Meet Maya–Blending art and science to bring awareness to spinal cord injury research.
Q: What is your role in health research?
A: I am currently an undergraduate researcher in the Human Locomotion Laboratory at the International Collaboration on Repair Discoveries (ICORD). In the lab, we research rehabilitation and clinical therapies to improve the quality of life for people with spinal cord injury.
Q: What does your average day at work look like?
A: It varies a lot! Some days I collect data with participants using innovative equipment and software such as transcranial magnetic stimulation, electromyography, the Exoskeleton or Lokomat; while other days are spent analyzing data or brainstorming new projects.
Q: What is one of the biggest accomplishments or proudest moments of your career?
A: I will soon be publishing my first article—as first author! I imagine someone reading the abstract on google scholar or citing it in their paper, which will bring me such joy. Another proud moment was when I gave an oral presentation at the 50th Annual Alberta Motor Control NeuroHike Meeting. Public speaking is not my strongest suit, but I was so satisfied after presenting at the meeting.
Q: Have you always been a creative person?
A: I always find that producing art gives me energy while keeping me calm and grounded. I also enjoy playing music and love anything that involves creating something fun! After I graduate with my bachelor’s degree in April 2022, I plan on taking some classes at the Emily Carr University of Art + Design.
Q: What inspires or motivates you?
A: I am most motivated by the acts of kindness that I witness in my day-to-day life. It is reassuring to see someone stand up for themselves or help someone else in need. While there may be inequities in our society, we are heading in the right direction.
Q: What’s your favourite TV show?
A: I love Star Trek. I think it is incredible how they use science fiction as a mask to discuss current societal issues.
Q: What is your healthiest habit?
A: My optimism! I hope for the best in any situation and see the good in people. I always feel better when those around me are happy, so I want to spread positivity.
Q: What piece of advice would you give your younger self?
A: Life is a journey. Through years of reflection and learning, I am no longer stressed about trivial things that my younger self would not understand. Adopting the mindset to not regret anything because our past shapes who we are today has been an important life lesson for me.