Aishat Adekunte

Name: Aishat Adekunte

Researcher/Supervisor: Dr. Dana Ross

Area of Research: Mental Health – Trauma Therapy

What or who inspired you to join the Emily Stowe Scholars Program (ESSP)? 
I felt inspired to join ESSP because it is a great learning and mentorship opportunity. As someone new to the research and clinical setting, I believe that being a part of such a program will help me to develop core skills, like networking, that will aid me in my future endeavors.

What was your first impression of Women’s College Hospital?
As soon as I joined the Women’s College Hospital Research team, I felt at home. I was

very nervous because I am new to the research setting, but my team welcomed me with open arms and made me feel very comfortable. Every day, my supervisors inspire me to expand my knowledge and contribute to such important research.

What interests you most about the area of research that you’re working in?
I am contributing to a project that will shape the future of trauma therapy treatment. I feel so grateful to be a part of such innovative research. There are very limited services for those who survived childhood interpersonal trauma. The Trauma Therapy Program at WCH is one of the only institutions which offers this service in the form of a Resourced & Resilient group (R&R). However, waitlists continue to grow increasingly long. Our current study aims to create an online version of R&R to increase access to trauma therapy. Therefore, I am most interested in this project because I see the need for mental health service access and electronic health could be the future.

What do you think you will enjoy the most about being part of ESSP?
I believe that I will enjoy being a part of a community the most. As a young Black woman in a clinical setting, finding a community can be very difficult, especially because of the pandemic. Community is essential to me because I believe that I thrive the most when I am alongside others who inspire me. Being a part of ESSP gives me a space to network, learn from others, and make sustainable relationships. Therefore, I find being a part of a community of like-minded people the most gratifying.

Personal or professional answers welcome: What is something that makes you smile? 
My experience here at Women’s College Hospital makes me smile. Going into this experience, I had a lot of anxiety about my future career path. I am the type of person who feels the need to have everything figured out at all times. Not knowing what I wanted to do with my life gave me a great deal of worry. However, throughout my experience researching and networking, I believe I have a better sense of what I truly want for my life. Most importantly, I learned that it’s okay not to know what I want to do in the future and that there is time to figure that out. What is most important at this stage of my life is that I learn and try to experience different careers.