything we do. Understanding human behaviour has helped me to be successful in every one of the diverse roles I’ve had in my career. I don’t believe there is a society, organization, team or individual that couldn’t benefit from increased self-awareness to become better communicators, increase their understanding of others, be more accepting of diversity and more empathetic.”

Derek Vroom: (BA ’13) Educational Assistant

Derek Vroom“As an educator, it is my responsibility to impart the knowledge and values to the next generation of students they need to succeed not only academically, but in all areas of life. I primarily teach designated children with mental and/or physical handicaps - while working with the rest of the student population. I design and implement Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) in conjunction with teachers, counselors and the students' parents. Sometimes I teach one-on-one, other times in small groups. We know the old method of one teacher instructing 30 students leaves many students behind, and doesn't challenge the more gifted students. My job (as I see it) is to bridge those gaps and ensure all students have the best education available. There is no "one mould fits all", we must find out what learning method works for each student and how that student can achieve success. Above all, we must inspire and motivate them to achieve their own goals.”

“As a student, I wanted to learn - plain and simple. I understood psychology at the time as the study of the brain, so what better way to learn than to study the brain? Looking back, it was one of the best decisions I've made. What I've learned about the brain, social relationships, human behaviour... has helped me learn more than I ever dreamed about myself, others, how we all as people interact with one another, and I’ve begun applying what I've learned to all areas of life. Understanding the complexities and wonders of the human brain has given me a heightened meaning to what life is truly about - and has made me realize that there is so much left to discover and always room for growth.”

Eva Boyer: (BA ’05) Board Certified Behavior Analyst

Eva BoyerEva received her Master’s Degree in a field of psychology called ‘Applied Behaviour Analysis’ and shortly after became a Board Certified Behaviour Analyst, providing services to a range of individuals, families, therapists, schools, community agencies, and governmental agencies. In her work, Eva conducts functional behaviour assessments and create intervention program plans for children and adults. Some of these individuals may have received a diagnosis such as anxiety disorder, depression, autism, pervasive developmental disorder (PDD), fetal alcohol syndrome, attention deficit disorder (ADD), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or a learning disability, while others have no formal diagnosis but desire professional help with a specific issue, situation or problem. She has extensive experience working with children with special needs, such as autism.

“I wanted to study psychology as an undergraduate student because I enjoyed my high school psychology class. I have always had a passion for understanding how people learn. Psychology introduced me to a career made for me (Applied Behaviour Analysis). As a Board Certified Behaviour Analyst I strive to provide the time, energy and creative teaching strategies to help every individual achieve their potential.”

Wynona Giannasi: (BSc ’99) Consultant (Communication and stakeholder engagement)

Wynona GiannasiAfter completing her degree and working for a non-profit agency for several years, Wynona decided to pursue a Master’s degree in Public Administration (also at UVic). Upon completion, Wynona joined a consultancy firm where she was responsible for several process improvement, change and knowledge management initiatives for BC’s provincial government and agencies, and shortly after founded the Howegroup, a boutique consulting practice. The Howegroup helps public sector clients focus on project management, evaluation and stakeholder consultation.

“Psychology is a really great place to start any career journey – it opens so many doors. During my undergraduate degree I was exposed to Health psych, biopsych, social pysch, adolescent development, and so much more, each can be stepping stones to a range of careers. Plus, I still use the research and statistical methods I learned in my career today!”

Who we are

Our alumni have ventured forth from UVic to explore a wide range of fulfilling life experiences and career paths including advanced study in fields such as law, medicine, education, and psychology; employment in universities, hospitals, mental health organizations, and government agencies. Many former students have maintained connections with our department and we delight in learning of their personal and career successes.

UVic Alumni Association

The UVic Alumni Association is dedicated to supporting UVic graduates in staying connected with one another and being aware and involved in the university's growth and achievements. The Alumni Association also offers a wide range of benefits and services to its members. We encourage you to stay connected.

Resources for our alumni

As a graduate of Social Sciences at the University of Victoria, you are part of our extended community− a network of over 20,000 graduates in communities around the world. There are many ways to stay connected with that community.

Keep in touch

Torch magazine

Please explore the links below to find ways to stay connected that work for you, online or in person.

Or vist the Alumni Relations website

To find out more, contact Cora LaRussa, Alumni Annual Giving Officer, at

Career resources

Careers Services

Did you know alumni can get career advice, professional development opportunities, and job search assistance through the university's Career Services and through our Young Alumni program?

You can also read about some of our Social Sciences alumni and explore our careers website for ideas on what you can do with a career in Social Sciences.

Stay in the loop

Alumni Week umbrella

Alumni events, social media, and publications give you a valuable ongoing connection with the university.

Get involved

Mentorship

Extend your network and develop your professional skills while giving back to UVic.

  • Volunteer with your department, alumni groups, or the alumni board.
  • Speak at a student or alumni event.
  • Offer a co-op placement, career advice or mentoring to a student.
  • Pay it forward by contributing to scholarships or bursaries and support the changemakers of tomorrow.