Student Spotlight

Lara Genik from University of Guelph is our outstanding undergraduate for the current Student Spotlight.

Lara Genik is a fourth-year undergraduate student at the University of Guelph, where she is pursuing an Honors Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology with a minor in Family and Child Studies. She has an exceptionally strong track record in research and clinical endeavors within the field of pediatric psychology.
Under the mentorship of assistant professor C. Meghan McMurtry, Genik has worked extensively on research projects that focus on pain and health of children. She has also been involved in other research labs studying non-suicidal self-injury and child safety/injury prevention. She is currently conducting a novel study for her honors thesis, which is examining respite workers’ beliefs about pain experience and expression in children with cognitive impairments who are nonverbal. She recently was awarded a travel grant to present her findings at the Ontario Association on Developmental Disabilities conference. She will also be presenting a research poster at the upcoming International Forum on Pediatric Pain conference.
Genik has held an array of positions working with children, adolescents, and adults with disabilities and/or mental health concerns. She has served as a support worker for children with disabilities in a day camp setting and also as a respite care provider for a variety of organizations. Lara is described by her mentor as bright, interpersonally pleasant, curious, caring, patient, and highly passionate about the health of children and adolescents.
Recently she accepted a position as a master’s student in McMurtry’s Pediatric Pain, Health, and Communication research lab within the clinical psychology: Applied Developmental Emphasis program, and she will begin graduate school in September.
Genik’c goal is to complete a PhD so that she can practice as a pediatric psychologist and continue to contribute to pediatric pain research. She also hopes to provide equine-facilitated therapy to at-risk youth and children with disabilities.