A passion for people has led to USC's top student honour – and a new career – for Psychology graduate Helen Hall.
When Helen graduated with a Bachelor of Psychology (Honours), she received the prestigious Chancellor’s Medal for her Honours research project on the growing epidemic of parental loneliness. Her research focused on the risk factors and impact of loneliness, which can carry a greater risk of death than obesity. She also completed volunteer work to help alleviate the problem.
Helen, who is now working at USC's Sunshine Coast Mind and Neuroscience – Thompson Institute to further develop her research, said her decision to study psychology was sparked by work she had done with an international aid organisation and in supporting local youths.
“I strive to genuinely care for those around me and to use what gifts and skills I have been given to make a difference in the world,” Helen said when she accepted the Chancellor’s Medal.
“It is why I pursued the study of psychology five years ago. I wanted to develop a greater understanding of people and to acquire skills and knowledge that would equip me to better help people.
“This university has been instrumental in cultivating that love of community and people, and I am grateful to all who have strived to make our USC experience a great one.”
During her degree, Helen also travelled to African countries Malawi and Kenya to support local women and aid projects. The ambitious student also founded the annual ‘Live, Love, Laugh’ conference, which is now in its tenth year of encouraging and inspiring Sunshine Coast women.
She also represented the USC Golden Key Society chapter at the International Scholar Laureate Medicine and Health Delegation in China, where she met students from all over the world.
“I couldn’t have achieved what I have, without the support I’ve had. It’s been an amazing journey,” she said.
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